Spring is in the air and I’m both excited and a little apprehensive. As the world starts to open up again, I wonder about the impact the global pandemic has and will continue to have on our lives.
And I wonder about how we’ll evolve from here.
In a way, it feels like we’re coming out of a storm. As we carefully open the door, step into the daylight and look around, many of us will begin to assess the damage. What’s left standing? What’s been lost? What do I want to recover or rebuild? And what needs to be torn down or left behind for good?
I also think about how our habits will shift in the aftermath. Will we go back to the level of consumption and busyness we experienced before the pandemic? Will roadways fill with commuters traveling back and forth to work? Will local shops and restaurants open their doors and welcome customers again? Or are small establishments gone forever?
I suspect that history will look back on the pandemic as a consequential turning point for humanity, one that forever altered how we live. After all, so much has changed. Kids, young and old, are learning from computers rather than in classrooms. Teachers have changed the way they teach now that they’ve been forced to craft curriculums for remote learning. A significant amount of health appointments are being handled through a screen instead of in-person. And, in some places, there seems to be a mad rush out of cities and into suburban life.
Lots of change in a short amount of time is bound to be disorienting and we’ll all have to continue to learn how to adapt.
There’s so much I don’t want to lose as we enter post-pandemic life – walks and hikes nearly every day, healthy, home-cooked meals, a more spacious schedule, my commitment to a daily meditation practice, and the deeper connection I have with close friends who have shared this journey with me.
Years ago, I coached a woman returning to work after taking a yearlong sabbatical to recover from exhaustion and burnout. While she had been massively successful and made plenty of money, her body paid the price and she needed a year to recover. When she came to me, it was because she had been offered a terrific new job and was afraid that she would lose herself again to work.
Who you are now is not who you used to be, I said to her during our first call. You must trust the woman you’ve become.
I think about that session as I write this blog and consider my own anxious heart. I suspect I need to take my own advice.