When I looked at the headline of last week’s poll, “How well has life treated you so far in 2021?”, I looked back on a year filled with back-to-back family deaths, minor tragedies, health issues, and major travel changes (think six months of reservations canceled within minutes).
My second thought was, “How have I treated life in 2021?” If COVID has taught me anything more than how to mask up, stand on a socially-distanced dot and stay six feet away from people, it has been how I should treat life.
This new-to-me awareness really started in 2020 when I stayed glued to the COVID news and numbers. Entire families were succumbing to the virus. A simple birthday celebration could result in devastation. My heart went out to the families of those struck down. I was deeply touched and troubled by the elderly couples that died together holding hands in their hospital beds, struck down by a disease we did not yet know how to stop.
I realized I had started to take life for granted – my life, my husband’s, children’s and friends’. We were living our dream as full-time RVers and I just assumed it would be forever … or at least a very long time. The threat of COVID brought mortality into focus. As old essential workers, there was a chance we simply would not make it through, precautions or not. Flippantly saying “Life is fleeting” is different than knowing it.
So the question remains, “How have I treated life in 2021?” Have I been grateful? Was I connected to my children and grandchildren? Have I given to those things I believe in? Did I walk the trails in our beloved National Parks? Could I sit by a roaring campfire and talk with everyone that walked by? Yes.
Have I treated life with the respect it deserves? I can only hope so.
Seclusion, Isolation, Separation… Loving Covid, wish it would hang around a little longer.
You can do that without COVID, UPRIG. People don’t have to be sick and dying because you want to be by yourself. That’s a rather selfish and insensitive comment to make, considering all the people who are suffering from COVID, either being sick or knowing people who have died. I’m a “loner,” but I certainly wouldn’t wish COVID on anyone. –Diane
We have tried to stay in touch with family and friends though regular zoom gatherings and visits to some traveling in our coach across the country. It has been mostly successful and in many cases we have grown closer with the far more regular contact, even though the hugs have had to be virtual. I have stayed more active in some organizations that were part of my life until we began to travel, I can attend committee and board meetings no matter where I am rather than missing out as we travel. Not spending as much on dining and entertainment has left us more resources to support organizations that we consider important to the entire community, the incredible stock market has made that even easier. We have had more time to consider what is really important to us and to act on that.
Best article I’ve read in awhile Nanci, thank you.
Good thoughts, Nanci. With all the turmoil of the last few years, we would all do well to take a step back, and a deep breath, and really appreciate life. Be kind and understanding with family and friends in our remaining years. My wife and I have been truly blessed, in spite of all the difficulties.