Every year, about this time, I look through my old calendar and dutifully fill in birthdays and other important dates in a new calendar. Yes, I still keep a paper calendar. It’s my version of a journal, marking events that make up a life.
My 2020 calendar reflected the arrival of the pandemic in March. The last “normal” meeting I had was a lunch date with a friend, Jessica, on March 5th. That seems a lifetime ago. Now, I can’t even imagine sitting in a crowded restaurant. The pages after that lunch have a lot of white space on them with a few scrawled Zoom meetings and interviews along with yawning gaps between carefully planned meetings, outside and socially distanced, with friends until the weather became too cold.
Normally, my calendar is crammed with meetings and events and notes about future projects jotted in the margins. It’s a chaotic jumble and exhausting to look at much less live in real time. Weirdly, it was a badge of honor when someone would remark how they didn’t know “how I did it all.”
The truth is, I fed off of that near constant motion and felt I must be pretty important if my time was needed by so many. What the forced stillness and isolation of this year have taught me is I don’t need to live the way I was, Pre-Pandemic. I’m just fine with a more simple, peaceful existence. While this has been a horrible year for many, I find that I’ve successfully navigated the weirdness and have become pretty good at rolling with what is.
What have you discovered about yourself in this past year? I’m curious to know.
Happy New Year friends!