Once the pandemic started, life began to feel almost surreal. The daily, routine activities that kept our day to day lives predictable practically disappeared overnight. Months later, what do we make of the state of the world?
This has been a humbling experience to say the least. On March 1st, I had settled into my job with Modera after being there for a year and a half. I was just weeks away from both getting married and closing on a new home. Life was good, and predictable. Then the weekend the pandemic hit, nothing felt guaranteed. This new, strange virus was now at our doorstep.
Lisa and I quarantined ourselves in a one-bedroom apartment just outside of NYC. Worse yet is that we both contracted COVID despite our precautions and spent March and April fighting the (thankfully) mild symptoms. We both found our careers as financial advisors, so this coincided with an economic shutdown and dropping markets.
Here are some things I’ve learned during the pandemic:
Be flexible: Life is unpredictable, so being able to maintain your flexibility is important. Lisa and I postponed the reception to our wedding twice, ultimately deciding to have a small private ceremony this October, with plans for a larger ceremony and vow renewal next year. Through all of the emotional conversations around postponing our wedding, we learned that being open-minded about changing our plans was better for our sanity, instead of forcing ourselves through the big day and risking getting others sick. Even still, we don’t know what next year will look like until it’s here. We might have to postpone our next ceremony again, but being flexible makes that okay.
Look for the silver linings: Even though changing our wedding plans was a negative experience, I always like finding silver linings in every bad situation. After the pandemic began to unravel, we found ourselves better able to settle into our new home. We rescued a puppy, and since we both work from home are able to train it properly. Through our 8-year long relationship, our lives have always been strenuous. This pandemic has allowed us to connect with each other on a deeper level and face challenges together that we never thought possible.
Impact on Others: COVID has reminded us that our collective actions impact those around us. Being able to see what’s going on in the world around us from home has allowed us to self-reflect and reinforced our need to be empathetic to those around us. Whether this is wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, or trying to correct the divide on social justice in our nation, it’s apparent that our words and actions have consequences.
The abrupt entry of the virus into our lives has forced us all to stop and live in the moment. It may feel surreal, and we may want to skip to next year, maybe this year is what we all needed. When reflecting on my life during the course of the pandemic, I can’t help but think that we would all still be trapped in our own bubbles had the pandemic not forced us to be more mindful of others. We will always have to face new challenges, but perhaps our new normal will include making every day better than the last for everyone.
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