I suspect most of us have had wistful memories of all the things we didn’t give a second thought of doing pre-pandemic. Perhaps this helps explain the urgency with which some people have tried to resume life as if nothing happened, as if there is not still a risk of infection. Being at an age of being at increased risk, and some health history in our household that further enhances that risk, we’ve resigned ourselves to what looks like six to twelve more months much like the last three. We are utilizing warm weather for some visits with friends outdoors at social distances, plein air painting, walks, and visits with neighbors.
These are a few of the favorite pre-pandemic things I miss:
- Hugging family who don’t live in our house.
- The Asian buffet near our home.
- Leisurely browsing in my local bookstore.
- Going to the grocery store together.
- Going to a grocery store at any time, not “senior hours.”
- Singing with Capriccio in rehearsals and concerts. It is not only the music but the friends and the laughter.
- Coffee with a friend in a crowded Starbucks.
- An adult beverage with a work team.
- Actually meeting with a work team without a computer screen between us.
- Celebrating a special occasion with a dinner out.
- Selling the books I’ve read at Half Price books (the stack is growing).
- Going to a Columbus Clippers game at Huntington Park.
- Singing with Paul, Jeff, Jayne, Diane, and Tracy in our small acapella ensemble at church.
- Going to concerts or lectures or any event with a lot of other people.
- Seeing another’s smile and being glad I do.
I’ve not missed travel–congested roads, airports, crowded planes. I don’t look forward to going back to these. A number of the things I’ve listed above we technically could do. But from what we know, we can’t afford to get sick if we can avoid it. So we won’t do these things until infection rates are very low or there is a vaccine that works. As much as I miss these favorite things, we still have a life we love. We still have fellowship with friends and family. I can brew a pretty good cup of coffee. I can walk in my neighborhood. We can go out painting together. We talk to more neighbors than ever. I think the teams I work with have done amazing things during this time. I’ve enjoyed many good books, listened to some great music on vinyl and CD. We’ve made some good meals together and enjoyed good take out. We treasure our church’s worship times, even if online.
I’m not willing to exchange our lives for a favorite thing. I realize there are no sure things. While I do not fear death, I won’t throw away life needlessly. But I still have favorite things I miss. What are yours?