We went through a lot of things last year. We have adapted, bent, shuffled, cried, observed, processed, prayed, and hoped that our lives would change in a way impossible to have predicted. Many have also experienced vulnerability, fear, and concern in new ways. As we breathe signs of hope for positive change in this country, we also reflect on what we have learned.
In the piece, How will you be different? written many months ago, I reflected on the possible subtle positive changes that may be going on with a stopped world, leaving us staring out our windows. I wondered if the forced slowdown could have allowed people to realize things they hadn’t done before. Could creativity have been awakened as we looked for ways to keep busy with most of our routines, activities, and social gatherings? And, while the unnatural amount of time that couples, families, and roommates shared homes together was difficult for some, could it allow others to enjoy deep gratitude for loved ones? I also wondered if people after the pandemic would come in contact with a deeper sense of gratitude.
My grandmother used to say, “Who has tomorrow?” Boy, was he right.
As we wipe the Covid-19 sleep out of our eyes with cautious optimism, I can see later. The tension in my shoulder is slowing down a bit and I am more able to dream, look ahead and imagine. The fire of hope has been kindled and is burning. This is being reflected in my friends, family and with many clients also in my therapy practice. It is glorious.
Having written well the previous article in the middle of Covid and now writing how we have been in a national decline, things open up, life comes back (with the sad awareness that the virus continues to go wrong), I am reflecting even more about some other things that have become clearer.
Do the things that give you joy. At the beginning of the pandemic, when the days were feeling monotonous, I started taking my tennis racket to a local board and hitting balls. I did this every day for weeks, often the only person there. From time to time there was a nice young woman who did the same and then, a few times, an old woman who left her house, not dressed especially for sports, but with the bag in one hand and the racket in the another. This activity became one of my sporting outings and with headphones in my ears making loud music, I hit the ball against the wall that was next to the closed tennis courts.
This daily routine gave me joy and kept me mentally afloat.
Now that things are more open, I go back to playing tennis regularly (on the tennis courts) and I’m back to youth baseball photography (as the games finally start again), another passion in which I get the true flow, enjoying the joy of the total. immersion.
“Who has tomorrow?” Do the things that make you happy.
Connect with those who feed your soul. Last year I spent time with far fewer people than ever before, with my family and closest friends. As with many, the pandemic forced me to focus on my immediate orbit. Having recently connected with a handful of very old friends in the area, who really know me as I know them, I was amazed. Going forward I will never lose sight of the most special and valuable people in my life.
“Who has tomorrow?” In the end, your most meaningful connections are what life is all about.
I challenge you to reflect on the positive aspects of how different you are from what you were a year ago. What are your learnings and good results? Undoubtedly, the negative consequences of this pandemic are profound. Is it also possible that many could emerge from this pandemic like a cocoon of a cocoon?
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