Before the pandemic, we went about the rhythm of our days, exercising the discipline needed to manage our lives. Demanding work schedules, family, managing children’s school, sport’s practices, and game time attendance. Including trying to squeeze in time for our partner and maybe even for ourselves. This was the rhythm of our lives.
COVID sideswiped all of that. It started slowly with a sense that it would be a temporary change until it became this dark cloud that descended and extended beyond our imagination. So, we adjust. We painfully came to terms with how we needed to adjust, work from home, and homeschooling took on a new meaning. We bobbed and weaved as needed with the starts and stops of the pandemic as one wave came after another. We looked for it to level out, a new rhythm. Throughout, we mourned the losses and prayed it would stop. And for many of us, it is still painful.
But back to the challenge of managing our lives, we jumped into a Zoom-connected world. We attempted to reinvent our business and family interaction, our connection to each other over a computer monitor. Temporarily, it worked—a band-aide. And we learned how effective and ineffective it was. As much as we appreciated this substitution, it too brought its own form of emotional challenge.
One clear acknowledgment of this brutal experience is our universal need to gather in community, share time with family, lovers, on dates, in classrooms, and attend social events, entertainment, and business meetings.
As we began our transition past our adopted Zoom rhythm, and as eager as we are to move on, the move back isn’t easy. After adjusting and doing what was needed to manage our lives, the next step caused many of us emotional inertia that makes getting together, going back to the office, whatever we used to do, harder. Some of us proceeded full force, and others moved more cautiously. But another lesson appeared – we need constancy, and the half-in and half-out added to our struggle to move forward. We stop, and think, and hesitate, before doing what would have been easy, what would have been routine, or a normal part of our day’s activity before the pandemic.
There it is, a new normal, at least for a while. The pandemic has been very destructive, many paying with the loss of a loved one, but we have the capacity to get past this, to adjust even when it’s not easy. We started, and I believe we will return to the rhythm of comfortably sharing community, as it’s a necessity of our life.