Florists prune flowers to optimize their growth and beauty. Farmers burn their fields to help new crops thrive in a fresh environment. The act of discarding the old and starting anew in order to flourish is part of the cycle of life. It’s also one way to view the collective pause and reset we have been forced to take these past two years. The world seemed to have stopped in March 2020. So many of the familiar pleasures, conveniences, routines and things taken for granted were stripped away from us. For some people this time has been marred by grief, fear and anxiety. Others have continued to live life as if this deadly virus is a hoax. And yet some of us have had major inner shifts- realizing what’s most important to us, gaining confidence to pursue our wildest dreams, and realizing how precious the simple things really are.
As I reflect on the last year and a half, I can’t help but to feel a childlike excitement and fascination with really mundane things that feel magical. Things in my BC (Before Covid) life that I took for granted by flaking out on plans, procrastinating, and failing to savor. Having the opportunity to do things that we haven’t done for a while or were too fearful or restricted to do feels new, exciting, and sacred.
So here’s a list of some of my Pandemic Premiers. Things that I recall doing for the first time again in my DC (During Covid, and well literally in the DC area) life. Simple and special things that left a mark in my mind and on my heart during these most unusual times.
- My first fancy homemade meals and from scratch baked goodies in April 2020! For months, I took pictures to document each of my creations. This early time in the pandemic certainly boosted my culinary confidence.
- Prior to Covid-19, I was selectively affectionate. Now my preferred greeting is definitely an enthusiastic wave from afar! However, I missed physical touch these past two years. So I remember “sneaking” my first hug with a friend last April during one of our walks. What a needed and welcomed embrace!
- While the majority of my socializing in 2020 included lots of walks and virtual chats, I recall the first two times I ate at a restaurant with someone in October and November 2020. Yes, it felt nice to share a meal with a friend or two, but I was way too tense to truly enjoy the experience. Once the weather became warmer and I got vaccinated, I relaxed a bit. However, I still only feel comfortable sitting outdoors.
- I flew for the first time in August 2020. The flight wasn’t too full. No one sat in the middle seat. Everyone wore masks. I sported an N95 and 2 face shields for safe measure! I remember feeling really scared and tense and taking all extra precautions. Thankfully each subsequent flight felt easier and less stressful!
- My first real social gathering with more than a handful of friends occurred in April 2021 at a friend’s outdoor baby shower. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in how well the event was organized- limited people at each table, individually packaged food and utensils, hand sanitizer passed to each attendee. It was nice to see so many people for the first time in over a year.
- In July, I danced tango for the first (and only) time in over 18 months! It was an unexpected surprise- a joyous experience to see old dance friends whom I missed, to feel the warmth of a tango embrace, and to experience the ambiance of my lifelong hobby under a scenic and starry backdrop. That was indeed an enchanting night that I cherish!
- I took a real vacation for the first time in July 2021 and it was glorious! The time at the beach, the delicious food, the risky unmasked night dancing at the club. For a few short days life felt a bit carefree, and it was wonderful!
So Suitie, what are your pandemic premiers that feel special, exciting, and noteworthy?