It’s mid-February and we’re experiencing the mid-winter in Toronto with recent snowfalls of 10-15 centimetres. Torontonians have just been informed that they will stay in lockdown for another two weeks. Although I agree with this measure since there is an increasing number of COVID variant cases in Toronto and it doesn’t appear wise to reopen the economy, I have to admit that I am really feeling the effects of the pandemic, especially during this cold, snowy winter. Never in a million years would we have known last February what was in store for us in the following year!
We also don’t have the regular markers of time such as holiday celebrations. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we have the markers, but they go by unnoticed. Although Family Day weekend was last weekend, we didn’t celebrate like we usually do. In pre-pandemic times, we would have enjoyed a Family Day weekend visit with my sister and her family and a visit from my brother and his family the following day.
Despite the negative aspects of the pandemic, there have been many positive outcomes. Below is what I have learned during the pandemic:
My closets are super organized
I am almost finished decluttering my home! This was one of the projects I scheduled to tackle during the pandemic. Okay, it’s taken me about a year, but I have to admit, that it makes me feel better whenever I open a drawer and don’t have to fight to pull the drawer out because it’s jam-packed with clothes. I also love looking at my super-neat bedroom closet – yes, I know, I have to take the thrills wherever I can get them! What I have learned during the pandemic is it’s important to regularly organize my closets, cupboards and drawers as I feel so much better when I do this!
I’m much more well-read
I also feel good about the number of books I’ve read in the past 12 months. I have definitely surpassed my reading goals. I even ventured more into the non-fiction genre and I am so grateful that I did because I came across a few books that really impacted my thinking – in business and in life. These books are: Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas, Do Less by Kate Northrup and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss.
I feel physically good
I guess I have finally gotten into the groove of the pandemic. Although I was feeling anxious when it began last year – especially about going out to the grocery store – that anxiety has generally abated. Because I (along with most people) haven’t had any places to go and all of my blogger events have been canceled, I have to admit that I am more rested than usual and I have been taking the time to make healthy meals such as these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Tahini Sauce. As a result, I do feel much better physically than I did last year. I even have more energy. How ironic!
Here is what I have learned during the pandemic:
I miss my family and friends
Although I was able to have visits with some family members last year when we were not in lockdown, since moving into lockdown, that hasn’t been possible. Whereas I may have taken family get-togethers for granted in the past, the pandemic has taught me that they are special occasions and I should look forward to them and treasure them. I honestly can’t wait until our whole family can get together again! I also miss getting together with my friends for laughter-infused dinners, theatre nights and weekend getaways. And no, Zoom calls are not the same!
I miss going out for dinner
In “normal times”, I actually don’t go out for dinner that often – once or twice a month at most. But not being able to go out for dinner for a whole year (with a few exceptions last summer), has been really tough. I love both the social and culinary experience of getting together with family or friends over a great meal and I’m finding I am really missing not being able to do this. What I have learned during the pandemic is I need to honour these get-togethers and make sure I schedule them more often once the pandemic is over.
I miss my blogger events
As a Toronto-based influencer, I really miss my blogger events. They are such fun events that are well organized and as bloggers, we are treated very well. The events provide an exciting break in the week and we get to learn about new products on the market. But it’s the social interaction that I really miss, including the chance to dress up, meet other bloggers and find out about what they’re doing.
I miss going to the theatre
I love live theatre and have had the chance to review many plays and musicals on this blog. Each summer, I usually attend either the Stratford Festival or the Shaw Festival and I often see a play or two at Canadian Stage or Harthouse Theatre during the year. Watching a live theatre performance really makes you feel alive and engaged. I can’t wait to go to Stratford or Niagara-on-the-Lake once the pandemic is over.
I miss shopping
I’m not a huge shopper – not like when I was working at my corporate job and bought clothing every two-to-three weeks! But I do miss being able to wander around in a store, see and feel the selection and decide whether I
want need something or not. Online shopping has really improved and it’s often not too difficult to return an item – but it’s not the same as shopping in person!
I do hope we see the end of the pandemic sometime in 2021. Although the pandemic has given us more time to clean our homes and try new hobbies, not seeing family and friends and having a non-existent social life is definitely taking its toll! Hang in there, everyone!