Merriam Webster defines redefine as “to reexamine or reevaluate especially with a view to change” or a transformation, in the sense to “the change of character or condition.” I was trying to find a new way to describe this time period that we are currently navigating through. We’re hearing phrases such as “the new normal” or “new way of life.” There are orders of quarantine, confinement, stay-at-home, shelter-in-place, lockdown that have been in place/are being put into place and it sounds like a lot to process, to say the least.
We are in survival mode. We are living day by day, not really sure what the next day will bring. And that is okay, that is enough. I’m not so much struggling with being confined to our tiny apartment. I delight in the fact that I spend most of my time in our kitchen. I am cooking 2 meals a day as well as playing with dessert recipes. That is my happy place, that is where I thrive the most. I am struggling with the never-ending articles and posts and opinions on social media that I see every day about this pandemic. The numbers, the things that should have been done, things that weren’t done, how much money is being spent (or not spent). This isn’t going to be easy and I recognize that and the only thing that I can do is listen to what the health specialists are recommending and do that to the best of my ability.
Life is completely different than it was 30 days ago. I currently spend all my days at home, in a 250 sq. ft. apartment with my husband. I feel like I live in a tiny little bubble, up here in my Parisian tower where the only view of the world is the quintessential slate grey rooftops sprinkled with crumbling stone chimneys and orange smoke stacks. I do venture out every 6 or so days to the grocery stores, but I have my list in hand, I know the layout of the store and I get in and get out. I only talk to the grocery store workers and try to maintain the recommended 1 meter distance (but others don’t usually respect that). We do have virtual apéros and group chats, but it’s not the same.
We are in a season of redefinement that has been brought on by this pandemic. We are all looking within to see how resilient we are. Businesses are being forced to rethink how best to use their resources. Restaurants are being turned into community kitchens, distilleries are being turned into hand sanitizer producing facilities, 3D printers are making face masks and other PPE equipment and a whole slew of other changes. When we are on the other side of this pandemic, life will be not like what it was before. How we choose to act and react once the peak has hit and the curve is flat will ultimately shape the future. There is a lot that is uncertain right now and I don’t know exactly what it will be that I will need to do in the future, but I know that I will have a different outlook and perspective. What are the lessons that we are learning right now? What are we hearing now that we have a change of pace? How are we redefining and going to be redefined in the next day, week, month, year? How are the decisions that we’re making going to shape what will come tomorrow? I read this phrase on the internet somewhere, “if you have the ability, then you have the responsibility.” We are all able to make a difference, we all have the responsibility to figure out what that is. Continue to be kind to one another, even after the vaccine is found and continue to support and show up for people in any shape, way, or form once the social distancing limitations have changed. We’re all that we’ve got.