As more and more folks are getting their second COVID vaccine shot it feels as though we are on this cusp of getting back out into the world.
Something happens after you get that second shot, there is a mental shift where you feel a little bit more liberated and the fear of going out becomes less, the fear of being around other people becomes less all because of that simple shot in your arm.
It feels as though we are on this precipice of discovering our world again, outside of our homes. And I encourage you to take note of what you’ve learned about yourself, what we’ve learned during this time of quarantine. And sure we can muddle through all of the things that we hated about it and that’s what a lot of people are doing. Complaining about the time away from loved ones, lamenting about the events that didn’t take place, or only talking about the vacation that they missed out on.
I think that in order to get through a hard time, we need to shift our perspective and look at the positive. Look at what it is that you’re taking out of this that you’ve learned about yourself, or that you’ve learned about the world. Allow this to be a change that takes place within you going forward, that you’re not just going to fall back into the nostalgia of your old life. You’re going to come out of the pandemic with your eyes wide open.
I am vowing to be more intentional with my time. I want to be intentional within my relationships and the time that we spend together. And my reason for this new intention of how and with whom I am spending my time is because I am leaving the pandemic with the awareness of the expiration of life. As the statics of deaths and COVID cases are fed to me daily from my city government via text message I have become very aware of our expiration date on this earth. Of course, we don’t know when we will die, how, or if it will be from COVID and I’ve always known, for example, that at some point my parents are going to die. So rather than dwell on this eventual outcome I’ve become more intentional with my time with them. Making sure that we are spending quality time together.
My parents have always been avid cyclists my whole entire life. When other kids would go to Disney World or some beach vacation, my parents would drag my sisters and me on a week-long “Bike across Kentucky” type of bike ride with other crazy cyclists. Every day, we would bike 40 to 50 miles and that was their idea of a family vacation. This means I spent a great amount of my childhood looking at the back of my parents on a bicycle. Typically my father, right in front of me, and I’d watched his calf muscles as we’d climb a hill. He has these incredible calf muscles, he always has. Recently we went on a 35-mile bike ride together and I made a point of taking a picture of his calf muscles. Why? Because now I am becoming aware of the expiration of life, I hold this memory in my mind and there’s no photo of it. There’s no photo of my father’s calf muscles, why would there be? But there is now! The man is 79 years old and gosh they’re incredible. And I want to remember him like this and all of our time together spent on bikes. I want to hold this mental memory in a picture.
In your own Rolodex of memory pictures within your mind, what could you recreate holding that person freeze-framed in a picture? Not perfectly smiling and not dressed to the nines, but just that special something that you remember them doing. Is that your mom kneading dough and making bread? Your grandmother’s lemon meringue pie, and that perfect whip across the top? While we have these people in our lives let’s try to keep those memories active. Maybe it’s recreating the image. I wanted that image of my dad’s calves so I could tell the story to my children and my grandchildren and show them a photo as proof of how amazing this man is. Maybe it’s somebody who has passed for you within this year. Write the story, write the memory that you hold in your mind down on paper so that you can share it with others.
As we make our way further out into the world around us let’s commit to standing firmer in our truth. That truth is a concoction of what you’ve learned about yourself over the past year, what you’ve learned about your spouse and your family. The truth is how you want to show up each day in this post-pandemic world.
If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you have no idea what you’ve learned, that’s fine. Spend some time this week and really reflect on it. Think about it. Buzz through your calendar and look at what you did during this time. We’re not looking for accomplishments and accolades, just how your time was spent.
Did you watch more Netflix? Did you read more books? Did you take more walks? Did you get a dog? How did you use your time, and think about how that action has influenced your life. Are you making meals at home and eating healthier? Are you moving your body more? Showing up for online classes, creating a healthier life going forward and not falling back into eating out and ingesting a ton of fried food, getting lazy with our time and our energy, and our bodies.
Let’s be intentional going forward. What version of you, post-pandemic, do you want to share with this world, and what things do we want to hold a little bit closer to the heart. Let’s collectively have the courage to show up and step into our truth, to move through disappointment and failure, and rise strong. To live through this disappointing year and emerge with a newfound knowledge of how we want to show up in the world.