I Miss … (notes from quarantine)

I wrote this in response to a writing group assignment. The assignment? [T]ake 20 minutes … to write about the following: In light of how dramatically our lives and communities have changed with the advent of this pandemic, what do you miss? Start your assignment with the words, I miss….

I miss change. Not the kind of change that’s a major life change (although the pandemic is a major life change all on its own) or getting a new hair style or trying a new exercise class. I miss the change that came with my daily routine.

As I exist essentially housebound—being with the same three people every single day—I also see the same walls. The same stain on the same carpet. The same views out the same windows. I miss seeing other views, smelling other smells, and connecting with the wide range of people who I’ve learned create value and connection in my life, whether it’s in casual interactions or through deep friendships and shared experiences.

It’s ironic that it’s this that I miss. How many times has my husband come home from work just to listen to me complain? About meetings at my kids’ school, driving to gymnastics and tae kwon do, running errands, driving the same five-mile-radius around our home over and over? About not being able to go for long runs midweek with friends because of being tied to my kids and obligations at home. 

I thought I’d miss my weekend long runs with friends (I do miss those!), hugging friends and extended family (definitely miss that too!), and social nights out (yes, I miss those as well). But, today, I find myself checking the calendar several times a day because I cannot keep track of what day it is. They’re all the same, a blending of time and space that feels both infinite and confining. 

That’s why I miss change.

Gifts during a pandemic: TP, hot chocolate mix, and vodka!