Author: Kathleen Nelson-Simley
Posted: Thursday - April 1, 2021
I will confess. My blog is coming to you a day later than usual. It’s the first time in a long time I’m publishing my blog late.
It’s interesting that even though my blog deadline is a self-imposed deadline, not meeting it really bothers me. I guess it’s the side of me that needs to follow through on goals, do what I say I’m going to do and give 110% effort on everything I do. Lately though, I’ve found myself falling short of these things. I’ve been in a funk and it’s one that feels somewhat familiar to me. It’s the same funk I remember being in at this time last year as I was transitioning into a life with COVID-19.
As an increasing number of citizens are getting vaccinated and more states are seeing a drop in positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to coronavirus, we are beginning to see some forms of pre-COVID life return. More states, including mine, are lifting many of the restrictions we have been living under for over a year now. Whether it’s the right thing to do or the best time to do it, is up for debate. Regardless, it’s happening.
For the last 12 months we have yearned for what’s happening in some of our states today. We have yearned to be told we can send our kids back to school safely. We have yearned to visit our loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living centers. We have yearned to attend sporting events. We have yearned to worship in-person. We have yearned to return to the workplace with our colleagues. We have yearned to eat in a restaurant, exercise at the gym or attend a concert. We have yearned to take the family vacation we had to cancel. We have yearned for the day when we can meet in-person and not virtually.
Many of the things we have yearned for are now happening or are available to some of us. And, yet, we aren’t all reacting to it with the, “WOO HOO!”, we imagined we would.
As much as we all struggled to transition into a life with COVID-19 a year ago, some of us are struggling to transition into a life where COVID-19 isn’t controlling everything we do, and eventually a life without COVID-19. Transitions are hard. Switching up routines can be challenging. Changing habits requires time, motivation and effort.
I am in a time of transition. I am being challenged to re-think the way I have lived my life this past year with COVID-19. I’m reflecting on what I’ve been doing, how I’ve been doing it, who I’ve been doing it with or without, where I’ve been doing it and how it might all change – again.
Will having more in-person interaction drain or build my energy level?
Will virtual meetings be of necessity or something of convenience?
Will I protect my calendar with white space or fill it up to be as full as it once was?
Will I dread having to dress up and leave my home or look forward to it?
Will I continue to wear a mask, even if not mandated, or banish them?
Will my social skills be more like…riding a bike – a skill, that once learned, is never forgotten…or more like…playing an instrument at a high mastery level – a skill that if not practiced regularly over time diminishes or is completely lost?
Will some relationships I had continue to be important in my life, be less important or not important at all?
Will I live life with more gratitude or resentment?
Will I say, “I love you,” more often or let it go unspoken?
Will I adapt my new routines back to some of my old routines? Will I go to the gym three times a week? Will I get up early and attend worship in-person?
Will resuming family gatherings be something I look forward to or dread?
Will I have become more self-minded or community-minded?
Will I continue practicing good hygiene habits or slack on them?
Will technology play an even bigger role in my daily life or will I set personal limits or boundaries?
Will I continue doing most of my shopping online or will I return to in-person retail shopping?
Will I continue keeping my closets organized or my yard in pristine condition or say, “To heck with it!”
Will COVID-19 become an excuse or still a valid reason?
Yeah. I’ve been wondering a lot about how I will live life in a post-COVID world someday. Maybe you have been, too. While we are by no means fully there and won’t be for a good long while, the shift towards it is beginning. And, as the transition continues, it will shake up the life we have settled into this past year.
All of this reminds me of the blog I wrote on March 18, 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, entitled, “Shake Up.” I started it by writing:
“We’re living through a very difficult time right now. Anxiety, stress, isolation and fear of the unknown seems to have invaded many of our lives in a short period of time. The coronavirus has shaken up our lives. It has shaken up our routines. It has shaken up our jobs. It has shaken up our investments and bank accounts. It has shaken up our social calendar. It has shaken up our families. It has shaken up our relationships and connection with others. I’m going to be honest. I wonder what this “shake up” means in our lives…”
It's interesting how a year ago I was in the same state of wonder I find myself in today.
I think what I am struggling with now is seeing how the “shake up” we experienced a year ago HAS really changed our lives and will continue to into the future. Just as we experienced anxiety, stress and fear of the unknown at the start of the pandemic, we are experiencing some of the same feelings as we transition into a life of unknowns out of the pandemic. We are experiencing a new “shake up” and while it isn’t as abrupt as the one we experienced a year ago, it is still a shake up, and one that still leaves me to wonder.
As we move through this time of transition, perhaps it’s the words I wrote at the end of my blog on March 18, 2020, that we all, including me, need to be reminded of:
Your world may be shaken up right now, but you will get through it. Practice patience. Grant yourself grace. Relax. Focus on what and who is important to you. Stay connected with loved ones. Take one day at a time and have faith that time will figure all things out.