The current pandemic has forced us all to live and work differently, and everyone (me included) is struggling to remain positive and optimistic. There’s so much that we’ve learned from all of this though, so I decided to make a list. Some items are short and obvious, while others have a deeper explanation that might just apply to me. Some might be the same as yours, and some might just be a bit weird.
The most important thing I’ve learned is that I am truly blessed in all of this. I could easily focus on the fact that I live alone, I’m socially isolated and lonely, but I choose instead to realize that I am still healthy, still employed, and I still have a home, and I still have food to eat. So many people have had their lives devastated during this pandemic, so I need to focus on how grateful I am to be in the position I am.
Here are some other things I’ve learned during this pandemic.
There are pros and cons to everything. With the pandemic, the pros are less money spent on gas and dry cleaning, less time spent commuting, and better work-life balance as we commit to the job itself and not the clock.
The cons are that there is less life-work balance. Wait! What? I listed that as a Pro, so what gives? I’ve had to learn to set firm time commitments (8 hours a day, or 40 hours a week or similar) to avoid working too much. Since I live alone, it’s too easy to get up in the morning and immediately sit at my desk with my coffee and start working, just as it’s too easy to check again before bed to finish something I started earlier.
I’ve learnt I can save money by not buying new shoes or dresses – where would I wear them to? By the time they let us loose, they’ll probably be out of style.
Everyone pities the person who lives alone, as families at least have each other, right? Well, with that larger family comes more exposure through each of their networks. Not everyone is taking this social distancing seriously (although most SAY they are).
I’ve learnt that everyone is feeling isolated in some way and I’ve learnt it’s important to reach out to each other, using the phone, messaging apps, and even video apps.
When you only have yourself for company, I’ve learnt that it’s important to like yourself. You have to consciously treat yourself the same way you’d treat a friend; be patient and try not to be judgemental. Forgive easily and focus on moving forward – the same advice you’d give your best friend. When talking to yourself, try to always be encouraging and helpful. Learn to have fun by yourself – crank the tunes, sing along and dance if you can.
This pandemic is dragging on so long, and I now believe we should have just bitten the bullet right at the beginning – nip it in the bud and be done with it! Because we didn’t do that, and because our government tried to not offend everyone, we are starting to feel as if this will never end. If we don’t get it together though, it never will. That’s taught me to do the right thing always, no matter how unpleasant and difficult that may be.
I’ve learnt that if I get up, dress up, wear makeup and style my hair, that I’ll feel better emotionally throughout the day. At least for now I can pretend life is normal. Shoes are optional.
I’ve learnt never to underestimate the healing powers of a dog. They are fairly good roommates, and are a good excuse to get outside for a walk at least twice a day which helps improve our mental states.
I’ve learnt that nothing beats homemade, healthy meals. I feel better, I’ve lost weight, and I’ve saved money. The couple of times I treated myself to restaurant or fast-food takeout, my tummy didn’t feel very good afterwards.
I’ve learned not to be drawn into conspiracy or political debates. It’s healthy to look at the funny aspects of the situation although I think that people who don’t socially distance or wear masks are idiots, but it’s a waste of time trying to reason with often unreasonable people.
I’ve also learnt to speak up to people in stores who are standing too close and demand that they move back 6 feet. Whether they’re 19 or 79. And if a store doesn’t enforce the social distancing policy, I will abandon my cart and flee the store.
I’ve learnt that there’s more safety in smaller stores where there may only be 2 -3 people in the store at a time. It may cost a bit more but since I’m saving money (see #1 above) I’m fine with that. Besides, our small, local stores need our help.
This poem by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.