COVID-19: The Things I Didn't Think I'd Miss

There's a lot about the "old normal" that's not worth going back to, but there's a lot about the "new normal" that's made me appreciate things in a new light of late. In no particular order, a list of things I miss during these COVID-times that I never expected I'd miss:

  • Hugging my friends and family with the kind of hugs that say more than words ever could about how much they mean to me
  • The energy of running with other people, be it on a group training run or toeing the starting line of a race
  • Marshall's
  • Aimless, time-wasting, meandering trips to the grocery store
  • Thumbing through books at the library, wondering who else had touched and read and learned from the pages before me (without also wondering what germs they left behind)
  • Taking a colleague to coffee to get to know them outside of work things
  • Shoes
  • Not planning my hair and makeup and glasses on workdays based on what I think will look best over Zoom
  • Sitting around a conference table with smart, passionate people who want to change the way philanthropy works to talk about how we can make that change a reality
  • High-fives
  • Those days when your schedule leaves you with an awkward gap of time between appointments/meetings/what-have-yous, not enough to go home but too long to do nothing, so you find a coffee shop and sit with a book for just long enough to forget the world for a few minutes
  • Those same days, except that awkward time window aligns with happy hour
  • Buying hand sanitizer, paper towels, hand soap, Clorox wipes, and toilet paper without feeling like I'm going on a safari hunt to find them
  • Browsing stores rather than websites
  • Receiving physical galleys of books to review (publishers have mostly switched to digital review copies, which is of course more economical and environmentally friendly, and also makes note-taking and dog-earing nearly impossible)
  • Sitting at a bar
  • Wearing dresses
  • Airplanes and trains and staying in hotels
  • Getting my eyebrows done
  • Scoring my favorite spot in a crowded restaurant
  • Last-minute potluck get-togethers with neighbors
  • Knowing I have the option to go to the movies if I want to, even though I never want to
  • The quiet, collective breathing in in-person yoga classes
  • Planning trips--and having trips to look forward to
  • Conference calls (not every conference call now needs to be a Zoom meeting, y'all)
  • Lunch dates
  • Dangly earrings (which do not mix well with mask loops)
  • Speaking and author events
  • Knowing when I'll be able to see my geographically distant friends again with a reasonable amount of certainty
  • Knowing anything with a reasonable amount of certainty
  • Thinking I knew anything with a reasonable amount of certainty
  • Did I already say Marshall's?

What's on your list?

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