I’m starting to anticipate that these long months of hermitage will be coming to an end. There will be a day—I’m thinking that it’ll be sunny and warm—when I can put my collection of face masks into the back of a drawer, and come out into the world without worrying about the dangers of hidden viruses being spread just by my breathing.
That will be a good day, whenever and however it comes—perhaps soon? So it makes sense now for me to start getting ready for its dawning.
After almost a year of relative isolation, I’ll need to be ready for crowds again—roistering, noisy, happy and lingering groups of people who just want to see and touch each other! I’ll want to remember not to be the first person to speak—lots of other folks will need to be heard. I’ll need to review the places where my social graces could use some polishing up, where my social intelligence quotient definitely needs improvement. In that vein, I’ll definitely remember to be patient about encounters with others—there will probably be a lot of awkward moments as we rediscover each other again.
It makes sense for me to dust off my memories about what used to be normal, ordinary or appropriate. At the same time, I will need to accept that new routines and expectations have replaced some of what used to be comfortably commonplace.
Why talk about all these matters now? I’ve mostly accepted the elements of a solitary existence, and won’t easily set them aside in favor of what’s newly true, necessary or hopeful. That’s why getting ready for the warmth of treasured, physically proximate relationships will require some effort.
But what fun that will be…!