Before I begin this post, I feel the need to add a little pretext as to the situation at hand. For anyone reading this in the future (slight possibility, but I guess it could happen), this is 2020 and the world is in lockdown due to a pandemic of Covid-19. It is a situation that seemingly took the world by surprise.
As I sit here in lockdown, I realize that I have had way too much time to contemplate about life and all the things that go with that. I have only left the apartment three times in the last 35 or so days. You can imagine how the mind reels.
This morning I was struck by a thought that I either had not yet considered or was pushing to the back of my brain for fear of even thinking it. These are strange times, no doubt, but I have been able to keep my head about me. That, in and of itself, is a miracle given my history of panic attacks.
I woke from a solid and restful sleep with the reality that life as we knew it is ceasing to exist. Not in a Beyond Thunderdome or Walking Dead kind of way, but “business as usual” is going to be forever changed.
When I ventured out on my new life, as many of you already know, I struggled to find a new equilibrium. I suffered from insecurity of not knowing where I belonged and what I should be doing. Then amazing doors opened and I met people who changed my life, experiences that showed me new ways and I gained a confidence I lacked all my life. The change was drastic and truly amazing.
I felt that I had found a place that I could be, a place to grow old in and a sense of belonging. I found a job that, although I never dreamed of it, was perfect for me. It filled me with passion and pride. I met people who challenged me and who supported my growth. I had set my sights on retiring from this place in five or so years. Then came the Corona virus.
In a few short months, many people’s ideas of life have dramatically changed, myself included. Life as we know it will be forever altered. I am not even speaking of the economic changes that are going to play out in the next year or so. As I can barely balance my checkbook, I cannot speak about such things. But it is going to be an adjustment for us all. I am talking about how we, as humans, gather and how we deal with other humans.
I prefer to see the good that has come from this. People lending hands where needed. People caring about their neighborhoods and extended families. People who are adapting to a new reality, such as working from home and other changes. Humankind are a resilient lot. Unfortunately some people have become more angry and less tolerant. That is the flip side of the coin, and is an unfortunate yet normal reaction to dramatic times.
Some of us are in positions where working from home or in a small staffed office is not an option. Many people, in my area alone, work in what is considered the service industry. Our livelihoods are based on tourism and the spending of disposable income. Granted, as soon as this is over some will be able to carry on as they had but many others are going to have a different life. Playing catch up financially is going to be a norm for many. Reopening businesses, hopefully as many as possible, will be the nature of the day. But are the masses going to be able to eat out, go shopping and visit attractions? These are questions that have no answers yet, they remain to be seen.
My mind, however, is reeling from the fact that just a few months ago I had decided how my next five or six years would play out. Of course, anyone with any common sense knows nothing is a given. Life changes in the blink of an eye, but I, for the first time really, was looking to the future with a plan. Then along came the big bad wolf and blew my house (of cards) down. I am hoping that I get to continue doing what I am doing, but with the full knowledge it will not be the same as it was before. Everyone will emerge from this pandemic different.
I am reminded that life has a way of taking your plans, no matter how thought out or how generous, and placing them in a cosmic blender, breaking them to pieces and creating something entirely new from the shards. I have lived through the pureeing process before. Easy it is not, but being better for it all can be done. I guess we all have to wait to see how this plays out. What things return, what things disappear and what things transform. I have not one answer to any of the questions, but I am guessing it is time to get the big girl panties out of storage and put them on again. I must learn to remember EVERYTHING CHANGES!!
So as it has been said before me “It looks like its going to be a bumpy night” but, at least, we have a new day to look forward to.