I recently finished a three-part Zoom class on journaling through the pandemic. In each session, the instructor guided us through a series of writing prompts to help us dig deep and explore how this global pandemic has impacted not only our daily routines, but also our relationships and sense of self.
For one of the prompts, our instructor asked us to take a blank piece of paper and divide it into two columns. In the left-hand column, she asked us to list positive experiences and changes brought about by the coronavirus. On the right, she asked us to jot down things we missed about our pre-pandemic life. When I looked at my completed columns, I was shocked. My list of positives was twice as long! I couldn’t believe it, especially since just last week my husband sat me down and (gently) told me that my constant complaining was casting a dark cloud over our household. (In my defense, I was staring down a sweltering summer with limited pool access, few camp options and stir-crazy kids.)
Here are some highlights from my positive list:
• Dinners al fresco with the WHOLE family and nowhere to rush off to
• Eighties movie marathons with my middle daughter
• Deep talks and long walks with my oldest daughter
• Exploring local nature preserves like this one and
• Evening walks with my neighbor
• Watching my youngest daughter run through the sprinkler
• Zoom calls with old friends
• Afternoon trips to Capri Water Ice
• Playing endless rounds of Sequence with my oldest daughter
• Exchanging page turners with a neighbor (we loved this, this, and this!)
• Opening myself up to new routines and ways of spending my time
To be fair, my other column listed several things I miss dearly, like the gym, traveling, church, dinners with friends and school (the in-person kind, obviously!). But reading the list above made me realize that if it weren’t for the pandemic, I would have missed out on a lot of simple pleasures with people I love.