Looking back on the past 9 months of the global pandemic, I'm still in complete disbelief at how a virus upended our lives. Our homes became offices and classrooms and we had to deal with kids getting restless because they couldn't be with their friends. Travel plans, conferences, gym routines and other outdoor distractions came to a screeching halt as we sheltered in place during the early months of the pandemic. We took the restrictions seriously because we had family members with pre-existing conditions living with us.
The pandemic made me slow down and look inwards. With the demands of carpooling and extra curricular activities gone I learned to silence my soul. It was also during this season I weaned myself off an agave infused coffee habit I had developed over the years from spending too much time at the Whole Foods coffee bar.
The pandemic gave me the opportunity to serve in my community by helping with weekly food distribution. I didn't realize so many people were hurting until I intentionally stepped out of my bubble and reached out.
The pandemic made me acutely aware of my pain and fear for my family as we witnessed the cruel murders of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey and Breonna Taylor. It brought the nation to a reckoning of the deadly reality racism. Racism is alive and well and like COVID-19, it is a virus that many are carrying but are unaware of. A virus that will do lethal harm to others because of a lack of self awareness or willingness to do the work of facing ones own biases.
My biggest gain during the pandemic was mental and emotional rest. I had no choice but to slow down. My pre pandemic Sunday schedule involved driving to two separate church services and getting home at 7pm. Now with Zoom services, I have time to make breakfast and sip on my home brewed coffee and just enjoy taking a Sabbath.
Another gain has been the financial savings of not being out and on the go as much. My stress relief trips to Home Goods and Nordstrom Rack are now but a fond memory.
The pandemic limited my ability to reach out to hug and touch friends who were hurting. Some were afflicted and got terribly sick with the virus and there was no way to go mop their brows and hold their hands. I miss the spontaneous hugs I used to give and receive from new and old friends. I miss being able to see peoples smiles because of the masks. I really hate the fact that I can't show off my amazing new lipstick collection because, you know, I gotta wear a mask.
This pandemic forced me to take a seat and catch my breath. To understand that beyond the need for food, clothing and shelter, the most important things in life cannot be purchased with money. I know we are going to get through this and slowly but surely return to the frenetic pace of 'normal'.
I want to enjoy this season and learn all the lessons wrapped up in the pain and inconveniences as I look forward to a bright new 2021.
Happy New Year!