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Let's take a minute to organize our thoughts...

I never thought that coming out of “lock down” would be as challenging as going into it. I think that when the world came to a screeching halt a year ago, it was ok because we all had to do it at the same time. There was community in it. We were ordered to do it. There was something almost refreshing about it, a forced timeout and the ability to stay home - guilt free. That part didn’t last. It was hard, unbelievable actually - and there was no end in sight. Some said it would be a few weeks, that turned into a few months, and here we are, a whole year later. We had no idea what we were in for. I found it eerie to venture out to the grocery store and not to see anyone around. There were no kids outside for the longest time. It was as if someone rounded them up, with a promise they would come back later. The only other adults I saw were the ones on line to get into the grocery store, 6 ft in front of me and 6 ft behind me. Remember the point in the pandemic where there was also no eye contact. Everyone seemed so scared that even if you looked at someone, you could catch the virus. The combination of isolation, fear and the unknown made people cranky and rude. Family members at each other’s throat, teens crying and not sure exactly why. There was so much loss and sadness. We all collectively held our breaths as we waited to see what would happen next.

The day-to-day changed so much and we learned a lot about our surroundings in a new light. Finding out your dream home only works when no is in it during the day. It is way too small for everyone to work and study at home. How hard it is to keep the children motivated to learn and keep up with their school work. I was so afraid of running out of things, I knew people who were withdrawing large sums of money, - it was indeed a scary time.

Since then, things are beginning to wind back. The world is breathing out again in one long, and slow exhale. This is a good thing. A very good thing. It is still a little scary, but on a different level. At the beginning, we were all on the same page because it was a new experience for everyone. But now, everyone is viewing this differently because it affected everyone differently. People are coming out of their safe cocoons at their own pace. And that’s ok. No judging. Think about how your family is doing. Say a prayer of thanks that this year is almost behind us. Exhale as slowly as you need. Focus on what we’ve learned, the little details - which kid loves puzzles and is really good at it, how much you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, that being together as a family is a gift (which I think some took for granted), that the dog really doesn’t need to be walked that much, and whatever you are feeling, is ok. It took a whole year to get to this place, we have to be patient and gentle with ourselves to move forward.

We all need to take a big breath. While we try to stay calm and move through our days, it also helps to take a few minutes to organize our thoughts. We have learned something about ourselves, that you don’t have to do everything all at once, that tomorrow is another day. In this year, we realize our lives are very fragile and unpredictable. We all need to find some humor and grace within ourselves while we adjust our lives as it is now and enjoy it, be grateful for it, by just Living Simple.

Maureen Fallon

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