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The ‘grey clouds’ that have metaphorically existed above us for the last 13+ months are slowly but surely starting to disperse. We’re gradually coming out of lockdown, life is beginning to resume again and overall everything feels a little bit lighter. It’s lovely to catch up with friends and family, congratulate or commemorate birthdays, engagements, milestones or achievements that have happened while in the darkest depths of quarantine. It’s important to not forget or skip past these special life events and ensure they are recognised and properly acknowledged. If the last year has taught us anything it’s that life is precious and as a result, any and every milestone should be cause for celebration. You don’t want to look back in 3/5/10 years and regret not marking the occasion or having any memories.
Priorities have certainly shifted during this last year and I often wonder if life will ever be the same as it was before. As an introvert, I’m secretly hoping to maintain a better balance of commitments versus downtime. I’ve never enjoyed having 100 things to do in the week whilst working, supporting and caring for family as well as maintaining a social life alongside this blog which is a part time job in itself. I recognise a lot of it is self inflicted and not expected or required however I’ve always felt guilty or as though I’m wasting time if I’m not making use of every second in the day. It’s not a good trait or mindset to have and it’s something that I’ve slowly learnt to shift during the last year. It’s not easy to change your ways especially when they have become habitual but small steps are effective in changing behaviours over time. First and probably most important is having that awareness and if it hadn’t been for the pandemic, life would likely have continued at the same or an increased pace forever more.
I’m looking forward to focusing my time and efforts on people and things I love and that add value or make me feel happy and content. I haven’t ever been concerned with keeping up appearances or doing things I don’t genuinely enjoy however there has always been a tendency to say yes even if I had a niggling feeling that I already had too much on that week or simply didn’t feel like going along. Of course there’s plenty I want to do and see and after not being able to get out and about freely for long periods of time, I’ll be utilising my evenings and weekends to make up for the time lost and to explore more of what’s on my doorstep however I feel more confident about saying no if there’s something I don’t want to do without having to come up with 100 reasons why. There doesn’t have to be any reason and similarly if I’m asking family and friends if they want me to join me in whatever I’m choosing to do, I’m conscious and aware that they might not be interested or up for it and that’s totally fine too.
With so many terrible and tragic consequences connected to the virus, it’s easy to only have negative thoughts associated with this prolonged period of nothingness however I try to take the positives from every situation, even when it doesn’t seem as though there are any. I believe having the opportunity to rest, reflect, re-evaluate and consider what you want from life is overall a positive. Hopefully there won’t be another situation as devastating and impactful as this in the near or distant future and it shouldn’t have taken something so drastic to truly bring into focus the important things in life however it is what it is and if the one and only thing that comes out of it is a deeper appreciation for life and loved ones then it’s still something.
I’m sure there will be many people changing their path as a result of this extended period of reflection. Whether it’s being in a job that you don’t enjoy or staying in a relationship which isn’t right for you or wanting to travel and explore more or perhaps settle down and establish a base or start a family, I think we’ll see tides of change as a result of having time with no distractions (aside from TikTok & Tiger King) and nothing but our own thoughts.