As I was leaving the gym, I commented to one of the ladies about how big her “baby” had become. As we exchanged pleasantries about our children and how fast they grow she said, “It’s like the pandemic stole time.”
She couldn’t be more correct. The pandemic made 2020 feel like a decade while simultaneously ripping precious time from our hands.
My days felt extra long as I tried to manage multiple classrooms on zoom, referee non-stop arguments, and work from home; all while trying to figure out how to get essentials without leaving the house, but also, for my sanity, needing to leave the house.
The pandemic took more than just toilet paper and paper towels from the shelves of the grocery stores. It eliminated more than just the end of school years, proms, graduations, weddings and even funerals. Closure wasn’t given, goodbyes not said and a sense of accomplishment wasn’t felt.
One day became another and then another until it felt like 500 days had passed in a week. We didn’t gain more hours in our days or more days in our months in 2020. It only felt like it because, I think, the one thing we tended to waste the most was suddenly available to us in copious amounts. It is said that time is the most precious commodity; but having so much of it, while experiencing such a lack of it, has been for me, one of the most confusing parts of 2020.
For us, the pandemic cut out a lot of things that took up time, but it also took away our time. We should have been visiting my grandfather as he recovered from a brain bleed, because after all, we had the time. But, because of the pandemic, we couldn’t see him, hold his hands or talk to him. We had to settle for difficult communication through a window.
We “had all the time in the world” but we didn’t have time WITH him. And it was more time that we longed for when he was no longer with us. Losing him, I have realized that it’s not more time to do things that I need, it’s more time to be WITH my people that I crave.
I have mourned the loss of loved ones in 2020, I have grieved over the lack of closure and the absence of “normal”, but as the saying goes “hindsight is 20/20” and looking back I can see where my priorities had been skewed and how the management of my time had been used wisely and also wasted.
2021 has begun, and time is continuing to march on, but if if 2020 has taught me anything it is that “Time isn’t the main thing, it is the ONLY thing”. (Miles Davis)