And Just Like That…

…everything felt different.

I can’t really explain it. When we all began our isolation back in March, I don’t think any of us expected it would go on this long. I figured it would be a few weeks and then life would go back to normal, or at least it would look something like it used to.

And then that didn’t happen. For me the first few weeks of isolation involved moving into my apartment, unpacking, setting it up in a way that I could begin to feel comfortable. It has been difficult not to go out and get the things I thought I needed to make it feel comfortable, to feel like home.

The truth is, it does not feel like home. I like my apartment. I like how it is set up. I like the peaceful feeling I have here. I love when my kids are here. But home is not about a place. It is about a feeling and what feels familiar. There is nothing in this situation that feels familiar. But that’s for another post.

The next few weeks of isolation was about getting used to a new way of living in the world. Lining up outside of grocery stores, running my school from my dining room table, hearing about my children’s Google Meet sessions. Not being able to talk with my support people in person. It felt strange and uncomfortable an not fair. Those few weeks were the hardest. I wanted to give up.

And now here we are.

Somehow we have learned that we don’t need our stores to be open at all hours. Somehow we have learned how to shop once each week. Somehow we have learned new ways of connecting with people. Somehow all the things that seemed unimaginable feel a little more normal now and we understand the reason for these measures.

And just like that I feel a little more comfortable in the world. Sure, I still feel uneasy with this virus in the world. But I feel more at ease knowing that all of us together are making changes – changes none of us thought we would make – for the sake of the whole of society. We are opening our minds to dream and imaging what might be possible. We are learning to manage and appreciate our time more and to appreciate the time and the lives of people we never used to think of.

Most people I know want some things to start opening. We want to be able to meet freely with friends, to play in parks, to get back to work. But not before we are ready. And we want to do those things safely. But most people I talk with don’t want the world to go back to what it looked like before Coronavirus. We want to keep the kindness, the courtesy. We understand that maybe retail stores don’t need to be open 24/7 and maybe the people who work there deserve a day off. We are wondering what school will look like when students return and are dreaming of possible ways to educate our kids while keeping them and staff safe. We know that never again will we say “but we’ve always done it this way.”

I don’t ever want this time of isolation to feel “normal” but there are aspects of it I hope we never change.

I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are.

Stay safe. Stay home. Reach out. Be well.

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