There are so many things I wish I had known 6 months ago…
Six months ago, I wish I knew the world was about to drastically change. And not just my world, but the entire world.
That fast forward to the world today, August of 2020, and I would find a world so surreal, often times I wake up in the morning wondering if finally that extremely strange “dream” is over. But wait… it’s real life.
Six months ago, I didn’t realize my friend’s and family’s worlds would be completely different. The stranger walking into Target with her nose and mouth covered by an animal print face mask would be just as affected. In fact, most likely, that stranger went through the same challenges I’ve been through. Strangely unified in our separate fights against COVID-19.
Six months ago, my morning routine was seemingly set in stone with my kids. I was probably (always) racing around the house with my make-up done yet still in a bath towel, all while making pancakes and going through the “make sure you don’t forget” list for both me and my kids.
I’m sure I got everyone loaded into the car, and then gave them a half-hearted good-bye because, even though I wasn’t at work yet, my mind already was. Already prioritizing my 30-minute drive to think through my work day ahead.
Six months ago, without a thought, I walked into my favorite coffee shop to grab my large latte… with my face in my phone, scrolling through social media. I noticed how many people I knew were taking early spring breaks. It looked like such a great idea!
So very recently, I was going to work like everyone else. I had a tiny office – as small as a walk-in closet – and yet, oftentimes my coworkers joined me in that tight space for work projects and catching up. Our faces and bodies crowding close so we all could view a single computer monitor.
Six months ago, 5 o’clock in the evening would roll around with rush hour traffic moving at its usual slow pace. I was probably rushing to get a child from somewhere. On my drive some nights, I would be too exhausted to be excited about the upcoming evening activities. Some nights, I was a better mom than other nights.
My days would end the same each day with kids’ bedtimes before mom’s hour of alone time. And my day would end without me ever wondering how the next day would look. Because my tomorrows were always so similar.
Six months ago, I wish I would have known that everyone in the world would be so deeply affected by a pandemic. I wish I would have known that a hug should always be cherished. Then, I wouldn’t have been afraid to hug my loved ones too tightly. And I would have hugged everyone just a bit longer…
I wish I would have known that I would miss the simple things. You know, like seeing a smiling stranger passing by at the grocery store or enjoying a meal at a favorite restaurant with a group of friends. I also would have told myself not to worry about all the noise of the world, and to only focus on true human connection. And to cherish it.
Six months ago, I didn’t know.
But what I DO know now is that the people in our lives and our relationships are important. As is self-care. I now know that my children don’t actually want that much from me, even on the days I feel worn out. They’d prefer quality time spent with family over just about anything else. Was it really only six months ago that I only spent an average of 12 hours per day with them? And most of those hours we were all asleep? In fact, if your kids are like my kids, they have loved having their mom home.
At the end of this journey, I know that I don’t want to look back in another six months from now only to see that I’ve missed the opportunities that this unique time has afforded me. I don’t want to have slipped back into the habit of focusing only on the seemingly big things in life, but instead to remember the simplistic joy of seeing a stranger’s smile as we pass each other in the frozen food aisle.