One day, someday, life as we once knew it will return. How do you feel about the prospect of life after COVID?

I’m chomping at the bit. Jumping up and down. I can not WAIT to get back to my old life.

Ok. So, that’s not exactly true. While I’m looking forward to the return of plenty, I’m also feeling somewhat torn.

On the one hand, I long to ring a friend’s doorbell and be greeted with open arms.

Life after COVID will allow that.

I long, even more, to answer my own front door and invite friends inside. Having moved mid-pandemic, I haven’t yet had the chance to do that, and having loved ones in my home makes my home feel more like home.

All of the memories I have created in this little house are built around me, my daughter, and our two dogs. No friends. No family. No neighbours stopping by for sugar. Just us living our best Groundhog Day lives.

life after covid 1

– Why Groundhog Day feels like the perfect symbol of our pandemic year (The Toronto Star) –

I want people to come inside and bless my house.

I want their bums to leave soft dents in my two leather armchairs. I want their lipstick to leave rings on the rims of my glasses. I want their laughter to fill the air within these walls.

I want to throw a party.

Not a full-on house party. Just a handful of girlfriends and maybe a signature cocktail. That’s my speed. Yes, that would be an awesome party. Who wants an invite?

I want to be among the common people without fear.

I want to shuffle my way through the early morning crowds of St. Lawrence market on a Saturday. Maskless.

I want to go to London and stroll around Covent Garden with my parents. Maskless.

I want to take a road trip East and drop in on friends in Kingston and Ottawa. Maskless.

I want to dine in at my favourite Middle Eastern restaurant in Toronto (maskless, obviously) because you can’t order ambiance to go.

I want to go into a physical bookstore and browse recipe books and fight the temptation to bring a new one home because there aren’t enough meals in a lifetime to justify the ones I already have. Maskless.

Le sigh.

On the other hand, though …

I enjoy being alone.

I’d be quite happy to socialize once every couple of weeks. Once a week tops. And right now that’s easy because we’re not supposed to mingle. It’s against the rules. We have been given full permission — no, we have been instructed — to cocoon indoors and curl up alone or as close to alone as possible.

“I’m having a few friends over for dinner next week. Wanna come?”

Sorry, I can’t. It’s against the rules.

Or worse …

“My husband has this colleague. He’s handsome and single and I think you guys would hit it off. Wanna meet him?”

Thanks, but I can’t. It’s against the rules.

In life after COVID, the world will open up, old opportunities will return, and new ones will present themselves. We’ll have choices again, which means we’ll have more decisions to make. People will have expectations of us. We’ll have expectations of ourselves.

I find the thought of that a little exhausting.

It’s been nice not having to decline invitations from people I don’t really want to spend time with. It’s been nice not having to think about doing things I’m scared of, like dating. It’s been nice not being able to separate the impact of COVID on my life from the impact of separation.

It’s been nice being able to blame COVID. FOR. EVERYTHING.

Ummm, thank you, COVID?

Yes. I think some thanks are in order.

As much as I’m looking forward to all that life after COVID will bring, the last year has given me a clearer sense of who and what I want to invest in. I know I’m not alone in this. It makes perfect sense, really.

Between masks and bubbles and protocols, everything requires more effort, and where there’s effort involved we tend to be more discerning. This discernment has taught me a lot. I have a clearer sense of who and what adds joy and value to my life. That’s a plus, I’d say.

What do you think? Whatever it is, don’t just think it. Share it by dropping a comment below. I’d really appreciate that.

With love,

Viv for Today xo

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