But it’s the little things I miss the most, the small brief unplanned interactions that used to happen on a daily basis. I enjoy not having to be somewhere every day, and rarely (if ever) having to rush out the door in recent months. I am grateful for the slower pace, and although my family can get on my nerves, the amount of time together these past months has been priceless. Of course, like everyone, I miss attending events, seeing friends, traveling, birthday parties…but it’s the everyday interactions that have me reminiscing about the “time before”.
The “time before”
I never realized how interactive something as simple as school drop off and pick up was on a daily basis. I miss seeing the other moms, sharing quick snippets of our lives as we waited for our kids to appear in the doorway and run towards us babbling about their day. These snippets of conversation weaved together through the days and weeks. I see now I knew more about what was happening in their lives than I thought and although I still connect with some of the other moms via text or follow along on Facebook, it’s just not the same as an impromptu catch up in person.
The same concept extends to extracurricular activities, the fun of seeing my kids kick it out in Taekwondo, twirl with their friends at ballet, or flip upside down in gymnastics while I watch with other parents. Now its temperature checks at the door, no parents allowed inside, and certainly no mingling with other families. Even the outdoor activities include social distancing and a masked wave from across the parking lot, and while I appreciate the safety, it certainly takes the “social” out of everything.
A quick run to the grocery store or out and about run-in with a friend is strained. No longer the fun unexpected meet up of days past or quickly unlocking your iPhone with face recognition to check your shopping list. The pandemic consumes the conversation with checkout clerks or friends as you struggle to talk clearly and loud enough through a mask while standing six feet apart. Ending the conversation after a run-in is even more awkward since gone are the days of – “let’s get together soon”.
The season has me thrown too, as I never realized how many little things there were associated with summer – from impromptu BBQs, camp pickup/drop-offs, ALL the playdates, bike parades, and popsicles poolside with neighborhood kids. I definitely took these things for granted.
Even my normal escapes for “me” lack some of the little things that made “me” time special. I am grateful to be able to once again take a yoga class at the studio, but miss the interaction and conversations in the lobby or on my mat before the start of class. Gone are the days of arriving 30 minutes prior to settle in and grab a favorite spot, replaced with check-in five to ten minutes prior to class and a swift exit, no chit chat, post flow. Even when I teach, I miss getting to know my students more, hearing about their day or what they liked about the class. Now it’s more of a “hi, then “bye” with a smile hidden behind a mask.
I know all of this temporary and it won’t always be this way, but it has surprised me that these little everyday things are the things I miss the most. In my yoga classes, I encourage my students to find the gratitude in each day and the daily grace in their actions during this uncertain time. I am trying hard to take my own advice, to look within each day for gratitude in little things, many new that didn’t exist pre-pandemic. I try to find the grace in my actions as I stumble through the constant changes and overwhelming decision making and even more grace when I change my decisions again and again.
I look forward to the day all the little things return, and I know I will never take the small interactions and everyday things, like school pickup or unlocking my iPhone with face recognition, for granted ever again.
What are some of the daily interactions and the little things you miss these days?