The Side of Me That Doesn’t Want the Pandemic to End
There are several things I don’t want to let go of
I feel scared about the pandemic ending. That feels wrong to write, in light of all the loss, pain, and misery people have endured over the past year. My family and I are extremely lucky, fortunate, and privileged: Our kids go to school part-time, my parents and in-laws are vaccinated, and the husband and I can easily work from home. I’m in an industry that doesn’t qualify as “essential.”
My last professional outing was exactly a year ago: the Hot Pod Summit, where my fellow podcasters and I nervously giggled as we greeted each other with elbow bumps and then squeezed into a poorly ventilated room to hear a panel about ad tech. We’re so lucky we didn’t all get seriously sick. But remembering that day so vividly is a helpful point of reference: I can easily compare who I was then to who I am now, and then think forward to envision who I’ll be this time next year. Because despite all the inconveniences and worry, there are several things I don’t want to let go of when the pandemic is over. The term “self-care” doesn’t do much for me, but I suppose that’s how I’m putting this one-year-anniversary of the shutdown to use. I hope you get a chance to do so as well.
I’ll start by acknowledging that I feel better in my body
I haven’t boarded a plane, eaten in a restaurant, or gotten a manicure in a year. No wonder my back hurts less, my stomach is less bloated, and my nails no longer chip and peel. By not cutting or dying my hair since March 7, 2020, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars. When my speaking engagements dissipated, so did the anxiety that usually accompanied me onstage — and, therefore, my stress-related rosacea. I now have clear skin, strong nails, and a straight spine. Clearly, the demands of flying around the world while keeping up a high-maintenance grooming routine were depleting me in very obvious, physical ways.