As we head in to week 5 of social distancing and sheltering in place, I often find my mind wandering to ‘more familiar times’. Things that often felt ordinary, just one month ago, are the things I miss most. Grocery shopping at my convenience, a spontaneous stop with my toddler to grab a smoothie, trips to the park, lunch with friends, running errands – even sitting in traffic! It has struck me that one of the most uncomfortable things about this pandemic is the disruption in comfort, my loss of ‘normal’, and a heightened sense of my lack of control. The icing on the cake has seemed to be, at least for me, the isolation that is a by-product of it all.
I can’t help but think about our elder population and how I’m getting such a small taste of the adjustment they go through and the loss they experience when their normal begins to shift. When they lose their social connections due to illness. When their freedom is threatened due to the inability to drive or navigate social situations independently. When fear sets in about the unknown. As we’ve seen in our own lives, rhythms can shift so quickly – without warning and certainly without our input.
At some point, we will see this pandemic through, and the rhythms of life will begin to return. I hope, when life fills back up with activities and commitments, I remember this season. I want to carry with me a stronger sense of empathy and understanding for what so many of ‘the greatest generation’ feel on a daily basis. As challenging as this season is, I’m grateful for the lessons I’m learning along the way.