You may remember that during the heart of the pandemic, I started keeping a little notebook that I titled Things to Do Post Quarantine. Every time I had an idea of something I wanted to do but couldn’t, I recorded it in the notebook. This way I wouldn’t be missing out, just postponing the experiences. The idea being that once Covid was under control, it would be safe to go out into the world and do them. The link from that post follows. Ways To Deal With a Pandemic
The Covid pandemic is not over, and things are not back to normal. However, we have learned ways to deal with going out in public and have adapted ways to make things safer. I don’t yet go about my business like normal. What is normal anyway? I do go to places that I avoided during the worst of the pandemic and before vaccines were available. I do have a bit of a life again.
This made me wonder. How am I doing at enjoying the activities that I recorded in that little notebook? Am I doing some of the things and catching up with what I put off for another day? I got the notebook out and here is what I found.
I have done some of the things but not others yet. One of the most important to me was to be able to spend time with my nieces again. I have done this. In fact, the very first thing my husband and I did after getting our vaccines was to attend my youngest niece’s fourth birthday party along with her grandparents. We were all vaccinated, but had been under pandemic lockdown for so long that it took a little while for us to remove our masks. The masks disappeared when the food came out and did not go back on that afternoon. When it was time for us to go home, we all hugged each other. All six adults and two children. It was the first time in over a year. It was such a big deal that we were all taking about it. How we had avoided this and it was the first hugs for all of us outside our immediate household in so long. We were all in shock that we had been so brave to hug each other. I wasn’t concerned about getting sick because we all had our shots, but I had trained myself for so long to avoid physical contact that it was a big deal. But it was glorious! That day was the turning point for me in feeling like a normal human being again.
I have been able to see my nieces several times a month since then. I have done babysitting, gone on walks and to playgrounds with them, and spent a couple holidays together. It never gets old. I think I will have great appreciation of spending time with them until the day I die. We did come out the other side of the pandemic, but it has changed me forever.
Another item that I have done from the notebook, is invited a friend over for lunch on the patio. Granted, I have not done enough of this. This is due to the weather rather than any fear of being around people. It has been so rainy the past few weeks that fungus has become a real problem for our plants. This also makes it hard to plan more than a day ahead of time as far as inviting anyone over to hang out on the patio goes. Even the day my friend came over, we had to dry off the patio furniture. But still, the visit was an enjoyable time. To share the company of someone outside the family by choice is now a rare and wonderful thing.
An other item that I checked off my list is spending time at the library! This is something I am back to doing regularly, but that first time after being away for so long was food for the soul. To peruse the books, touch them, read the summaries inside the front flap, choose the ones I want and put them into my bag, was close to a religious experience! The library holds a special place in my heart. It is a place of knowledge, sometimes magic and adventure. It can take you to new lands as well as improve you and the place where you are. My daughter and I share a love of the library. One of our favorite activities has always been a long trip to the library, followed by a stop for ice cream at Katie’s Korner.
The last item in my notebook that I have completed so far is to hug the neighbor kids! We have two really great neighbor kids that live across the street. (Their parents are pretty great too!) We kept our distance as best we could during the pandemic. We met in yards and talked from a distance just to keep in touch, figuratively speaking. Of course, it wasn’t the same. And all the while I was thinking about when it would be safe to hug them again. They are really good huggers! Well, it was finally safe. They probably didn’t think I was ever going to let them go. We even had an opportunity to go watch the oldest play in her softball tournament recently and to have them come over and swim.
There are quite a few things in my notebook still to be done. The important thing is that I have begun. The Covid pandemic was and is a terrible thing. But as with many bad things in life, some good did come out of it for me. I no longer take so many things for granted. I realize that time spent with family and friends is a precious gift. To be fair, it always was. I appreciate it so much more now. I must take steps not to become complacent and return to my old ways. I need to enjoy each encounter for the treasure that it is.
Remember to enjoy the sparkle in your life and appreciate it!