Peaking out from the "Pause"
The part of the country where I live has been sheltering in place since March 17th, 2020. I never thought I could work from home, instead of driving daily to the non-profit, private school where I have worked for many years but suddenly I was faced with... working alone.
Much of my life during this time can only be described as a "dream-like," "nightmarish", "surreal," "lonely" and by turn, quiet, peaceful, grateful and very happy to be alive and well.
Suddenly we are no longer in the "pause" we have lived with for the past 100 days. We are able to dine outdoors, get our hair cut and our nails done, swim in our town pools and visit our beaches. Many folks I know start conversations with "I just had my hair cut" or "I went out to lunch today." Daily life tasks we so took for granted are suddenly a joy. Speaking with staff at work has taken on a new meaning yet we all look a bit shell-shocked, tired and lost. Myself included.
I had a friend come over for dinner tonight; I am going to the beach on Friday, then to a friends house for dinner [outdoors, of course] on Saturday night. Suddenly I have a social life. My husband and I are planning a mini-vacation, my girlfriends and I are planning on dining outdoors. Miraculous indeed.
As I peak out from the "pause" I have to ask myself "okay, look at all that you are gaining back, but what have you lost? I had to think long and hard about it but I do know I have temporarily lost my obsession with reading. I cannot explain why, I just know what I am not too interested in the 50 books I have on my tablet awaiting me. I hope my love of the written word returns, but until then....
I have lost my patience for less than healthy relationships or the people in my life that I tolerate. Why do I do this? I have no time for them now and I am relieved to be able to say this honestly. I have lost my need to rush from event to event without thinking "do I really want to do this?" I ask myself more questions about how do I want to live my life going forward. What do I want and need from life now?
I love my husband and my immediate family. I love writing and hope to continue working on my fourth novel over the summer. I love the fact that there is less vehicular traffic, fewer airplanes in the sky, less people around. I am reminded of my childhood ~ quiet, serene and in a strange way, safer. I like that friends come by and we sit out in front of my apartment and talk for hours because we have no where else to go and this is a good thing. I am more present in the moment than I have ever been. Life is harder, more complicated yet simpler too.
What has helped you through this pandemic, this pause? What do you take with you and what will you discard? As time goes by I know there is more, that my life has been forever touched in ways I do not as yet understand; but I will and I can thank the "pause" for helping me to set my course forward and live a happier life.