8 Things I Took for Granted That I Now Miss

Much like Keith to Watts, there were some kinds of wonderful that I took for granted

When the global pandemic was declared in March 2020, I don't think I realized that we'd still be going through lockdowns and isolation over a year later. I have written in the past how even though this has been a very hard year emotionally and my career has taken a huge hit, there has been a lot of great things that have come out of this year.

I've mostly focused on how it has allowed me to have more time with my kids like being more hands-on with their learning or being able to see them overcome fears like learning to bike. It also allowed our family to go up to Medeba three different times through the year, and there was something magical being able to share such an important part of my life with my kids.

Another thing that the pandemic has done is allowed me to really appreciate things that I used to take for granted. Maybe even things that I often didn't really even like and often wished wasn't a common part of my life. Now, after a year of the new normal, there are many things that I now kind of miss and hope to take full advantage of after Covid is under control and no longer a daily threat.

Here are eight of those things.

Big extended family meals. Of course, you have to get together for a big family dinner on the holidays. Sure, I did enjoy the company but during Christmas and busy times, I felt preparing for them were just another rock under the mountain of stress. It seemed when talking about family gatherings that many people talked about them as hassles or a burden. Now, I realize how great it was being surrounded by people you love and just being able to share time with each other. Sure, we have Zoom, but it is much harder to pass the mashed potatoes now.

Handshake or hug. I never would have thought that I enjoyed shaking the hand of someone I met or hugging an aunt as she was about to leave. There is something unique and special about that platonic human touch that helps connect us.

Physical store shopping. I hated spending an afternoon at a store. I hated being lost in the sea of people. I prefer doing my shopping online or not shopping at all. But after a year of mostly being home and getting the same scenery everyday, there is a small part of me that is wistful for the days of hopping around the shopping mall.

The movie theatre. I loved going to the movie theatre before the pandemic. It was my church. It was a place to feed my soul. But I did it every week and often for the sake of work. I don't think I really realized how much I loved it and how desperately I would miss it now. I would be willing to do a Pauly Shore marathon if it meant I was in a movie theatre again.

Going for a beer with a friend. Again, I like hanging out with my friends. But before Covid, I'd often get some social anxiety. I would sometimes find excuses to stay home or push the date by a week or so. Now, I am starving for just a few hours chatting about meaningless stuff or going down the path of nostalgia with long-time friends. I did not hang out with my friends much now that I am older and have kids and a freelance writing business, but now I swear that my goal is to find ways to spend more time with my dear friends.

In-person meetings with clients. I did almost everything that I could to avoid in-person meetings. I still don't think meetings are often very productive. But again, a year of being stuck at home has made almost all social interactions a golden treasure that must be valued. I may arrange a few more after this is all over.

Being able to host. This is another thing that we didn't do often. I will confess that a lot of that is due to me finding it very stressful. But over the last few months, I keep finding myself wanting to tell a neighbour or someone that I am talking to that we'd love to have them over for dinner when that is an acceptable thing again. There is part of me that would love to cook a big meal for a few guests and just spend a few hours soaking up company and getting to know someone better.

Family vacations and trips. Sure, I love going on a trip with my kids and feeling their energy and excitement. I also found them stressful and trying to fight the urge of stressing over the writing work that I wasn't getting done. Now, I just yearn for a day trip to Canada's Wonderland and feeding off the excitement and energy of my kids again. Part of this comes from knowing my kids are getting older and we just lost an entire year of trips and experiences together.

What things have you missed this past year?