Opinion: New Realities That Aren’t So New

Six months into various versions of lockdown, I am still processing my new realities, and sometimes with humor.  For example:

—On my trip to Costco, my grocery checkout was quick, but the line at the liquor store wrapped around and outside the entrance. Yes, our imbibing has outflanked our ingesting.

—“Zoom” is no longer used to mean, “I’ve got to rush somewhere” and is instead translated to, “I will be anchored to a screen with many tiles of faces staring at me for the next hour.” We even have an official diagnosis called “Zoom fatigue.”

—My kids keep asking me if I am practicing “proper social distancing” and “Are you wearing your mask?” I asked a similar question about safety years back, so we are now full circle.

—“Boredom” wins the top mention in most household’s word cloud. My advice? Subscribe to BritBox and enjoy the exquisiteness of the many British crime series. “Prime Suspect” is simply as good as it gets  —  all seven seasons. After that, enjoy DCI Banks, Endeavor, Unforgotten and Broadchurch. We’ve watched them all.  Sports? Who needs that, says a Boston Bruins, Celtics, Patriots  and Red Sox fan?

—I have become a patient driver. I am no longer in a rush, and I seldom sound the horn. I will acknowledge that the lack of traffic contributes to my calm.

—There are new dog owners on every block. Some are clueless, others not. Almost all seem happy that they have a four-legged companion who doesn’t judge them and only shows love.

—I am officially part of the group that waits for the urge of exercise to pass. Exercise will be back, but for now, I can only claim that I know others who do.

—I am considering the purchase of “fashion masks” since nothing else I wear is fashionable. I am saving tons of money on the clothes not purchased.

For all these new realities (and those I haven’t mentioned that crop up every day), the expression “this too shall pass” comes to mind. In the meantime, I am going to observe the many peculiarities around and within me and act responsibly, even if it doesn’t rise to the standard of my children.

When I get philosophical, I muse that the reset to my life has been important in both large and small ways. It is large when I realize how few things I actually need.  It is also large when I finally listen to my right knee that has been telling me to play less tennis. It is small when I get to meal planning.

Meal planning goes like this: Two dishes where one is a salad with lettuce from our garden, and the other is a “main” such as salmon or chicken. It is totally sufficient — especially when followed by ice cream, where we have told ourselves that the light meal makes dessert a guiltless experience.

The new reality is bringing some blessings, but of course I will be ready and waiting when the time is right to usher in some habits of the past. Maybe the term “hybrid” will have new meaning as applied to pre-COVID and post-COVID lifestyle.

New realities equal new appreciations, and the ill wind has actually blown some good.

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