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  • Writer's pictureJill Helmer

Close Your Eyes and Count to 10

Close your eyes and count to 10.

10 months ago today life changed dramatically for many of us. At the close of business on March 12th, many of us remember our places of employment shutting down, our schools closing, and our restaurants and gyms shutting their doors.

While there have been fits and starts of reopening and reclaiming a slice of “normal,” it is safe to say that we find ourselves in a very different place than we did pre-pandemic. I think it is safe to say that the last 10 months deserve a few minutes of our time and reflection.

Close your eyes and count to 10.

How has your life changed in the last 10 months? How has your work changed? How are your relationships different with your partner, your kids, and your extended family? And how have you changed as a result?

Close your eyes and count to 10.

What do you miss the most about life as it was pre-pandemic? What can you not wait to do again?

What will you miss when this is all over? Some of my introverted friends readily admit they will miss the “free pass” at no social events. Other friends who have children about to leave the nest know that they will miss the extra time the pandemic has given to them.

Close your eyes and count to 10.

How have you grown? Some will joke and say two pants sizes, but I am speaking more to internal growth. Are you more spiritual? Are you more patient? Are you more resilient…hint, it would be very hard to say no to that question, folks.

Close your eyes and count to 10.

Where have you lost ground? Personally, I have lost some of my spunk and optimism. I am more skeptical and less trusting than I was a year ago. These developments are not solely attributed to COVID, but they are attributed to the way I have seen people react under the stress of the moment. I am someone who has high expectations of others, and the last 10 months have let me down.

Close your eyes and count to 10.

Who have you been the proudest of during the last 10 months? Who has exceeded your expectations? If you had a crystal ball last January and knew what was to come, who would you have been the most worried about? Did they surprise you?

Close your eyes and count to 10.

I am hopeful that one of the people you are most proud of is you. I know we are not giving ourselves enough credit for waking up each day and putting one foot in front of the other during a pandemic. I know we are not in awe of how quickly we have adapted to changing conditions and cancellations. I know we still hold ourselves to expectations and milestones that belong in another time period. And I know we can’t see clearly now just how far we have come, but I do hope that we can in the future.

Close your eyes and count to 10. You made it this far. I am proud of you.

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