Thousands upon thousands of us have just been through possibly the strangest and most stressful experience of our lives over the last year, and yet we are still not out of the woods. We have all missed the very touch of loved ones and watched many pass away without the ability to even hold a hand. And it has broken us.
We’ve missed hugging and chatting at close quarters with friends and loved ones. We have missed Christmas, those drinks in that bar we only enter at that time of year.
All of us have missed out on blowing out candles on birthday cakes. We have missed lazy meanders around the shops followed by dinner and the cinema. We have missed simply saying ‘sure, pop over for a glass of wine or a coffee’. Put frankly, we have missed humans!
Missed too is business interaction. Face to face is always best they say – A fact that has unfortunately been proven wrong in the last year on some accounts. And may we now please take a moment for those who’s businesses have suffered great losses because of it.
We promise we will return to your shops and restaurants and clubs and pubs as soon as we are able! We’ll have you through the door to quote for flooring and wardrobes and extensions as soon as we can!
I’ll freely admit that despite the sparkly ‘social media’ exterior, it has been at times a pile of &%$£ here too!
I never appreciated before last year, just being able to go somewhere, anywhere. Or pop into the care home my beautiful beloved dad is in, even just in passing. I did not appreciate the stunning area in which I live, with all its beautiful walks and tracks and trails.
I did not appreciate being able to hop into the car and just visit a friend or grab a coffee with a client. I didn’t appreciate simply being alive.
“On the other side of this coin, great new things and new friendships have emerged.”
We have engaged way more with the postie, who’s name we actually now know. We have laughed with the DPD driver who appears more frequently of late with those ‘must have’ purchases (or in my case daily with those ‘why did I order that’ purchases).
The bloke that walks his dog past your house, you now know that he’s called John and his scruffy pooch is called Eric.
It’s John’s birthday tomorrow and there is a card now written, waiting by the front door for him as he passes.
He’s a widow and hasn’t seen his family who live up north in what he says feels like forever… You know now that card will make his day!
Our kids now know not to walk in on a business zoom with the loud ‘what’s in the fridge’ question or ‘I hate maths’ statement. They have learned self-sufficiency (or some have). They are capable of googling more than hacks for their online games now and have a new sense of purpose.
My own son has learned to cook properly, use appliances, and loads of other fantastic life skills whilst tucked away at home (I’ll clear this up now, it’s not child labour – It’s education!). Would any of this have happened when things were normal?
“Most of all we have forged new friendships online.”
I for one now look forward to certain zooms and networking groups with people who I am fast considering true ‘friends’.
They know more about me than they may have learned in a formal or office environment. Seeing me late on to the call, or fresh from my bed, complete with no make up and weird hair.
We have talked openly about everything from having the kids at home and driving us insane, to how our businesses will adjust to survive. And in all this we have bolstered up lacking enthusiasm when it has been needed. We have private messaged when we know it has been required. We have had strange, yet thoughtful gifts delivered to raise the spirits and shared posts, services and businesses we would never have thought to previously, in that other life.
I write this, because as we are on the cusp of re-entering the real world, ready to emerge, legs shaved, face made up and in heels (and a bra) I want to ask each of you to think back on this last year. Yes, it’s been God awful, we have cried, hurt, shouted, screamed and on occasion wanted to throw in the towel. But please just sit and be still for a moment… Look at what we have achieved!
Look at how much we have all accomplished, be it incredibly amazing, or for some, simply survived. Look at just how resilient we have become! Look at the humanity we have shown!
From our perfectly tidy shelves and cupboards to new ways of doing business. From newfound friendships and alliances to new-fangled routines of leaving a bottle of wine on the neighbour’s doorstep…
It’s all been amazing, and you did that!
Let’s not lose all this upon slamming the front door behind us and heading for the taxi! Let’s have learned from all this and be as kind and compassionate going forward as we have been from the strange sanctity of our make-shift home office spaces.
I for one will be appreciating what I do have far more than I would l have before all of this… (I may even stay off the booze and continue with the shameful pooch walks where my puppy decided that the best place to sit down is in the middle of the road or throw herself at passers-by for additional love)!
Whatever you are going to do, do it well, and do it with a happy heart!
Stay safe one and all…
Ness, Chief wordy person at Plethora of Words
Mum, wife, teacher, confident, clown, maker of laughter, fixer of problems, emergency laundry doer, virtual hug giver, stupid gift provider, random video maker, writer of all things and official lover of humanity!