May I start by saying that this year has been SO hard, seriously I feel like ten years in history have been condensed into just six months. With that being said, I want to talk about something that many people might have experienced during this time but stray away from discussing, and that is grief.
Yes, the kind of grief we feel when we lose someone, in this case, our lifestyle. At the beginning of the quarantine, many of us were in disbelief; with time, some of us got used to it (I’m a homebody anyway), but for some, this process has been challenging.
Just like when someone we love dies, we have to go through a series of stages to go “back” to where we were. In this context, it won’t be that simple. First, because we don’t know how much longer this will last, and second, because, maybe we are not meant to go back to how things were before this pandemic occurred.
There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment. People are being laid off of their jobs, friends and family members have been lost, and some are struggling to make ends meet. But in the midst of all this, I feel like we’ve had time to reflect on our lives, what we have done so far, and what we want to do next.
If there is something I’ve learned during this period, it is to be even more grateful for everything and everyone that surrounds me. I can’t explain the joy and sense of calmness I feel during those morning walks I take next to my dog, the first sip of a warm cup of tea or the wind that comes through the window on a sunny morning, but if there is something that has made me feel whole is spending time next to my family.
In the past, we were always on the move, constantly looking for the next thing to do, so much that we became restless. Complaining about not having enough time to do what we wanted was part of our daily routines, but now that we are forced to stop, what are we actually doing with our time?
I’ve always thought that life is both too long and both too short. 85 years (which is a rough estimate of how much people live nowadays) seems like a lot of time, but the truth is that time has a very interesting way of going by.
When we are young, we want to grow up so badly that we don’t learn to enjoy those years, and when we are old enough to understand how precious our time in this earth really is, a couple of years have already flown by. This is why I think of my time as a nonrenewable source, money and commodities can fluctuate with time, but once time is gone, we can never get it back.
Remember those stages of grief I was talking about previously? Well, according to the Kübler-Ross model, the actual name of this concept, there is a specific order in which everything happens. I think you can live multiple stages at once, and that is exactly what a lot of us are dealing with.
As of lately, I have found myself thinking more often than not, that time is extremely limited. Life has an interesting way of showing you what you need to appreciate more. In my case, losing my grandma, seeing my mom on an ICU, and not being able to spend time with my brothers, were the lessons I needed to gain that knowledge. Was it the way I wish I had learned it? Definitely not, but that’s how it was meant to happen.
All of these situations made me realize that I don’t want to live with regret, and now that I’m aware of this, I want to be present in the moment – I know everyone says that nowadays – but truly, I want to invite you all to really be present in every single moment of your life, and in the process learn to enjoy the good, the bad and the ugly of what life has to offer.
For me that’s what living without regret really means, being present, trying new things, spending time with family and friends, not worrying about others opinion of how I choose to live, cutting ties with people that don’t make me happy, learning and improving myself, helping others and letting things go.
In conclusion, our lives are like books, some chapters will be amazing and you won’t want them to have an end, some will make you cry, and some you will be tempted to skip altogether, but if analyzed, those are the most important ones and add more meaning to your story.