Stepping Out of the Pandemic Shadows

I don't know
about the rest of you, but the last three years have weighed heavily on me.  When the pandemic restrictions first hit, I was good. Really good.  Three to four months (in my mind) of pulling in and relaxing at home sounded great. 

When there was no end in sight after six months, I began to worry. When Christmas fell apart I lost it. This was the first Christmas in several years I would have had all the kids home. And my new granddaughter would be there.  Instead my husband and I spent the day alone. I refused to even cook I was so depressed.  Holidays are about family for me, so what was the point?

Finally in 2022, things are opening up again. I attended Vancouver Fashion Week in the spring and connected with both local friends and people from all over the world. Next came  week long trip in April to Kauai, my first time there.  My husband and I spent two weeks with our daughter and family in Ontario in May/June and just returned from Colorado where we attended a family wedding with extended family. We still had to yet again delay our Iceland/UK trip to 2023 (our third postponement) - still too much disruption and uncertainty - but we managed to book a Plan B trip to Maui at the end of September. Maui is our happy place.

It feels good to be stepping out of the pandemic shadows. While life will never truly be the same as pre-pandemic, we are all figuring out what the new norm will be for us personally.  I plan to travel as much as budget and my health allow.  I also plan to start connecting face-to-face again with others for coffee, walks and lunches.  Hopefully I will be able to book some new interviews. 

Mental health became a serious problem for many during the isolation of the pandemic. I definitely felt the touch of despair. I missed hugging friends and family. We need face-to-face connections with others. While Zoom and Skype really helped, there is something missing when you never see anyone in person to share a conversation and to physically touch.  We need interaction. We need to know we are not alone.  

No, nothing will ever be exactly the same, but the door is now open. We can chose to step back out into the world again, to have new experiences, to spend time with loved ones, to attend plays and concerts, to dine in cafes and restaurants.  Fear might prove a deterrent for some. It won't be easy for everyone to walk away from three years of isolation and constant health warnings.  If that is the case for you, take it in baby steps.  Build your comfort level slowly. Know you're not alone. 

I, for one, am glad to be coming out the other side.  I wasn't able to explore explore new experiences or travel much until my kids had flown the coop and the house was paid off. So I am late coming to life's banquet. I hated wasting time during the shut down and intend to spread my wings as much as I can for as long as my body allows it. 

Life is grand. It's meant to be embraced and experienced to the fullest, and I intend to do just that.  I want to close with one of my favorite quotes from Mark Frost as it expresses my sentiments exactly. 

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride.” Hunter S. Thompson