Life’s had a lot to teach us this year. It’s ok if you feel tired! We’ve had to change our habits and routines, and pivot to new ways of doing things with safety in mind. It’s helped me to slow down and be grateful for the most basic necessities: health, shelter, sustenance, family connections, and a reliable high-speed internet connection. But to be honest, I really miss talking to people with my whole face. Don’t get me wrong. I’m more than happy to wear a mask so we can be together safely. But I miss showing people that I am smiling or laughing. I miss being able to touch a friend’s hand or give them a hug if they are sad, or nudge them with my elbow when we’re both in on a joke. I didn’t realize how much of a touchy-feely person I was until it stopped being socially acceptable! On the positive side, I’ve learned to prioritize self-care. When I make my daily to-do list, I now include things like: go for a walk with my daughters, read a book, listen to the latest Brene Brown podcast while cooking or working out.

Do you know that expression about living in interesting times? We’re clearly there. I asked our clinic team what they miss the most, and have learned about themselves over the past year:

Sarah

One of the things I miss most from pre-pandemic life is being able to be spontaneous. My family and I used to spend our weekends going to new restaurants, parks, or activities around the city on a whim. Now the preparation, research, and planning required for any trip makes that difficult. One positive has been slowing down and developing new daily routines, such as taking an evening walk to visit some goats and chickens in our neighborhood or building a blanket fort for cozy book-reading.

Laura

There are a lot of things I miss about pre-pandemic life (eating out at restaurants, going to see live music, vacations with friends and family), but being at home most days has allowed me to cultivate some creative new interests. I am now a plant lady apparently (my little green friends even have names). I grew a couple of avocado plants from pits during the quarantine. One of them is named “Avo-COVID.” I’d say the best thing that came out of all of this, though, is the quality time spent with my family, even though we drove each other bananas at times. My kids and I really upped our craft game too.

SLP Laura with the plants she had grown

Colorful painted Hopscotch stepping stones backyard project

Lauren

I miss going to concerts and traveling the most! Some things that have sparked joy during pandemic life are having my pets nearby while working from home, sunny day bicycle rides, and supporting friends and small businesses whenever possible. I’ve appreciated how much flexibility, creativity, and grace we’ve all demonstrated this year. A couple of new hobbies I’ve taken on during quarantine are learning how to keep houseplants alive and playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends every week. I look forward to being able to travel again but am extremely thankful for everything I have now that keeps me healthy, safe, and comfortable.

Christina

Things I miss about pre-COVID life include traveling, seeing family on the East Coast, and going out to eat. I think the pandemic has taught me to appreciate the little things like walks, cooking new recipes, and discovering new hobbies.

What has life been teaching you this year? We hope all of our clinic families are finding ways to find joy and connection in this strange time. Let us know if you’ve tried something fun with your family that others in our clinic might enjoy.