Many things fell by the wayside this year. And when I say 'fell', I mean we clung onto them with naïve optimism until it was impossible to hold on any longer.
We held onto our holiday plans and told ourselves ‘it was too soon to call it’. Then the travel ban was imposed and we were suddenly confronted with the prospect of *summering* in Sydney not Sorrento - god forbid.
We held onto event plans until there were restrictions imposed on the number of people who could attend, and then we put them on the back-burner too.
We also let the routines and habits that steered our lives drop off as well.
Listen to Mamamia Outloud where Mia, Holly and Jessie discuss how we all now have a fear of going out. Post continues after podcast.
But even though we had to let these things go, there was always a sense that we’d pick them back up once this is all over. That we’ll start where we left off when this was done.
But what about the things that you’re happy to leave behind?
Rigid working hours, probably?
The daily commute, perhaps.
Social obligations, definitely.
Friendships that have been sustained over multiple years due to convenience and comfort but not shared values, interests and aspirations?
Alas, it is here we begin the story.
You see, the pandemic has widely been reported to have taken a toll on relationships and friendships. As interactions become more virtual, relationships with loved ones were strained and connections required more effort in order to stay afloat.
When stress was high and our minds fatigued, we had a limited budget of social energy to spend and so were put in a position where we had to choose carefully who to spend it on.
We always do have this choice of who we surround ourselves with, but it’s not always laid out this clearly.
We came to realise who we wanted to talk to, comfort and support during this time, and who wanted to do the same for us in return. Like with any major life change, it becomes apparent fairly quickly who is willing to share your pain with you.
When the world devolved into utter chaos and the structures that held life together rendered meaningless, I looked for meaning within my immediate vicinity.