The Undiscovered Country

I am wondering how we might all be different when this passes.

Of course, there will be logistical responses, including new medical practices and safeguards that will protect us better in the future. Perhaps at the airport of the future, we will be scanned for sickness while our luggage is scanned for firearms. Maybe we’ll have to wear badges that indicate we’re not sick, and our job interviews might require a doctor’s clearance. I don’t know exactly how this will play out, but somehow we need to get moving again, and fast, toward each other, and back to our restaurants and coffee shops and factories and birthday parties. But there won’t be one day when a siren sounds, and we’re all good to go. We will resume our social lives slowly, with new fears and new hesitancy. I’m having a hard time imagining what normal will look like, but I’m pretty sure things will be different.

Things will be different, but will I? What’s happening to me? Can I observe my reactions to this and learn something of myself? My wife and I have made some lovely meals in the past few weeks – meals we might not have made unless, well, you know. Tonight I will be making pasta from scratch for the first time. I find myself listening to music – really listening to music instead of just having it on the background. This domesticity isn’t for everyone, but learning to be more content at home might be something good for many of us.

I realized today that it might be a long time before I can make an appointment to get my hair cut. So, don’t be surprised at the ponytail you might see in a few months. And don’t be surprised at other changes you see in me – I may make different choices, and I may place a higher value on that half of a red onion in the refrigerator, or the sound of the birds in my backyard. I may slow down in many ways, while my creative life might take greater flight. I may make an even more significant commitment to reducing my carbon footprint. I may say no to that professional gig that doesn’t feel quite right, and seek out another that does.

Those of us who are business types aren’t the most reflective of people. We like to move, to create tangible results. But in all of this that looks empty and slow and boring and restrictive, there is movement. Watch it happen, listen to it, and talk it out with friends and co-workers and family. 

What might be possible in these changes- in our world and ourselves?

About the Author

Sarah Thomson

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