The time before

It’s been over ten weeks since the World Health Organization officially declared the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 a pandemic and countries began to shut things down. More and more I hear people expressing nostalgia for “the time before” and wondering when, if ever, life will return to normal. As I’ve mentioned before, I feel fortunate that my life has not had to change as drastically as many others have. As a retiree, I don’t have a business to close, a job to lose, or children at home. Nevertheless, life is different now and I’ve been pondering the things that I miss.

In the big picture, most of the things I miss are small, but small things are often what bring interest or significance to our lives.

I miss browsing our local thrift stores and perhaps finding a treasure or two. After cleaning out our storage room and kitchen cupboards as well as doing my seasonal wardrobe switch from winter to warm weather clothes, I also miss being able to donate the items I no longer want to keep.

I miss impromptu lunch dates with my husband at The Wooden Spoon, our favourite local eatery. We usually go at least once or twice a month.

Although I enjoy being at home with hubby, I miss spending time with other women. Whether it be dropping in for a cup of tea and a chat with a friend, a morning coffee time with women from my church, or sipping wine and visiting with my “craft night” friends at our monthly get togethers, I need my girlfriends. Thankfully Zoom has helped, but it’s not the same as being together in person.

Though we’ve been enjoying online services from the comfort of home, I miss gathering together with our church family on Sunday mornings.

We don’t live close enough to see our grandchildren on a regular basis, so two months without seeing any of them hasn’t been too hard to handle, but there are babies close by who are changing so quickly that I’ll hardly recognize them when I finally see them again. And then there’s the one that was born late last week. How I’d love to visit and hold her!

Though I’ve learned to live one day at a time, I miss being able to plan ahead. Not knowing if or when we’ll be able to travel internationally again is especially difficult for a wanderer like me. Half the fun of traveling is the planning that goes into it.

Perhaps more than anything else, I miss having things to look forward to. Never before has the calendar page been so blank! In fact, the only thing I’ve written in for the entire month of May is the morning that the nurse comes to give me my monthly injection! I don’t mind life slowing down a bit, but at the moment it seems almost to have stopped and there’s a sameness in our days that’s getting rather tedious.

Perhaps when life finally returns to normal, or the “new normal” that everyone is talking about, we’ll have a greater appreciation for the things that we’re missing right now. Or will we quickly get back into routine and begin to take them for granted again?

What do you think? What do you miss the most from the time before?


10 thoughts on “The time before

  1. I also miss in person meetings with friends, church family, my volunteer family. I miss being able to travel to visit my Mom. Our regular Thursday dinner crowd is now supporting local restaurants by ordering curbside pickup and then visiting through Zoom. I miss seeing them in person, not only because I miss the connection but because it is harder to see who is going to talk next and we often have 2 people speaking at once. I really do enjoy the free time I’ve been given. I’m now working on the last pieced row of my “Covid-19” quilt – made from hundreds of strings. I hope I don’t have time to make another.

  2. So True Elaine. I Dearly Miss my cabi Girls dropping in daily, the friendly hugs and of course the in person conversation.
    I miss being “carefree” when I go for my Grocery Shop and not first concerning myself with – am I Going The Right Way or what are the rules in this store.
    The Way We Were… so often comes to mind … and I don’t mean the movie.

    Linda 👠

  3. I miss many of the same things. Impromptu get-togethers, walking through a store just browsing without all the stress and fear in people’s behavior, church, having things to look forward to.

  4. Sounds like you’ve looked in on my life!
    I’m very thankful I retired when I did! It gave me time to adjust to being home before I had to. I may get so used to loving home, I won’t want to get back to going out, visiting, church…..
    At least now there’s LOTS to do outside, so that sure helps!
    Blessings to you and Richard!

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