I spent over a year alone in my house, connected to the world through my computer and my phone, with promises of a vaccine and dreams of “getting back to normal.” To be honest, at that point, it wasn’t really clear to me what “normal” was any more. My normal was changing rapidly.
I coped reasonably well with my isolation considering that while I like to spend time on my own in “normal” times, I also travel quite a bit and love to open up my house to friends and family when I’m home.
I kept busy and hopeful. I connected with the people I cared for and was open for them to connect with me. I thought of other people dealing with this on their own and phoned them. Human voices are infinitely better than hurried texts. I had no hurry. All I had was time.
I jumped at the chance of getting my two shots. I certainly felt that more “normal” was coming my way. I was less fearful as well but remained prudent and continued wearing my mask to ensure that I remained healthy and not a threat to others.
What did I gain?
For a little while there, I enjoyed more outdoor time and less time on my own. I took advantage of daily bits of normalcy. I went to the beach. I hosted a tea for four of my vaccinated friends. Someone invited me to an outdoor concert in her church where we enjoyed a Brazilian singer performing all my old Bossa Nova favorites in a beautiful, shady, tropical setting.
It certainly felt normal to go to a couple of art shows and walk around and get inspiration in my local museum where I carried my little notebook and took notes and pictures on whatever inspired me.
I felt that with a little planning, I was able to do some of my daily routines – all activities which were easy to engage in, that I enjoyed, and only required that I remain mindful and watchful.
I could go to my local supermarket again and choose my own groceries which sounds so trite and yet was so important to me at the time – things that used to be part of my life and had not been for so long. I was getting a tiny taste of the “normal” that had been so elusive and unimagined.
While I wasn’t ready to plan long distance travel, in that hopeful time in mid-July, I braved a short trip to Georgia to visit my son’s family and was able to hug my grandchildren. I managed airplanes and airports much easier than I had anticipated.
For someone like me, who has spent her entire life traveling, it felt very strange to be so cautious and on high alert. It did, however, give me hope that I would indeed be able to fly farther and visit my three other children, and that they, in turn, would be able to visit me as soon as everyone was duly vaccinated and ready.
The Delta variant was around the corner, and it hit Miami like a bomb soon after that lovely weekend in Georgia. Children were now getting sick in record numbers. We became and currently are the epicenter of this dreaded virus via the variant that seems to be blanketing my town and the state where I live.
So here I am, all vaxed up with nowhere to go again. Having spent more than a year in isolation, I knew what I had to do, and I am back to going out only for essential reasons (which are few) and trying my best to keep busy while I weather this new storm.
I wrote about my experience during Covid and I am familiar with the many ways that I can not only survive but thrive on my own and just doing it again. For now, and until such time when it will hopefully subside and I can get back to the business of reaching for some kind of “normal.”
How are you finding your “normal”? What is your “normal” these days? Have you experienced the liberty of being vaccinated only to have to self-isolate again? How did that make you feel?