While We Wait for After the Pandemic

Enjoying living while much of our lives are on hold

This has been a waiting season for all of us. The pandemic has sidelined our dreams and so much of our daily lives. Even spending time with friends and family is so fraught with consequence and concern. Without even a countdown timer to know when all this will end, we wait in a morass of question marks.

We’ve been through waiting periods before. Every woman who has given birth understand that feeling of waiting: the weighted burden of restricted activities to be followed by new life. There is hope in the waiting; it’s what we cling to. There is also an end in sight, and an end in sight means you can make plans.

It’s hard to make plans right now

It’s hard to make plans when you have no idea what to expect, or when to expect it – and when interacting with others can have such deadly consequences. Making plans means taking control, and that’s hard to do when everything feels so out of control. But that is exactly why we need to make plans right now.

Make plans anyway

Having a goal and working towards it is one of the most powerful things we can do to help lift ourselves out of the grey. Maybe you can’t throw yourself a massive 50th birthday party and invite 200 of your closest friends, but what can you do? What is something you can plan and work towards? What can you invest your time and energy into that will give you a sense of purpose and forward movement?

Staring out the window, waiting for the pandemic to end is a very slow and lonely way to pass the time. Yes, there are so many things we can’t do right now. But that mindset is the equivalent of staring out the window, waiting. It wont fix anything.

You need a sense of purpose

If you have an idea of the things you want to do post-pandemic, what can you do now to put yourself in the best position to take action when the time is right? If you want to go scuba diving off the coast of Mallorca – what can you do now to get ready?

  • Brush up on your Spanish.
  • Update your passport.
  • Research Airbnbs in Mallorca.
  • Research getting scuba certified.
  • Get in shape.
  • Plan out the rest of the sites around Spain you’d like to visit.
  • Start a savings account specifically for this trip.
  • Start a file on your scuba adventure and add to it regularly.
  • Make the planning process fun too.

If it takes you 3 years to get there, and the room rates have all changed by then, so what? You already have a head start and a good understanding of what to expect, and changing a few details is no big deal.

Start working on another project

That’s right. This pandemic isn’t going to disappear tomorrow. Find something else to do. Take online classes. Pick up a new hobby. Explore your neighborhood and community on foot. Decorate your house for Mardi Gras. Find something that gives you a sense of moving forward, and even accomplishment. Time will move more quickly, and your emotional wellbeing will improve as well.

Help someone else

As difficult as this is, there’s a good chance that someone around us is having an even more difficult time. Even with distancing practices in place, we can still organize a meal train for the family of someone who is ill. Organize a neighborhood cleanup to pick up litter. Write a letter or schedule a zoom call with someone who is lonely. Helping others is a wonderful way to make yourself feel better, too.

This wont last forever. Something else will take it’s place, and we’ll learn to adapt and make the best of that situation, too.

Keep moving forward.

Seattle writer, Judy Schwartz Haley, blogs about raising a toddler while battling cancer, finishing a degree, and fending off ninjas. Also, she needs more coffee.
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