Few months ago, we couldn’t have even imagined that something like this would happen to us. That people would be dying every day.
That schools would be closed. That religious gatherings would be banned.
Many changes have hit us. It’s happened so fast, it’s overwhelmed us.
People are put in self-isolation. Social distancing has become our way of life.
Voltaire once said that every evil begets some good and this self-isolation has brought me something good indeed.
I’ve realized all those things I took for granted over the past years.
I’ve made a promise to myself that I’ll change that and that these things will be more important for me from now on. I won’t take any of these for granted ever again.
1. Hugging people I love
I’ve never been one of those people who liked to hug and kiss people they love all the time. I didn’t like to show my appreciation for someone that way.
However, this social distancing has changed that. I couldn’t bear the thought that something bad had to happen to the people I love.
And I am afraid that I haven’t shown them how much I love them and care for them.
This will change after these difficult times. I’ll hug all people I love so tight that they’ll realize immediately just how much I missed them and love them.
We don’t appreciate enough the times we are healthy, that’s a fact. When we don’t have any health issues, we don’t think about the fact that our health condition can change in an instant.
It really can. I realize it now, and I hope we all do. I’ve been postponing my annual check ups whenever I could.
I haven’t had time for it. I’ve been feeling fine and thinking that I didn’t even need it.
We should always have time for it, because we will regret it if we ever lose it. I’ve promised myself that, from now on, I will always make time for those checkups.
I will appreciate my health more and I’ll thank God every day for taking care of me.
I won’t take my health for granted ever again because it is the most precious and valuable possession I have.
3. My relationship with God
When this all happened, I started to pray to God every day. I asked Him to protect us and to help us all in these rough times.
I asked Him to protect me and people close to me from this awful virus.
I started praying every night before I went to bed. One night, I realized how hypocritical I was being.
I was praying only in these tough times, where before this situation, I didn’t have time even to pray and thank God for everything He’s given us.
I am going to change that. Every morning, I’ll thank God for protecting the people I love and giving me another day to live.
Every night before I go to sleep, I’ll ask Him to give us enough strength to cope with whatever challenges lie ahead.
4. Me time
Having some alone time is important for every person. During this social distancing period, we’ve had quite a bit of time to do just that.
I’ve finally learned to enjoy it. I’ve realized how relaxing it is and how it can recharge your batteries. To be clear, I haven’t been lonely, I’ve just found time for myself.
I’ve thought about my life and some of the big decisions I made. I’ve thought about the people in my life and how much they mean to me.
I’ve promised to myself that I’ll never again take for granted that “me time.”
5. My family
Sometimes after work, I’d be really tired and often miss some or other family gathering because of it.
On weekends I’d have other obligations, so most times I’d end up not visiting my parents and grandparents.
Now I miss them more than anything else and I realize that family is really the most important part of my life.
Now because of coronavirus social distancing orders, I can’t visit them, even though I would like to see them more than anything.
I’ll never again neglect them, but try to visit them as much as I can. Another promise I’ve made to myself.
6. Hanging out with my friends
The same case. Sometimes I’d be tired and not feel like going out with my friends.
After one month of quarantine and not seeing any of them, I can see that I should go out with them whenever they invite me.
Life is truly unpredictable. We never know what can happen to us tomorrow.
That’s why we should use every minute to tell all the people close to us how important they are to us.
Dear friends, just so you know, you are my other family and I can’t wait for this all to pass and to hang out with you all.
I will never ever again take our friendships for granted.
7. Chit-chats with my neighbors
I have to admit, sometimes I would avoid my neighbors just so I’d not have to talk with them.
Now I miss those little chit-chats because every time I go outside, I don’t see a soul.
It’s rather scary. I remember our streets full of kids playing outside; now everything is empty. Even when I see some of the neighbors, we can’t talk.
They just wave and I wave back. It’s the only communication we have now.
I’ve always had a decent relationship with all of my neighbors, but I’ll never take them and our chit-chats for granted anymore.
Now that I miss them, I realize that those chats were an important part of my day and that neighbors are also part of my life.
8. My job
I know that we all hate going to work sometimes. I do, too. Sometimes I’d even be late because I’d hate it.
I wouldn’t be afraid of what my boss may say because I’d think that I’d find a new job easily.
Seeing how many people are getting let go because of covid-19 has made me think twice about it.
It’s made me realize that I shouldn’t take my job for granted because many people would like to be in my place and work to earn some money for their families.
9. Walking or running outside
Sometimes, I go hiking in the mountains because I know it’s safe there and I won’t run into people there. It’s relaxing for me because I love spending time in nature.
But what I really miss is those walks with my friends in the park. I miss starting my mornings with a run. I hope this will be over soon and I’ll be able to get back in form.
10. Date nights out
Some time before all this happened, I was telling my SO how I was sick of our restaurant dates and how it would be better if I cooked something so we can have an at-home date.
Well, this pandemic has made me eat my words – God knows how I miss our favorite restaurant and food there!
Hell, I even miss drinking decent espresso-based coffee. I’m not so great a chef and I swear I’ll never take our date nights out for granted again.
11. Birthday parties
I’ve never cared for having a birthday party and never threw any. My friends know that and they’d organize a surprise birthday party for me every year.
My birthday is in April and this birthday was the saddest one for me.
Even though I got tons of messages from my family, friends, and people from work, I felt somehow unloved because I was all alone this time around.
Once again, it’s shown me how thankful I should be for my friends because they’ve made me happy all these years on my birthday.
I’ve realized that deep down I do care for having a birthday party and cake, and getting presents from my loved ones.
I have to say that I sympathize with all people born in April. Don’t be sad for not celebrating your birthday the way you wanted this year.
I know that next year, it’s all going to be much better.
I am so sick of online shopping. I can’t wait to go to the mall. I can’t even wait to go to the grocery store the way I used to, without avoiding people there or wearing a mask and gloves all the time.
I’ll never complain again about all those long lines in grocery stores or how people go crazy during Black Friday or some other big sale.
I’ve always thought that I should only focus on my career, that I’d have time for all other things later.
That’s why I haven’t traveled a lot, even though I like it so much.
Now, I’ve already planned my next vacation trip, when this is all over. I can’t wait to hop on a plane.
I won’t even complain about those uncomfortable seats or bad service.
Discovering new places, traditions, and cultures. Meeting new people and learning about their customs.
This is something priceless and I’ll never take it for granted again, and neither should you.
14. Reading books
Since college, I never used my free time to read books – I didn’t have much free time and I always had something “more important” to do than read.
Now that my schedule is wide open, I’ve started reading again.
It has reminded me how good reading books can make you feel and that it can be our escape from harsh reality.
15. Going to the movies
Yes, I have a TV at home and I watch movies. But, you have to admit, it’s not the same feeling when you watch it at home alone and when you watch it at the movies with your friends.
I hope this will be over by September, because there are some great premieres then and I really miss watching those with my friends. Well, mostly I miss the popcorn, but still…
I didn’t know how lucky I was for having the freedom to go anywhere I want.
I’ve been truly blessed because I’ve been able to travel, eat out and go to concerts whenever I want.
I didn’t appreciate it, but lockdown has made me realize that my freedom to do things when and how I want is definitely something I’ll never take for granted again.
I think somehow this is a lesson to all of us. To appreciate life more. To show our loved ones how much we love them.
To take better care for elderly people. To be thankful to God for everything we have. Never to take anything for granted in life again.