Okay, first thing’s first: I have not written in a long time. Time just has a way of passing while you’re trying to get your life in order, ya know? To be honest, I’m not sure when I’ll post next because this month is hectic. Lots has been going on with me – actually only two things: new job and more wedding planning purgatory. But they sure are tiring! Plus, there’s just been a TON of growth happening in my mind, body, and spirit. Anyway, now that I’m somewhat grounded again, I kind of miss COVID-19 lockdown.
Yes, the same lockdown that drove everyone insane. The same lockdown where we were baking bread, had daytime PJs and nighttime PJs, and daily walks were the highlight of our lives. I miss it. I really do.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss the pandemic itself. I don’t miss feeling paranoid 25/8. I don’t miss watching the death toll rise, losing people I knew, or watching US government entities have their stupid contests on who could predict the future better (how about just keeping people safe and secure?). I don’t miss not being able to see my family members or my friends live and in color.
I miss the fact that throughout the pandemic, we were only expected to be human beings. Like, doing the bare minimum and just living was considered an accomplishment. When was the last time that was a thing?? I’ll wait…
Now, I’m as ambitious as they come. But something about not being expected to throw my heart and soul into everything I did was nice. Especially work-wise. I was #blessed in that I was able to both keep my job and work from home – a HUGE example of educational and economic privilege that I’ll never take for granted. But like, no one expected you to break your back day in and day out. The pressure was off, for me at least. And, it was so nice to not fry my nerves every morning and evening commuting with these crazy NY drivers.
And socially, even better. The pressure to be out all the time, spending money, making small-talk, and lying about how happy you are on social media… gone. It was like the break from regular life that I really needed. Because for a while, I was starting to burn out. I was starting to hate sitting under fluorescent lights all day and shopping for outfits to “go out” in.
I was sick of societal expectations. Still am. It felt good to not know when things would go back to “normal.” It felt good to not make any plans and to just take it one day at a time. As much as everyone would say on Zoom, “I can’t wait to see/meet you in person,” I could wait. I was not pressed at all. The introvert and homebody in me was like “please, let’s keep it this way”
Now that things are going back to “normal”, I can’t help but grieve a little. While I rejoice in the fact that we’re starting to figure this pandemic (or probably endemic, eventually) out, I also mourn the loss of time and space. I mourn the loss of empty streets, presence, stillness, connection with ourselves, and the uncertainty that is the hallmark of life.
Now that we’re going back to this “normal” pace of life that is busy, planned, and values high output, I’m becoming less interested in continuing this way. After everything last year, along with my husband getting open heart surgery and having to cancel our wedding twice, I’ve learned that we’re not in control. I used to have this perceived level of control over my life. Like I was the only one who had any influence and could run things. LOL.
I used to put so much self-worth and value into my career, accolades, and accomplishments. I used to think the world would end if I made a mistake or that my best was not THE best and therefore it was not good enough. No more. After having spent a year without societal pressure, I’m fine with just doing my best. I’m fine with just being. And taking things one day at a time.
How about you? Do you miss COVID-19 lockdown?