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Waiting for our lives to resume
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It’s hard to believe that the Covid shutdown started four years ago this month. I remember well the day in the office, March 15, 2020, when we were told to grab our laptops and go work from home (“WFH”) for a couple of weeks. Surely things would be back to normal by then. I also grabbed the plants on my desk, as did a few of my co-workers. Some folks grabbed other items–favorite coffee mugs, reading glasses, family photos. When we were still in WFH mode two months later, they let us go back into the office during a 2-hour window one day (I work for a company that has tight security) to pick up our computer monitors and desk chairs, and whatever else of import that we didn’t grab on March 15th.

We WFH’d for a little over 2 years. My church’s Sunday services were online for a little longer than that. We sat outside at restaurants, sometimes in the cold, for about that long too. We wore masks everywhere, of course, even in the house when we had visitors, and our hands were chapped from using sanitizer all the time. We did all these things while we waited for Covid to go away, so our lives could resume.

Maybe it’s the fact that our memories get sweeter with time sometimes. But I remember a lot of good things that happened during those 2 years. Like when I saw a beautiful red fox strolling down the middle of a deserted street when I was out for a walk one morning. The sky was such a beautiful blue then, and I loved breathing the clean air. Even the hottest, most humid days in the summer didn’t seem as oppressive.

I loved being able to roll out of bed, grab breakfast, and sit down at my laptop in my home office 5 days a week. On days when I didn’t need to be on camera for a Teams meeting, I didn’t even have to comb my hair. (I never succumbed to keeping my jammies on, though. Just didn’t feel right to “go” to work in my nightclothes.) I never had to be on camera for church services on Zoom, thankfully, so I got to worship God with sweatpants on and a cup of coffee in hand. We could go on camera if we wanted to, and one morning an elderly member of the church appeared with her bathrobe on and curlers in her hair. She didn’t look uncomfortable at all, and I guess I’ll never know if she knew we could see her.

My ex, who I was still married to then, was active in community theater, and I was almost as busy in those circles as he was. But when the theaters and their productions shut down, I was happy to take a break from rehearsals, performances, and the backstage drama. I haven’t been back since, and I don’t miss it.

A lot of people I knew were bored and missed their regular lives. Particularly my single friends who live alone. But I was happy moving slower and doing simple things I just couldn’t find time for before the pandemic. I almost got caught up on my reading and movie-watching, and I got hooked on a bunch of TV shows that I still keep up with today (those that are still around). Though I didn’t take to the fads, like bread-making, I did walk and do yoga more. I also ate way too much ice cream, and it was tough to get that monkey off my back when our “normal” lives resumed.

I’m not saying it was all fun and games during those two years when the world shut down. Far from it. But I guess what I am saying is that I didn’t think of it as time spent “waiting.” Instead, I was living.


Linda– I really loved this essay. Its tone is one of such quiet enjoyment– the reader can feel comforted just following you through the routine that was imposed by the shut-down–in your case rather gratefully, as it turned out. You have an elegance about your writing. — Jackie

[ I saw a beautiful red fox strolling down the middle of a deserted street when I was out for a walk one morning. ]
I wonder if we saw the same fox!

It’s funny how I find myself reading and going “yup, uh-huh, me too.” It’s easy to forget that life was still happening, not just a bunch Teams meetings.

Thanks for posting!

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