Joy has returned.
After an incredibly difficult 18-months, the world seems to have suddenly turned the corner, and reasons to celebrate can be found in the every day.
Sure, there were things to be grateful for during the pandemic. For me, I’m grateful that my family remained healthy, and that the people closest to me were not seriously stricken with a virus that killed so many. My prayers continue for those who were not so lucky in that regard.
Last year, our family spent a lot of time in the safety of our back porch. Our son turned a baby-faced 12 in March 2020, just as his school shut down and 6th grade saw an unceremonious end. By March 2021, he had grown a full five inches, and because we were all home together, his transition from boyhood to teenager happened before our eyes. One evening I was still taller than him; by morning, I was not. I swear it happened over night.
This year, we learned to play the socially-distanced sport of golf together; I honestly never thought I’d say that. Now that we’re all vaccinated, my husband, who does not golf, is carting us around so we can play while he watches and sometimes plays DJ via iPhone. We all laugh a lot, and the family time we’ve gained has made me a little leery of leaning all the way into life as it was pre-pandemic.
Still, life is returning, and that’s certainly joyful.
This week, I had a couple of lunch meetings and some client meetings (wait for it …) in-person. I’ve been back to Rotary, and I’ve participated in the wild and crazy activity of dining buffet style. Next week, I have a formal event to attend. With people. In real clothes. I bet there will be dancing.
Speaking of crowds, people crowded into Hall of Fame Stadium this week to watch the Sooners softball team win a national championship. The bleachers even included my father on one evening – part of the electric crowd that saw the Sooners take Game 2. God, that was fun.
Over the last year, I’ve missed sporting events and charity galas. I’ve missed newsroom visits and lunches with friends. I’ve missed Rotary.
But I’ve also been able to appreciate the quieter times necessitated by covid. Covid can kick rocks, but the time I’ve spent laughing with my family and finding joy on my own back porch … I hope it lives on. For all of us.