A Feeling of Hope
What will we keep from the past year and what will we embrace again?
On a day like yesterday, an absolutely picture-perfect day right on the cusp on spring, with both of my children back in school, my husband receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and mine slated for Wednesday, the COVID dashboard for the high school where I work finally down to all 0s (no one quarantining; no one positive) … well, it was a day even I, a notorious pessimist, started to allow myself to feel hopeful about the future.
And I started to wonder, if I could pick, what would I keep from the last year.
Well. First of all, I love the emphasis on hand hygiene and wiping down surfaces. Let’s keep that going.
Ditto to handshakes, honestly, as well as unsolicited hugs. I’m good with a wave and a smile with most people.
I’m also a big fan of normalizing staying home when sick. I know for a long time, I wore as a weird badge of honor the fact that I took my senior winter finals in high school with a horrible case of bronchitis. That shouldn’t be the case, and I’m sure everyone who was in that room with me back in 1997 would 100 percent agree.
Masks, too. If we have to go out in public while we’re sick, let’s cover our gross face holes.
And of course, I’ve long been a fan of the flexibility to work from home in pajamas sometimes. Not every day – because the past year has really shown me how much I love my coworkers and think of them as family, as well as how crucial in-person communication and collaboration is – but at least one day a week.
Now as to what I’m eager to do again? That list is very long, but if I had to pick my Top 5?
- Go to a crawfish boil. Stand elbow-to-elbow with people shoveling spicy food into my uncovered face and getting crawfish legs and yellow goo all over a sweating can of beer.
- Eat in a restaurant again. It doesn’t have to be a fancy white tablecloth place, and I actually love outdoor dining, so that’s fine with me for now, but after a full year of having to clean my kitchen after damn near every single meal eaten by the four people in my home, this sounds like heaven.
- Listen to live music. At a bar. At a festival. I don’t care.
- Hug people. I know I said above that I’m not into random hugs, and I’m typically not – not random hugs. Even pre-pandemic, I had a T-shirt a friend bought me that said, “NOT A HUGGER” with a picture of a cactus on it. But I do like hugging people I want to hug, and I’ve missed it.
- Go shopping somewhere other than Costco. By the summer, I’d given up grocery delivery, mostly because it didn’t seem all that risky and I am picky about my produce. But I still haven’t felt comfortable going into stores for anything other than bare necessities. I’d love to browse for clothes or shoes again, or get a haircut or a pedicure. I especially miss thrift stores, my favorite place to buy almost anything.
What about you? What will you do when we’re finally able to live our lives again?