Today, after nearly four months of being together around the clock, my husband got on an airplane and left. For the whole week. Our nearly four months of togetherness ended. Just like that. It feels so abrupt.
Work is part of a good life. I knew work travel would come back. It did not get me down and I am not worried about Kris’s safety. What I did feel over this past weekend as Kris prepared to leave though, was a profound savoring- a savoring of this unique and special time when my little family was all together all the time for nearly four months. A time we hopefully will never experience again.
These times have been hard. They have been far harder for some than for others. As we move through the summer months and hopefully get back to normal, maybe it’s a good time to savor.
Maybe you are headed back to the office soon or are getting back to travel yourself. Maybe you are looking to the Fall and the likelihood of your kids returning to school. Whatever the reason, your COVID Quarantine is coming to and end too and when it does I bet it will feel abrupt for you, too.
What will you miss that you are currently getting to do? What fond and loving memories will you bring with you that you are creating right now? Is it more time with your dog? Getting to cook a pancake breakfast for your family whenver you feel like it? The rhythm and freedom that comes from not needing to set an alarm or iron clothes? Being able to wear sweatpants and knowing everyone else on the Zoom has roots growing out too? Maybe you’ll miss the stillness and quiet- the empty roads and momentary feeling that the whole world was in something together.
I’m not romanticizing this horrid time we have lived through. I’m not dismissing those whose livelihoods have been destroyed. I’m not pretending this was a joyous time.
Still. Many of us felt moments of profound beauty amidst this horror. It’s good to savor them.
Savoring is a Practice
So maybe now, as we slowly roll out of COVID Quarantine, we can step outside of the experiences we are living to appreciate them. We can share these special moments with others by talking about them. We can file them away as a reminder that sometimes even horrid times have moments worth savoring.
None of us knows what the future holds. Certainly though, we have all gained a heightened apprecation of the everyday things we will practice gratitude for, instead of taking for granted.
A hug from a friend. Hopping in the car without thinking to grab a coffee with your mom. Inviting family for Sunday dinner and not giving a thought as to whether or not it’s safe. Riding an escalator with gaggles of strangers. A quick trip to the grocery store because you forgot the Tahini. Attending a new networking event, in person. Play dates. Dinner with friends.
Amongst the devestation of destroyed lives and livelihoods, there are some things we can glean and hold onto going forward- things that can make life more beautiful. Savoring can help take those things with us.
In your last days or weeks of quarantine, maybe you will pause a little more, notice how long sleep stays on the face or your soon to be 14 year old. Maybe because you are up later than normal, you will look in on him sleeping and savor that covered up in bed, your boy looks like the tiny guy he will always be in your mind…not the young man who is taller than you without wearing shoes or standing on tip toes. Maybe those extra moments can be savored and held onto forever.
Maybe you’ll let the smile spread from ear to ear that you don’t have to rush up when your sweet pup has fallen asleep on your lap. Instead, you might feel the way the sun warms her fur and how relaxed her body is from feeling safe with you, and let it overtake you.
Maybe you will spend an extra twenty minutes in your garden, since you don’t have a commute. You might let the scent of the hydrangea be the only thing you notice or marvel that you can spend time on yet another day watching that seed turn to fruit!
This was not a beautiful time, but there were certainly moments of beauty. As your COVID Quarantine comes to an end, whenver that is, I hope you find moments you can savor- beautiful moments that might end up defining this time for you, when it is all a distant memory. I wish for all of us that quarantine moments pop up unexpectedly on busy streets and tight schedules and that these recollections feel dreamy and put a contented smile on your face, and mine.
Whatever it is that makes you feel happy, the time to savor is now. The time to savor what makes you happy is always now. I’m not sure this is something the people of Earth have ever collectively felt before. This was not a lucky time, but aren’t we lucky to know this now, together?
Some of my happy quarantine memories that I savored. Gardens, guitar, yummy food, water balloons, family tennis, awesome stories, and outdoor concerts. What are some of yours? Will you share in the comments?