What I Have Learned During the Pandemic

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I have been enjoying more time to read during the pandemic.
I have been enjoying more time to read during the pandemic.

It’s mid-February and we’re experiencing the mid-winter in Toronto with recent snowfalls of 10-15 centimetres. Torontonians have just been informed that they will stay in lockdown for another two weeks. Although I agree with this measure since there is an increasing number of COVID variant cases in Toronto and it doesn’t appear wise to reopen the economy, I have to admit that I am really feeling the effects of the pandemic, especially during this cold, snowy winter. Never in a million years would we have known last February what was in store for us in the following year!

We also don’t have the regular markers of time such as holiday celebrations. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that we have the markers, but they go by unnoticed. Although Family Day weekend was last weekend, we didn’t celebrate like we usually do. In pre-pandemic times, we would have enjoyed a Family Day weekend visit with my sister and her family and a visit from my brother and his family the following day.

Despite the negative aspects of the pandemic, there have been many positive outcomes. Below is what I have learned during the pandemic:

My closets are super organized

I am almost finished decluttering my home! This was one of the projects I scheduled to tackle during the pandemic. Okay, it’s taken me about a year, but I have to admit, that it makes me feel better whenever I open a drawer and don’t have to fight to pull the drawer out because it’s jam-packed with clothes. I also love looking at my super-neat bedroom closet – yes, I know, I have to take the thrills wherever I can get them! What I have learned during the pandemic is it’s important to regularly organize my closets, cupboards and drawers as I feel so much better when I do this!


I have been enjoying more time to read during the pandemic.
I have been enjoying more time to read during the pandemic.

I’m much more well-read

I also feel good about the number of books I’ve read in the past 12 months. I have definitely surpassed my reading goals. I even ventured more into the non-fiction genre and I am so grateful that I did because I came across a few books that really impacted my thinking – in business and in life. These books are: Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas, Do Less by Kate Northrup and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss.

I feel physically good

I guess I have finally gotten into the groove of the pandemic. Although I was feeling anxious when it began last year – especially about going out to the grocery store – that anxiety has generally abated. Because I (along with most people) haven’t had any places to go and all of my blogger events have been canceled, I have to admit that I am more rested than usual and I have been taking the time to make healthy meals such as these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Tahini Sauce. As a result, I do feel much better physically than I did last year. I even have more energy. How ironic!

Here is what I have learned during the pandemic:

I miss my family and friends

Although I was able to have visits with some family members last year when we were not in lockdown, since moving into lockdown, that hasn’t been possible. Whereas I may have taken family get-togethers for granted in the past, the pandemic has taught me that they are special occasions and I should look forward to them and treasure them. I honestly can’t wait until our whole family can get together again! I also miss getting together with my friends for laughter-infused dinners, theatre nights and weekend getaways. And no, Zoom calls are not the same!

I miss going out for dinner

In “normal times”, I actually don’t go out for dinner that often – once or twice a month at most. But not being able to go out for dinner for a whole year (with a few exceptions last summer), has been really tough. I love both the social and culinary experience of getting together with family or friends over a great meal and I’m finding I am really missing not being able to do this. What I have learned during the pandemic is I need to honour these get-togethers and make sure I schedule them more often once the pandemic is over.

I miss my blogger events

As a Toronto-based influencer, I really miss my blogger events. They are such fun events that are well organized and as bloggers, we are treated very well. The events provide an exciting break in the week and we get to learn about new products on the market. But it’s the social interaction that I really miss, including the chance to dress up, meet other bloggers and find out about what they’re doing.


I miss going to the theatre

I love live theatre and have had the chance to review many plays and musicals on this blog. Each summer, I usually attend either the Stratford Festival or the Shaw Festival and I often see a play or two at Canadian Stage or Harthouse Theatre during the year. Watching a live theatre performance really makes you feel alive and engaged. I can’t wait to go to Stratford or Niagara-on-the-Lake once the pandemic is over.

I miss shopping

I’m not a huge shopper – not like when I was working at my corporate job and bought clothing every two-to-three weeks! But I do miss being able to wander around in a store, see and feel the selection and decide whether I want need something or not. Online shopping has really improved and it’s often not too difficult to return an item – but it’s not the same as shopping in person!

I do hope we see the end of the pandemic sometime in 2021. Although the pandemic has given us more time to clean our homes and try new hobbies, not seeing family and friends and having a non-existent social life is definitely taking its toll! Hang in there, everyone!

 

45 COMMENTS

  1. Lori, you are so right. Thanks to the pandemic, many things in and around the house is more organised compared to when things were busier. I wish I had more time to read. I am definitely sleeping better and on time.

  2. I miss going out for dinner too. I used to go rarely with my friends but I’d love to be able to meet up with them for a meal and escape the kids for a few hours.

  3. Thanks for reminding us to be thankful during the pandemic; sometimes it’s hard to not get overwhelmed by it all. I love that you took the time to organize your home and read more! I also organized my home quite a bit, but I think I did more baking than healthy eating :/

  4. All these were great learnings, even though my pandemic experience was worse but it taught me many things which I appreciate now!

  5. There have been positives and negatives during the pandemic. I’ve enjoyed the slower and less stressful pace of life. However, I also miss social gatherings and events. I think things will resume slowly because the thought of too many events seems overwhelming. Hopefully, we will have time to adjust.

    • I agree that the pandemic has been a mixed bag. The slower pace has been nice in some respects, but like you, I miss family and social gatherings. I wouldn’t want things to ramp up quickly either…that would be too risky! Cheers, Lori

  6. My heart goes out to you! I’m from Victoria, Australia and we had some harsh lockdown laws last year. My work closed down for over four months last year and I was only able to leave the house once a month (if that) to get medication.

    I also de-cluttered my house HEAPS, but I couldn’t actually get rid of a lot of the things I no longer wanted, as all the charity stores I donate my belongings to normally were closed, so there were boxes everywhere for ages 😅

    Whilst it’s gotten a lot better where I live because we were so strict with our lockdown for so long, we still have to be careful because there’s new kinds of the virus now. I wasn’t very social beforehand, but I crave any kind of human interaction I can get now! I will never take being able to leave the house for granted ever again.

    • Wow, that would be tough to not be able to leave the house except for once a month! Yes, some of the charity stores have been closed here too although they do allow us to drop off clothes. Yes, I heard that Australia was really strict with their lockdown, but it looks like it has paid off. I agree that I will try not to take human interactions for granted when we are out of lockdown! Cheers, Lori

  7. This is so right. Despite the negative impact brought by pandemic worldwide, there are still a lot of good things happened in personal and family level. I realize how much I miss many things because of work life. but when lockdown started I filled those gaps.

  8. Well, as for me, I didn’t missed going out for dinner even if it lasted a year. What I missed is to not wear any facemask when going out. 🥺

  9. I agree there are positives and negatives. It has been nice to be more focused on my family and not constantly running from place to place. Looking forward to getting back to normal.

  10. I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing as well. I also have been reading a lot. I love to read, so I’m glad I picked up on that again.

  11. Aww…this pandemic really is making a big impact in our lives. Many have changed, both better and worse. I hope this will end really soon. As you said, hang in there!

  12. The last year has thought me so much about myself and about my friends. I work on healthcare so I did not have that much time free but I did clean more than before for sure

  13. The pandemic has changed so many things and it is so unfortunate. However this is a silver lining to it all. I have learned so many things as well. Most importantly that family is the most important thing.

  14. You are right, it’s been a love hate relationship for me as well. Glad to have the time to be do things that I’ve always wanted to do, but hard not being able to go to events, shop or hang out with friends. Let’s hope the end is near!

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