A pandemic is a horrible thing. It is frightening and dangerous. The whole world suddenly became vulnerable, and the world was not prepared. We have all been affected and feel compassion for all who have suffered due to illness, death, restrictions and financial impacts.
However, not all effects have been negative. Suddenly all the busyness in our lives came to an abrupt halt. Some were working from home and no longer had to rush in the mornings to get to work or fight rush hour traffic at the end of the day. (Some became busier with children at home, while also working.)
At the literal end of the day, when work stopped, there were no extra-curricular activities to juggle. We stayed home on the weekends when we might normally have been out socializing.
There was no preparing dinner for guests, or even attending (or hosting) birthday parties.
Our lives slowed down, and much of it stopped. It was like driving across the country when the car breaks down and we cannot go anywhere for days. We end up exploring a town or part of the country we would have whizzed past under normal circumstances. The rush to pack in so many hours of driving each day no longer existed. We just had to relax and wait.
So it has been with Covid 19. Nobody could go anywhere. We were told to stay home, and we did. We flattened the curve by doing so, and that was a very good thing.
In the meantime, many developed perspectives and awareness they did not have before.
Many were forced to look at the quality of the life they were living before the pandemic.
They saw the huge amount of stress that colored every day. For the first time ever, there was more family time, real quality time.
There have been more conversations with our children and partners. Yes, sometimes more conflict, but on the whole there has been time to strengthen connections, or even to create them where they did not exist before.
As we had more time to fill, many got back to old interests and hobbies, or created new ones.
There was an increase in baking and even making bread. There was time for creative pursuits, taking care of things around the house that had been ignored, maybe for years. As spring came, it was such a relief to get out of the house, so many threw themselves into gardening like never before.
I have talked to so many who have benefitted from slowing down, and have vowed to never get that busy again. They have discovered themselves in a way they say would never have happened if not for the pandemic.
More than ever we know how precious life is, and how it cannot be taken for granted. Maybe we have a deeper understanding of which things really matter. Perhaps we all need to look closely at our priorities. It might be that “back to normal” is not the best place to go.