January 3, 2023
My blog has now existed for three years, and I’m still writing about the pandemic. This wasn’t my intention – although I don’t think I had an intention in those early days. But I’m at peace with it. Countless things have changed for me because of what happened in 2020; I would never claim that life is back to how it was in 2019.
Case in point: two local restaurants that opened in the aftermath of COVID have already closed. Both of them were in spaces that once held well-known establishments, and both were new projects on the part of the owners. It would be tough to start any small business nowadays, let alone one that depends on people staying and socializing.
I made my share of visits to places like these last year. Although I’m a card-carrying introvert (and taking suggestions for what the card would say), I value being out and about in my community. Where once indoor seating wasn’t a guarantee, now I can drop by and claim a table whenever the mood strikes. However, it’s not striking as often as I expected.
My interests haven’t changed, but my comfort zone has shifted. Eating in public quickly became out of the ordinary for me during the pandemic. Staying home became the norm. Over those three years, leaving my house started to take more energy because it was more of an unfamiliar action, a deviation from what I was used to.
Now, as we emerge from our homes in the proverbial daylight, we’re seeing each other differently. In my case, I’m seeing others less. But it’s my hope that I will challenge myself this year and stray out of my comfort zone. I’ll be around people again, working and playing and sharing my perspective on our world. Even if I have to pack my own lunch.