I sit myself at the table, strong cup of coffee in hand, gaze at my ancient resumé, and wonder who that person was… Who have I become?
I thought the fresh spring air, carrying a hint of jasmine, and the calm morning twitter of small birds in the shady trees against the backdrop of a deep and brilliant blue sky, might help to clarify my mind and reveal the person I thought might be me.
For once, I am lost for words. Having a partner with a specialised long-term career has given me the opportunity to choose to be a full-time parent to young children, but over the course of those years, many of my interests and pursuits have been put on the shelf in favour of (happily) supporting my partner and family. It is only now, as they move through primary (or elementary) school toward high school, in this ‘year of COVID-19’ that I find the time has come for me to once again move back into the workforce.
And, as I stare at that gaping black hole in my employment history, I feel that into it has disappeared much of who I was before.
Perhaps those skills I once boasted of are a little rusty. Perhaps I may not be able to list my interests as “current”… but if I stare long enough and deeply enough, I hope I might find someone with a whole new set of enhanced skills…Someone ready to find new interests. And, as my partner says, I need to give credit to what that new person may be capable of.
It’s funny, as I chatted with a friend this morning, we talked about “social distancing” and its effects on COVID-19, ourselves, our families and friends, our colleagues and the general population.
We are really being asked to physically distance, because there are many other ways we express ourselves socially these days. Social contact is not limited to physical situations. Social (and related) media play a huge part – especially for younger people – in the way we interact. Yet, as the human species, physical social interaction is so important to who we are and our mental well-being.
We are rediscovering the importance and strength of family and social groups. Physical restrictions brought upon us by the pandemic have made us acutely aware of the value of those family members and friends we can no longer hug or comfort. Those who live alone have become truly isolated from our basic human need for physical contact.
Thankfully, we are now able to socialise on a “virtual“ level. These unprecedented times have encouraged individual families – whose members through busy lives – had become almost strangers at times, to reconnect. Facebook groups and the like have helped bring us together in ways that were never before possible. I am able to share everyday news with my whole family at one time… Not quite, but almost like being around the table together.
I know that we will have to learn to live with COVID-19 and all the lifestyle complications and restrictions that come with it. I am thankful for today’s technology – that it allows us to connect socially and visually with those we care about – but I so very much look forward to the day when we can again embrace those people with our arms as well.
Today I find myself having a morning coffee musing about an afternoon’s reminisce over a Reisling… Well not quite, it was actually a very tasty Sauvignon Blanc.
Catching up with friends is like a sprinkle of sugar on a doughnut, like the proverbial icing on the cake. We might still otherwise enjoy that doughnut or piece of cake, but it is the dusting of sugar or lick of icing that makes it extra special. Just as moments with friends can be the spice of life.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to know that I have pinches of the “spice of life” scattered all over this spectacular country – literally north to south, and east to west.
It is truly comforting to know that regardless of my location or situation, I will always be able to take a moment and enjoy the company – either from a distance or face-to-face – of someone who really gets me. A family member or longtime friend. A recent association or “mother in arms”. A colleague or casual acquaintance.
Significant (if not always long-lived) friendships come unexpectedly and from all walks of life. Somehow at that moment, something connects you… A common purpose, a common need, a common interest.
Never ignore an opportunity to positively interact with someone. It feeds the soul, and becomes the spice of life!