There are a lot of things I miss since coronavirus scared, scarred, and upended the world.
I miss the large number of people I used to freely associate with. I miss seeing the bottom half of people’s faces. I miss the wonderful customer service we used to receive from restaurants and other stores. I miss a normal workload.
I miss live events, especially sports, music, and movie theaters. I miss roaming about my city, country, and world in what was surely the heyday of global travel. I miss knowing that I could shake hands or high-five anyone I encountered. I miss the trust we used to have in immune systems, the ones that largely kept our species alive for hundreds of thousands of years.
But mostly, I miss being treated like a trustworthy human instead of a disease-carrying leper that should be avoided. That’s a gross feeling to confront on a near daily basis.
That said, I couldn’t have stomached and mostly thrived over the last three months had it not been for the following:
Being closer to my brood. It sucks that the world suddenly got a whole lot smaller. Although I already spent an abnormal amount of time with my family as a work-from-home writer, I’ve gotten to spend even more time with them. They are even cooler than I thought, and they really like me back, it seems! Although I’m an extrovert, it’s been easy to channel my inner-introvert with my loving and supportive wife and devoted and smile-inducing children around.
Playing tennis with my wife twice a week. I met my wife Lindsey in college and we played tennis often during our first year of courtship. After kids, a career, and everyday life took over, we quit playing tennis for close to 15 years. Not anymore! I play with my wife twice a week for a couple of hours each time. Since we’re perfectly matched, we push each other and have gotten better than ever. I hope to play with her the rest of my life and am already worried about how to keep it going in winter.
Making music again. I used to be a pretty good musician as a teenager and twenty-something. I played in several bands and wrote and recorded a lot of original music. Since quarantine started, I’ve recorded eight new songs that I’m largely proud of (which I hope to release soon as a compilation). I also started a band with three other guys named Ashton, Caleb, and Jayce that are really fun to play with. We’re planning to rent rehearsal space and gig around town, which is exciting. I’m singing better than I ever have and am learning more about music nearly every day.
Slower paced lifestyle. I used to be a planner. I still am, but I’ve put a lot of my usual scheming and long-term plans on indefinite hold. That feels good. Although I plan on planning again, it’s nice to just be and exist in the extra free time I’ve been afforded when compared to the past.
Living in Utah. Since fully converting to the gospel of Utah in the early aughts, I’ve deepened my love for the state and staycation here often. With much of the country and rest of the world on lockdown, however, I’m even more grateful to live in such a diverse, National Park rich adventure state. My family and friends have enjoyed a lot of new hikes and unsung corners and have taken to the local outdoors nearly once, if not twice a week sometimes. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and that’s a wonderful feeling to have.
BONUS: I finished my second book the day America shut down (on Friday the 13th). It was a surreal feeling to complete it that fateful day. Although I’ve only made minor edits in the months since, it’s been uplifting to read “phenomenal” adjectives from early reviewers and see the book nearing its scheduled August publication.