There is one thing about this terrible pandemic that has surprised me. Isolation has taught me more about myself in one year than I learned in a decade or more. Looking at that objectively, it is not such a bad thing. And it is something I needed to do, although I did not realize it. What did I discover on this unplanned journey?
- I am stronger than I thought. I am weaker than I want to be.
- I have fewer real friends than I thought I had. I am not as good a friend as I thought I was.
- I have more Faith than I thought I had. I am not as optimistic as I used to be.
- I know more about some things than I thought I did. I know almost nothing about so many things.
- I am less concerned about what others think of me. I am more concerned about holding fast to my values.
- I laugh even when I am sad. I want to be able to laugh no matter how tough things get.
- I have the capacity to love. I do not have enough love in my life.
- I am keenly aware that my time on this Earth is growing shorter. I worry that I am not making the most of the time I have left.
- I am a mass of contradictions, untested theories, likely scenarios and worst possible cases. I am, when I remember to take a breath and give myself a break — simply human.
- I believe, on good days, there is still time to be better and do better.
- I BELIEVE I CAN STILL BELIEVE.
A friend of mine reminded me of the famous dictum uttered by Socrates — “The unexamined life is not worth living.” A memorable quote to be sure. But is it enough to simply recognize those things? I do not think so. Which brings me to the next part of the journey. Where do I go from here?
I have just been vaccinated and listen to the various experts discuss what this means in terms of resuming a “normal life.” Such a ridiculous notion! What is normal for one person is not necessarily normal for another. I am a Solo Ager. I did not miss those things many people yearn for — the family get togethers or hugs from grandchildren. Health issues prevent me from resuming exciting travel and other activities I used to enjoy.
The real question is “how will I live now?”
Given the lessons COVID has taught me, will I do anything differently? Will I be a better friend? Make better use of my time? Seek out opportunities for personal growth? Open my heart to the potential for love? Or am I set in my ways? Afraid or unwilling to modify my behavior?
The only thing I can tell you now is, talk to me next year.