I got an email the other day from a company I love where they were celebrating the gradual and here-before-we-know-it end of lockdown. For a split second, I shared in their joy and thought to myself “YESSSSS! Finally!”… and then a split second later, I thought “Oh nooooo.”
Now, I know the past year has been crazy and difficult and stressful in so many big and small ways, but there are definitely some things I will miss about our current pace of life and living when things go back to “normal.”
For example, I am a very social person, but also a home-body. And lockdown has given me so much precious time at home. Yes, sometimes I wanted to punch through the walls through sheer boredom or frustration, but a lot of the times, I thought how happy I was to not be rushing around like a headless chicken to endless social events, work meetings, and all manner of things that filled up my days in The Before Times.
In many ways, my pre-COVID life was full of busy-ness instead of business. And I really do not miss the busy-ness. Or the pressure to go out. Or the demands for in-person meetings. Or all the stuff that filled my diary, but sometimes sapped my spirits.
I’m going to miss this slower pace of life. The way we have all focused our expectations on nothing but essentials. The chances we have all been given to be inward instead of always outward. And maybe, just maybe, there are things about lockdown life that you’ll miss too?
Because I know myself. I miss seeing people. And I am terrified that as soon as we can, I’ll be running here, there, and everywhere to make up for “lost” time, instead of remembering and treasuring how much time I gained by not running here, there, and everywhere for the past year.
But I’m not going to despair, and neither should you. Because forewarned is forearmed, and all that. We know what is coming over the next few months, we know how things will be opening up, and we know – most important of all – about ourselves.
So let’s take time now, while we still can and while we still have breathing room, to plan for how we are going to protect all we gained during lockdown, how we are going to reign ourselves in, and how we are going to create and enforce the boundaries we need. And let’s remember to do whatever we can to be thoughtful about how we are living and leading before we rush back to what life was like before lockdown gave us the gifts it did.