As we hit the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, life has changed dramatically for many of us.
It is hard to imagine one year ago that life would stop and time would seemingly stand still. Our regular activities of going to the gym, going to the office, seeing friends, shopping, going to the pub all stopped suddenly. Ended. Life as we knew it took on a fragile quality. At some points it seemed that the very structures of our world would collapse.
One year on and, as a society, we are still hanging on in there. As individuals, many of us have changed. Forced to stay home for months on end with our thoughts — we looked for reason. For stability. Some have lost loved ones, some have become desperately ill. Our world has experienced a seismic shift both in our inner and outer worlds.
For me, I had so much anxiety in the early days of COVID that I launched myself deeply into meditation. I had always dabbled in a practice but this was clearly a time to get serious. I needed to stay centered, not just for myself, but for my family. My teenagers’ lives were shaken upside down. Exams canceled. University plans altered. Graduation amended. Boyfriend-time paused. For them it felt like life was ending.
I sense that so many people are awakening in this time in history. I have talked to many that are going through a transition — looking for a new job, a new career. A new way of life. A move to the country. A slowing down to savor life. Plans are being adjusted — perhaps to a slower, more gentle, way of living.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our world. So many have suffered and died, with many being separated from their loved ones for extended periods of time.
But on the crazy hamster wheel of existence, COVID-19 has also given us the time to get off the incessant treadmill and look at our lives from a new perspective. In this way the pandemic has given us an incredible gift — a silver lining to the dark cloud of the past year.
I will never be the same. I am curious to see, as a society, where we will go from here.