One day while I was taking a walk outdoors, I saw a little girl boarding her bus for school. And shortly before she was off, I noticed she was wearing a face mask. And it bothered me. It bothered me because it reminded me just how much things have changed since we’ve all been living in a global pandemic. It reminded me of how much I miss all the things that were once considered normal. And I have to say, I really miss what normal feels like. I miss all the things that once felt normal before living in a pandemic.
I miss being able to go out without having to grab a mask and practicing social distancing. There was once a time when we could all go out and never had to worry about doing these things.
I miss going to brunch without having to scan a code to access the menu on my phone. Who would have ever thought this would become a thing?
I miss seeing educators light up when talking about teaching and changing the lives of children. I don’t enjoy seeing them stressed, struggling, and wrestling with burnout due to virtual learning and increased work responsibilities.
I miss giving out the biggest and warmest hugs. The kind that just feels so special because you care about the person you’re hugging so much.
I miss going to concerts and listening to live music. Sure, different shows and performances can be streamed online, but there’s nothing like the real thing—things like having your ticket stub as a souvenir and seeing the cool opening acts. Plus, the energy in the crowd and the pulse of a stadium make a difference too. It’s hard not to miss all that.
I miss spending hours in coffee shops and bookstores that still exist. There’s something special about chillin’ in a coffee shop and a bookstore with a warm drink in hand and browsing through as many books as you want for as long as the store is open. You never know what you might come across that strikes your interest.
I miss planning trips. I miss looking up the prices of the best hotels and travel destinations that I’ve always wanted to visit. Maybe I’ll still get the chance someday.
I miss going to the hair salon without having to wear a mask throughout the entire appointment. It’s not a major deal, but before things changed, it was cool walking into a shop and feeling the energy of other women in the room who were laughing, chatting, and spilling all kinds of tea between one another and the different stylists.
I miss the normalcy of a regular dentist appointment. I miss waiting in the front lobby and skimming through outdated magazines instead of having to sit and wait in my car because of social distancing. I never imagined I’d have to wait in my car until it was time for my appointment, have my temperature checked, and then grab some hand sanitizer before going in for a routine cleaning.
I miss getting massages and having all the stress and tension relieved from my body that I’ve been carrying. I’m uncertain if massages are even safe to get during this time.
I miss going to church on Sundays and walking into a building filled with families, smiles, worship music, and joy. I know some churches are streaming their services online now, but it’s just not the same.
I miss watching sports and seeing crowds and crowds of fans fill the stadiums cheering for their favorite teams. There’s nothing like rooting for your favorite team and just hoping to see them bring in another win. It’s an exciting feeling.
I miss going to local sporting events, having overpriced beer and hot dogs, and sitting in the stands, just taking it all in, especially during the spring and summer.
I miss going to the movies. I miss standing in line for tickets. I miss the smell of the buttery theater popcorn and figuring out where I want to sit, so I have one of the best seats in the house. I also miss all the previews that played before the actual movies would start.
I miss going out with my friends and staying out as late as we want without mandated curfews. I get that the curfews and regulations are in place to keep us safe, but it’s always nice to link up with good friends when you can. No one should have to go through this time alone.
I miss going to the gym for a great workout and leaving with the feeling that I just kicked some major butt on another elliptical machine.
I miss the commute to work that gave my day a regular rhythm and routine. Trying to get through stop and go traffic stinks for sure sometimes, but at least it was normal.
I just miss what normal feels like, you know? The everyday things that some of us may have taken for granted. I miss them so much. And I know we may never go back to what was, but I can’t wait to see things change for the better. Man, I can’t wait.