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All the Joys I Never Knew I Was Missing

“Suddenly, there were no appointments to miss. No groceries to forget. My keys remained in my purse, along with my sunglasses, and random scraps of paper reminding me of to-do items put on hold. For the first time in my life, I felt genuinely free. How could this be? The world was in turmoil. Amid all the illness, sadness, unemployment, and loss of life, how could I feel tranquil?”

8 Comments: All the Joys I Never Knew I Was Missing

  1. Yep, I am with you too, point for point. Im extremely grateful that I have been able to work remotely so my paycheck has not been affected, and my heart goes out to those who are suffering economically, physically and emotionally (we have tried to back that up with donations etc), but I dread in many ways having to return to the eternal state of feeling like a failure that “normal” brings with it. I do look forward to a real grocery store run again and traveling, but outside of that, there is nothing about my normally hectic life I long to return to. And not having to have the house “company ready” – or in my case not being company ready and feeling the shame – that has been awesome! Im actually getting some big projects done because the dusting can wait – nobody is going to see it. Having far fewer social interactions has also given the rejection sensitive dysphoria a much needed break, so on top of the other benefits the calm has provided, there is that too.

  2. Thank-you. This article absolutely nailed it. I still have 4 years of income taxes to do (someday), but I am feeling so much better right now. Not rushing and running late all the time. I actually sat outside for half an hour yesterday to get some sun while I ate lunch. The first time in over 3 years I have lived in this house that I’ve done that. I started taking a 10 minute daily walk this week. I pulled an old bike out of the shed that I was given last year and went to fill the tires with air today. This week especially turned the corner for me. I’ve never felt so good. I miss going to the movies and Chinese buffets, but I’ll live. The procrastinator in me has a problem with buckling down (taxes) because of all this open-ended free time, but maybe as things reopen it will light a fire under me. I have been so calm and HAPPY this week, I feel like a new person. I also got a cat on Mother’s Day after 14 months of being alone. He’s not the friendliest, but he’s coming along and is still good company. Thanks for the excellent article. I feel like I have a new lease on life.

  3. You are saying EVERYTHING I’m feeling. I’ve never experienced such calm and real joy before. I feel so guilty about it that I tend to avoid conversations with friends because I know how much everyone is struggling. My furlough ended and I started back to work (from home) this week and I immediately am launched back into my previous challenges. But just knowing how life CAN and SHOULD feel is such a gift and something to strive for.

  4. I do wish I could help more people but the structure of having to stay in is kind of a relief. I can see how people that have to be out in the public are struggling and I wish they had more protection. But at the end of the day I can be thankful for what I do have.

  5. My heart goes out to everyone during this pandemic. Thank you for this article. It summed up very much what I have been experiencing. Finding hope and comfort during this time is difficult. Yet, this pandemic has taught me to concentrate on the “present” (which is a “gift”). While do so, I have become a more compassionate, caring person because I am calmer. I am not thankful for this pandemic. However, I am thankful for this takeaway.

  6. You’ve summed up in this article exactly everything I’ve been feeling. While my heart aches for those who are suffering during this pandemic, I have to admit that I’m in my element with the stay-at-home-order. Although it’s been lifted in our state, I am not at all in any hurry for life to return to “normal”.

  7. Wow. So, I don’t have kids but I am working from home and have pets. Although she’s pretty flexible as to the exact time, the dog has to be walked twice a day. Groceries have to be ordered. I’ve been running more outside, which is great, but now I have to plan around two to three Zoom meetings each workday to make sure I get out before or after it gets hot. My partner needs a lot of extra support right now. I’ve got to schedule times to check in with family and friends (who all want to Zoom/Facetime as well). An online class to keep working my way through. My Amazon purchases have gone up because now I’ve got more time to scroll and ponder about all of the things I could try/experiment with. Household projects and cleaning that still need to get done whether I’m home all day or not. Therapy appointments via Zoom. Research to figure out how the heck to color my hair myself because I haven’t been able to go to the salon in two months and likely won’t be able to go for one to two more. Occasional trips to the pharmacy or other small errands. Oh, and endless news cycles to try to stay on top of so that I’m at least somewhat informed on what’s happening outside of my home bubble.

    For a month I was dealing with unemployment and trying to stay on top of job searches while on furlough. I might still end up unemployed again if my company can’t afford to keep paying me once their loan runs out.

    I haven’t had to sit in city traffic for weeks – that’s been nice.

    Though I’d say my pandemic-specific anxiety levels are lower than that of my family members, I can’t relate to what the author is saying at all.

  8. This article sums up my almost weird appreciation for the pandemic. Just like you, it allowed me to take a step back and really look at what’s important. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. You are an IMMENSELY talented writer, June!

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