As I write this, I’m trying to finish up a few odd tasks, one of which is to start this story while the thought is in my head. Next up, I’m heading to meet a group of old friends for dinner. Now, what could be wrong with that? After all, aren’t connections with family and friends one of the things we most missed in the past year, when we couldn’t meet and gather and hug like we used to?
If that were your question, you’d be correct. The virus highlighted that the bonds we have with one another are among the priorities in life we’d often been neglecting, which is why I am staying on plan and making the drive to meet up with these friends. I worked with the ladies in this group about six years ago, and none of us has met up over the past year with its restrictions and quarantines—all valid concerns no matter how much we wear our masks and elbow bump instead of hugs.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past year is how much I’ve enjoyed the newfound spaces in my life. And I think I’m cringing a bit inside, knowing how easy it will be to revert to old habits and routines once life begins normalizing, as venues start opening up and people slide back into complacency.
B.C.—before Coronavirus—my life was filled from edge to edge. One writing group that met monthly became two when we added one of my weekly groups. It was soon three, with another smaller group planned to meet twice a month. But then, Coronavirus, or Covid19, or “the virus,” hit the world and brought it all to a screeching halt.
Covid significantly reduced my work hours. No more monthly meetings. No more weekly meetings. Fewer hours at work. No social engagements. No lunches, no dinners, no chatting with neighbors.
There were some things I missed. I missed my grandson’s 10th birthday last April. As I write this, it appears I’ll miss his 11th celebration also. It’s been two years since I’ve seen any of the grandchildren since we’re all in different states. And those missed meetings tear at my heart.
The other meetings that have been nixed? They’re not nearly as painful. The many activities and tasks erased from my “To-Do” slate brought me a new peace and calm that resides in the new empty spaces in my life.
Time for Trisha
I’m all too aware of how things can start finding their way back into my life. Meetings and get-togethers can multiply with abandon like wild rabbits unchecked in a field. If I don’t watch with care, I will soon be back at a place where life is packed edge to edge, from awakening to slumber.
I don’t intend for this to happen. I don’t wish to return to a life where there is no time for Trisha.
Instead, I want to keep time in my life to sit and stare out the window in contemplation or sit watching the birds at the feeder with no conscious thought in my head. I want to keep my time to work in the yard with enjoyment, basking in the sunshine on my shoulders as I work in leisure and not quickly trying to cram this task in between others. And I want to enjoy a few spare moments sitting with a neighbor on their porch, not repeatedly glancing at my watch because I need to rush off to another commitment. I want there to be time for me—many times for me—throughout the day.
Embracing This Change
Covid19 brought death and devastation to far too many families. I acknowledge that and know that the costs for hundreds of thousands of families have been beyond imagination. But, if we are truthful about it, there have been blessings too. The spaces in our lives are one of them. I embrace this change with gratitude and thankfulness and vow to keep these spaces intact in the future, long after the virus is over and masks are a thing of the past. Well, maybe starting tomorrow, after the dinner with my friends is over.
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Trisha Faye writes from Texas.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.