Guest Blog by reader Bhavani Chandramouli: With a professional background primarily in strategic communications, she now fully enjoys exploring her interests in reading, health and fitness, gardening, traveling and most recent passion, her baby granddaughter.
July with its long sunny days, warm nights, sandy beaches, sun-dappled parks and
glasses of sparkling drinks at the ready marks an unofficial midsummer in my heart.
Hesitant steps into summer are now firmly tethered. Third year into the pandemic, travel
has restarted, celebrations are back, meeting family and friends re-initiated and dining
out once again part of our lives. Most of us would like to believe that we are now – deep
breath – in a post-pandemic world. Yet, is it life as we knew it?
Our Covid restrictions and mandates have been lifted but care and precautions persist.
To mask or not to mask is still a constant internal query, ensuring that we are boostered
and up to date with our vaccines has become part of our lexicon. Looking at Airbnb's for
a getaway? We’re making sure we’re looking at “super host” ones. Hotels and flying –
we wonder if we should avoid weekends where the crowds are likely to be the greatest.
Looking to go out for an evening, our immediate thought is give preference to outdoor events and activities, outdoor dining not indoor ones. Threading caution into our day-to-day can be unsettling. Sometimes, it seems to be easier to take the path of least resistance, stay
home and order in. Therein could lie listlessness and the need to force purpose, reignite
life with meaningfulness and laughter.
Thinking back, the time of Covid, a period that researchers are now calling an
“anthropause” in human activity, had its own purpose – in its very restrictiveness.
Ordering our daily needs, finding intent in daily trivialities were themselves fulfilling.
Staying in touch with family and friends tested our creative limits. We set timetables
and calendar-ed our days and weeks with care. As an unexpected side effect, this
forced pause greatly benefited our environment we are finding out, as nature took a
deep smog-free breath.
As we get ready to resume what could become an “anthropulse” of activity as one
researcher terms it, we are being told to consider simply living with Covid as a constant
backdrop. This is making “many people feel more depleted and less able to complete
daily routines”. This phenomenon even has a name – “resilience fatigue” – which
apparently is the “exhaustion people feel after a prolonged period of having to stay
motivated or positive”.
Tentative steps forward
Rather than thinking of this as “back to normal”, I prefer to think of it as a new rhythm to
my life laced maybe with caution and more thoughtfulness. In many ways this only
means being more present, more today than tomorrow. I used to set schedules and
dates to ensure a productive usage of time thinking of time as linear, sequential with a
beginning and an end. Now, more than ever, I see the fluidity. While I am making
travel and weekend plans they are firmly anchored in the knowledge that these may
need to be cancelled or rescheduled. And, that’s okay. My garden is thriving and I am
loving the lush, thick green all around me. Planned socializing with small groups is
providing conversations and laughter. I am not overcommitted or double booked!
There’s a new cadence to life. And, that’s calming, rejuvenating, even uplifting.
Like many around me, I am reclaiming a sense of rhythm, one day at a time.
We are stronger together