At the end of 2021 most of us were desperate for the Christmas break to come and offer some reprieve from the year we’d just had. Especially those of us in NSW and Victoria, we wanted a change of scenery or to have freedom to be in the world doing things we previously enjoyed.
There had been so much anxiety, overwhelm, and depression throughout the past 2 years dealing with the pandemic and the changes we needed to make. Many of us kept working straight through until the Christmas break. What was the point of taking time off work any earlier to sit in lockdown at home?
From my end I was looking forward to spending time with my family and friends. We’d all missed the face-to-face contact with each other. Then as Omicron ripped across the state our gatherings, birthdays and Christmas plans were pared down or cancelled. Friends who were on holidays became sick. Some on their return were holed up with Covid. Being somewhere else this Christmas break wasn’t feeling as appealing anymore.
We received the news on Boxing Day that my younger daughter was a close Covid contact. She went into a week’s isolation to see if symptoms developed. I laid low at that time, as I knew that if she was infected then chances were that I’d also be. She was fine. That was my first week of holidays.
As we move through the first days of 2022 everything was closing down even more. So many of us were not going to restaurants, cafes, cinemas, family picnics, or being with friends for fear of exposure to Omicron. Even though we’re so used to this as we’ve been here before, we’re still disappointed. It’s feeling a lot like lockdown.
I’d also been looking forward to going to a health retreat by myself for 5 days. I first booked this in June 2021, then as Delta swept in I moved it to October, and then rebooked for January. I’d worked hard this year as a therapist supporting my clients through variants, restrictions, and lockdowns. I’d worked hard on my online business helping partners reduce couple conflict and improve their communication, and I’d also worked tirelessly to write a book for my publisher in just 3 months. I was ready to kickstart 2022 with a healthy-tude and loads of physical activity.
I was ready to read books by a pool, attend different classes in the retreat’s gym, do stretching and yoga classes, and to have time to myself. Secretly I was beyond excited at the thought of having 3 healthy meals per day prepared for me. This is because I’ve been completely over cooking for 8 months. Forget entertaining at home ever again – I’m over that too. I’ve been doing the entertaining gig for years, even decades, and it’s over – I’m cooked. So yes, I was disappointed to cancel this due to Omicron ripping around our state.
Then on 3rd January my older daughter called to tell me she was positive to Covid. I’d enjoyed being with her the two days prior to this. Despite not officially meeting the criteria of a close contact we’d been together in my home (she lives out), in my car, playing with our dogs, and we’d greeted each other with hugs and kisses. Fortunately, she hasn’t been too unwell as she isolates on her own. As a parent it’s so hard to drop food and pharmacy meds off at the door and walk away.
So many of us now have Covid. Young and old, it’s not discriminating. Everyday I’m hearing of more people I know with it. I’m still laying pretty low and doing RAT tests in case I have it too. I don’t want anyone becoming sick from me. This is my second week of holidays. I’m disappointed as it’s nothing like I thought it would be.
But why should it be what I want it to be? The last 2 years has taught us not to become too attached to what we want and how we believe life should be.
Prior to the pandemic, we were so fortunate that we could count on many things happening that we put in motion. We were not even aware how fortunate we were to be able to plan a few days away and count on getting there. We didn’t blink when we booked a restaurant knowing it wouldn’t need to be cancelled. We had no idea we couldn’t hug a parent who lives only one suburb away. We could rely on life being more or less what we wanted it to be.
So, it’s fine to be disappointed. You are and so am I. We’re all in a strange place where we either fear becoming sick, are already sick, or are waiting to see if we are sick. And we’re all sick of Covid. Yet we need to remember that we’re still in a pandemic. There will likely be more disappointment for all of us to come. However, what it does mean is that we will cherish the times ahead when we are able to hang out with our friends and families without the C-word, go on a trip as planned, dance in a club, or be in a restaurant with a free mind again. We will appreciate our everyday in a way we never really did before, and this will feel so joyful.
Image source: Shutterstock (1698309571)