There are so many things that I appreciate now because the pandemic took them away.
I didn’t realize how many things in life that I simply took for granted. When these things were taken away, I yearned for them. I can’t wait to throw myself back into all these activities when life eventually returns to normal.
Here are the things that I took for granted in pre-pandemic life.
I have always loved the theatre, but with the pandemic putting a halt to productions, I feel like a huge chunk of my heart has been ripped away. I really miss being backstage with castmates before a performance begins. You can hear the audience beyond the curtains and there is a nervous excitement running through everyone. I miss costumes and makeup and hairstyles that let you become someone else for a while. Mostly, I miss the pure joy of singing and dancing on stage with other people who share and multiply that joy.
I swear that I will appreciate every second of theatre when it resumes, even tech rehearsals that run late into the night. I never would have guessed that I took late-night tech rehearsals for granted.
I also miss sitting in the audience at shows. I appreciate any excuse to dress up, especially now that I have nowhere to go. Also, my daughter is now old enough to enjoy theatre and we like to go to shows together, just the two of us. It reminds me of my own childhood when I attended shows with my mother. I can’t wait to take my daughter to a show and discuss everything in detail on the ride back home.
I have loved libraries my entire life. I miss them so much, particularly for my children. I’m lucky that my local library has been amazing at providing projects and online activities for children. Still, it’s not the same as attending events in person. I also miss browsing the shelves for books or movies and coming across something unexpected that you turn out to love wholeheartedly. I appreciate the librarians most of all.
I’m looking forward to spending rainy days at the library once again. My kids look forward to summer library trips with a side trip to get ice cream next door. I won’t be able to say no when everything is finally open.
I’m quite surprised that I miss potlucks so much. It’s obvious that I miss parties, with the chance to mingle and chat and be surrounded by friends, both old and new. However, I particularly miss the chance to eat food prepared by other people. It’s a chance to try something that I would never make myself. I also appreciate the stories behind people’s food offerings. I don’t tend to host too many potlucks myself. I took for granted that invitations to potlucks would come, and I invented excuses for not hosting like having a small, messy house and a dog who enjoys stealing food. However, I vow that I will host more potlucks as soon as it is safe to do so.
Singing is my greatest passion in life. The feeling that I get singing in a choir is indescribable. I love hearing how the harmonies fit together and being a part of a powerful wave of sound. Singing in a choir has always been a part of my life until the pandemic put a sharp stop to it. I’m lucky that the choir I sing with, the Vermont Choral Union, has worked hard to put some singing opportunities online. It’s better than nothing, but it’s just not the same as singing together in a group, in person. Honestly, I will probably cry the first time that I can sing with other people once more. They will be tears of pure joy.
I miss wearing lipstick. This is surprising because I generally only wear lipstick on special occasions. Now there are no special occasions. Also, my face is constantly hidden away under a mask. When I have a Zoom meeting where I don’t have to wear a mask, I now count that as a special occasion and take the chance to wear lipstick. When masks are no longer necessary, I will wear lipstick just because. I wish I took advantage of the opportunities I had to look special. I won’t wait for a special occasion to appreciate myself.
I have loved museums my entire life. My favorite days as a child were the ones where my mother and I skipped school to visit a museum. I have come to appreciate them even more since they haven’t been available. I have had a membership to the Shelburne Museum since my children were small. I usually visit once a week over the summer. This year, I felt lucky when we got to visit twice. While I value the online offerings from museums all over the world, it’s just not the same experience as wandering around and discovering things in person. I won’t take museums for granted again.
I also miss visiting museums in different towns or in different states while on vacation.
This brings me to another thing I took for granted: trips away from home! Planning trips is not something I enjoy, but I am looking forward to planning a getaway whenever it’s safe to do so. I can’t wait to see new things and explore a place I have never visited before. My son has his eye on a maritime museum in Massachusetts. What an experience that will be!