This week, I had my first indoor, in-person meeting with a client in over a year. They had already been vaccinated and I had Covid in early February so have antibodies. Still there was some anxiety for me about the meeting. Should we keep our masks on? How do we greet one another? Should we even be meeting in person?
I started thinking about the transition from our pandemic lifestyles back to the pre-pandemic normal. All transitions are difficult, even when moving from a bad situation to a better situation. What may make this transition even more difficult is that we are all going through it together but with different expectations on what the return to normal means and how quickly we’ll get there.
We’ve spent the last year separated, socially distanced, masked and somewhat isolated. I’m sure that there will be many different versions of acceptable behavior and the associated anxiety and tension about whether we are handling it properly. While none of us had been through a pandemic before, none of us had transitioned out of one either.
I feel we all need to accept that the anxiety may be there and there’s probably not a way to avoid it. But we can try to avoid judging others for how they handle the transition. I truly believe that the vast majority of people are trying to do what they think is correct. It may differ from my thinking or your thinking and that’s okay. Being more patient and forgiving can only help to make this difficult transition a little less stressful.
This week’s selection is:
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Book reviewed, Heller McAlpin, described this book as about a close friendship between two couples that spans some forty years, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do them part. Taking its title from a line from Robert Frost's poem, "I Could Give All to Time," the novel's concerns are the inexorable passage of time and inevitable loss, but also what one holds onto – "The things forbidden that while the Customs slept I have crossed to Safety with" – most notably, memories (both heartwarming and difficult), and love.