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If you watch the news, it would appear many people think the COVID-19 pandemic is over. All done. It really isn’t, but we ARE re-entering the orbit of something that resembles “normal” life.

While the isolation has been brutal for many…downright dangerous for some…I’ll admit I found relief in the seclusion. There was no need to run to meetings. There weren’t any until Zoom became more of a verb than a noun. Working from home has been energizing. I created a rhythm to my days that was comfortable and wasn’t linked to anyone else’s clock. That’s why I think I’ll miss the slowness of the past year. There was no need to careen around like the silver ball in a pinball machine.

To be clear, I was lucky. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t lose my job. I lost a couple of friends and I grieve their loss. Largely though, the rest of my friends and family were unaffected. I’m grateful. Others’ lives were utterly upended.

COVID has taken a lot. We’ll be living with those losses for a long, long time; the residue of grief not easily wiped away. But COVID also has given us some gifts. It was a good time to go inward and truly embrace what is important and jettison what isn’t. The past year forced a lot of us to redefine ourselves and what we want for our lives.

With the rest of the world eager to get “back to normal,” my hope for you is you’ll hold onto some of the new priorities you discovered during COVID, take the time to decide what parts of normal you want to go back to and what new ways of living you’ll take with you in the future. Think of the lessons learned and try not to forget them!

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