The Things That I Will Miss

The blog Clear Air Turbulence has a tagline that really speaks to me: On Navigating Turbulent Emotions and Building A Strong Moral Compass. If there ever was a time when turbulent emotions were pervasive and building a strong moral compass incredibly important, now is the time.

This father, husband, and pilot (who must have seen far less flight time than one would have normally expected this past year) has written a thought-provoking and heartening post this past week where he turned around the question being frequently asked these days. The question we hear so often is something like, “What do you miss most that this pandemic has taken away from you?” He has turned the question around to something like, “What will you miss most from your time right now when this pandemic is finally behind us?

He’s come up with some pretty darn compelling answers. Take a look and see what I mean. How would you answer the question of what you will miss when “normal” life returns? It’s worth thinking about. My guess is that we can all think of some things that we have done during these strange pandemic times, some changes we have made in our lives – even little ones – that have been for the better. It’s called looking for the silver lining. Thanks for making me think about this, AP2.

Clear Air Turbulence

“The great gift of such periods is that they invite us to question our certitudes, our givens, these seemingly sure foundations that have lulled us into complacency — for it is only by being jolted out of our complacencies, cultural or personal, that we ever reach beyond the horizon, toward new territories of truth, beauty, and flourishing.”

Maria Popova

So much of what I’ve heard this year from family and friends has centred around what they miss. The things they took for granted before the pandemic. Wishing and hoping for some return to normality.

While it’s nice to daydream I believe such thoughts take you away from the present moment. Where you live. Where it’s most important you find things you’re grateful for.

For that reason I thought I’d turn the topic on it’s head and ask you all what you will miss from this time in your life

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29 Responses to The Things That I Will Miss

  1. jane tims says:

    In the middle of summer I found myself worrying, not about the pandemic, but about the return to normal. I have enjoyed specific things about this time (not the suffering or the fear): the time with my husband, the time to write, the excuse to avoid shopping. These are the things I will look back on and miss. I think some of them can be engineered to include in normal life.

  2. iidorun says:

    The extra time with my kids is definitely a “perk” of this pandemic. I actually hope we don’t “return to normal” – there were so many things that wasn’t that great pre-pandemic. I would love to see us be something better than what we were before.

  3. Awesome! Thanks for the share. I also read somewhere that changing a sentence from “I have to…” do something to “I get to…” makes a big difference.

  4. OmniRunner says:

    I will miss the intermingling of work and personal time. This may seem odd, but it allows me to be “away from my desk” for a few hours during the day if I have something to do.
    I will miss stepping into by back yard when I need to decompress for a bit. My grass and garden did pretty well this year in spite of our drought.
    To keep my daughter off of pubic transit I have been driving her to work. We have been able to connect more as adults and I will miss those conversations.
    We always take for granted what we have. Right now we have a little extra time and changes in our routines that allow us to do things we could not do in our old hustle and bustle.
    I love a post that makes me think.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      It sounds like you have made good use of this enforced remove from the relentless hustle and bustle of “normal” life, OmniRunner. The trick will be to find ways to incorporate some of these “wins” into your post-pandemic world. Actually, running was one of the things that brought me the kind of release you’re describing when I was mostly taken over by the hustle and bustle. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Inkplume says:

    More time to be outdoors. Since March, I have taken many long walks. Besides the physical benefits, they gave my mind time to wander freely, observe, and disconnect. I also dabbled in gardening (a first!) this summer and found that I quite liked it! I’m not good at it … but I liked it. Thanks for a great post!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Great examples, Linda. Hopefully all of us will remember the joy we got from doing things we “never found time for” in the busyness of our usual lives and make some adjustments.

  6. Because my husband and I work from home, our days during the pandemic are not so different than they were before the pandemic. Mostly we stay at home and work on our projects. We seldom eat out or travel. In that way I guess we are lucky in that we have not been restless or stir crazy.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Aha, so you’d been practicing for life during a pandemic! I’d say the same thing about being retired and finally having gotten the hang of not having something pressing at all times. I’m glad you’ve found yourself in this less stressful situation. We’re both among the lucky ones.

  7. bernieLynne says:

    Like a couple of others I will miss the lack of obligations. I have so enjoyed no commitments; no volunteer time and no sports and no meetings. I’ve really enjoyed the quiet time which is interesting because everyone who knows me thinks I am a total extrovert but I guess I am evolving.

  8. Jean says:

    Intriguing. Well, I will miss the roads where the city shut them down this spring-fall for cyclists. I doubt one of the roads would ever be converted permanently into a bike parkway or even install bike lanes.

    For this time, to miss cleaner air because of less cars and quietness of city core right now. Of course, not good for businesses.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks for reminding me of how quiet the streets were when this all first started, Jean. The quiet and the cleaner air were unintended but very welcome side effects. In Ottawa they’ve closed down a few streets (parkway along the river) for cyclists on Sundays for years. Maybe it’s time for a petition!

  9. Lookoom says:

    The extreme fluidity of time between personal and professional life in WFH.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      It’s great that the work-life fluidity is working well for you. I think it’s working really well for some people and really not well at all for others. For those in your category, with a little luck perhaps some of that fluidity can be retained in the future. Thanks for bringing this up.

  10. A fascinating, thoughtful post. I will miss the slower pace of life that I’ve really come to enjoy. Being asked and/or expected to attend events when I’d rather stay home and read or write or relax will definitely be missed.

  11. Paulie says:

    An excellent piece. Thank you for sharing Jane. I now have another blog to follow.

  12. AMWatson207 says:

    Unchallenged solitude. (Thanks for asking)

    • Jane Fritz says:

      That’s a nice way of putting it, AM. I know exactly what you mean. Finally enjoying spending time alone is an advantage as opposed to something that needs an excuse or at least an explanation.

  13. dfolstad58 says:

    I liked that people spent more time outdoors. I also enjoyed being able to convince my family to have an outdoor bonfire at the beach for family gatherings. I think some people have discovered that dressed appropriately that there are no seasons that are not wonderful for a sashay along the water.

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