To be honest, unlike most people, my routine has not been greatly disrupted by this pandemic. I already worked from home full-time. Since it’s just myself in my house, no one else’s changed schedule has had an impact on me. The only real changes are that shopping is a little more cumbersome (darn, they’re still out of toilet paper; geez, the line to get into the Garden Center is ridiculous), I haven’t attended Mass in weeks, and what few social outings I did have are cancelled. But all in all, life has gone on fairly the same in my world, minus some out-of-the-ordinary dealings.
What this pandemic did prompt me to do was to reach out to some friends I haven’t spoken too in six or more months. I had been telling myself for a long time to give them a call or even a text, but even before the pandemic, life just seemed to run away with me, and I never sat down to actually take the time to make the call, knowing it could take hours. In early March, a week before the pandemic craziness exploded in the U.S., I managed to have lunch with one friend, have a multi-hour phone conversation with another, and reach out to a third with a promise to get together (which, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make good on yet, but it did prompt another text, where I found out she had had a significant life-changing event months ago). Each of these meaningful conversations was an affirmation that yes, we are still friends, even if we haven’t spoken in so long. But, we can do better. As my best friend from college – the one I had the multi-hour phone call with – told me, “Wow, it takes a pandemic for us to call each other.” It was a sad but true statement, but in retrospect, I don’t see what it had to be that way. I always fear that the next meeting or phone call will highlight how the distance has grown between me and my friend(s), but that isn’t always the case. Often, we still talk and act the same way with each other, like we had never been apart.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own world, especially when it seems that all the things you have to do never end. What I hope to take away from this pandemic is to reach out more often. Even if it’s only a one-sentence text, I want to take the minute or two to craft it and send it. Communication is all it takes, and today, we have more ways than ever to communicate. I have no problems with this at work – I wouldn’t be able to function otherwise, working remotely. So why can’t I do the same in my personal life? There’s no reason – only excuses. Since the fall, I’ve been working on not making excuses for myself in trying to obtain my goals, and this is just one more to add to the list.