Remember those family road trips we used to take and the kids would scream, “Are we there yet?” Well, I feel like we are currently on a road trip with the Coronavirus and in child-like fashion, the world is screaming, “Are we there yet?” Actually, correction—not screaming, we are crying. We are on an insanely fast and dangerous rollercoaster and we are screaming to get off because this is no fun. The word “grief” has taken on a new meaning as we have had to cancel LIFE essentially and hunker down for what seems like an eternity as the world suffers around us. This road trip sucks. Are we there yet?
Like so many of you, I am now glued to my electronic devices and social media more than ever. I try to limit myself to a certain amount of time on each, but the lure to “stay informed” is too appealing. One morning I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came upon the hashtag #whencoronavirusisover. It was on Twitter’s Trending list for hashtags.
I clicked over and began to read countless tweets about what people will do once this is all over. Albeit some were over the top and ridiculous…remember, this is Twitter. But in between all the absurdity I saw tweets about reuniting with elderly parents. Plans to host lavish dinner parties with family. Running…not walking…to local hair and nail salons for long overdue hair appointments and mani/pedis. Hosting weddings, graduations, and birthday parties that got cancelled. So many activities and moments that have so much more meaning now.
In a matter of weeks, our entire way of life was shaken apart like an earthquake. The aftershocks kept coming no matter how hard we tried to adjust. Like a seemingly never ending road trip, we are now pining to reach our destination: Normal. We hope to wake up one morning and turn on the news and hear that this is all finally over.
However, life always gifts us moments of clarity in the midst of struggle. My clarity came in the form of The New York Times bestselling author Dave Hollis, who was recently heard quoting,
In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.
And at first I didn’t want to ponder what Mr. Hollis had to say. I wanted to sit in my grief of what I have lost and those around me have lost due to the Coronavirus. I knew that I couldn’t dwell in the grief. This quote gave me a place to start.
The Return To Normal
When things return to normal, and they will return to normal, what parts of normal will I not rush back to? Lots of things came to mind, but two stuck out the most. I will NOT rush back to procrastination. This pandemic has proven that life can change in a second, so carpe diem is no longer a cute little phrase to me…it truly is LIFE.
Another normal I won’t rush back to: I will NOT take for granted gatherings with family and friends. Even though they are a pain to pull together and certain family members can get under my skin…NOT being able to gather with my people has been painful. If we’re no longer under quarantine by the holidays, I believe this will be the best holiday season EVER for so many of us!
We have lost so much and yet we have gained so much. We are allowed to feel gratitude and disappointment at the same time. When Coronavirus is over and we return to normal, may our lives look different not because of the hardship, but because we endured.