Take the opportunity to reflect on your own post pandemic bucket list. It may help you identify the things you value most in life.
The other day a friend and I were discussing, digitally, of course, our hopes of seeing the end of this trying time. He mentioned that there are many things he is looking forward to doing once life gets back to normal and also that he regrets the many nights and weekends he spent at home versus being out and about. This got me thinking about what my post COVID bucket list will look like, and what things I miss the most.
I have to admit the things I miss most are rather simple. The greatest burden has been that I am unable to see my nephews as often and in the manner that I would like. They are now either shrouded in masks, or safely ensconced behind the protective glass of an electronic device via FaceTime. Sleepovers, hugs, kisses, and cuddles now require planning and quarantine periods. So unsurprisingly, what I look forward to most is seeing them more, seeing them without barriers, and being able to see them spontaneously.
The missing of family, however, extends beyond my immediate local circle. There are cousins, aunts, and uncles living near and far that I would very much like to be able to see. My relatives in New England, whom I have had many transcontinental digital visits with during COVID, would very much like to come and visit in person rather than talking about it as an obscure possibility sometime in the distant future. Currently, such would require them to quarantine for fourteen days after their flight before they could even enter my house, which just renders visiting not quite worth the effort. My list of those I am looking forward to having come to visit, or being able to go visit is extensive and growing longer, the longer this pandemic continues.
Sadly, and this will reveal just how limited my exposure has been, I am even looking forward to being able to freely and easily schedule appointments with my doctors. Currently, I have modified how I have sought out medical care, utilizing digital appointment technology, and making other choices regarding risks and benefits when it comes to what appointments they schedule and how I schedule them. I am rather looking forward to being able to just schedule an appointment, without having to plan and deliberate over my choice to schedule a doctor appointment as though it is some sort of major, and life threatening, decision.
Oddly enough, a few days prior to writing this, one of my nurses asked me what I was most looking forward to being able to eat at a restaurant after this is all over. My reply was that I do not really miss restaurants; my mom has done a lot of delicious and creative cooking which has more than satisfied any food cravings I have had. She has learned how to make new things, and is fortunately a very good cook; therefore, I have discovered that food is more rewarding when you put in the effort to make the foods you crave from scratch. They taste better, are undoubtedly healthier, and the reward which comes from delayed satisfaction due to the preparation and effort involved in making the food heightens the delight in enjoying said meal.
Ultimately, the reflection inspired by my friend who realized he had taken for granted the freedom to enjoy a busy activity filled weekend has helped me put into perspective what I have learned from the restrictions of this past year. It was a good reminder in not taking the things that we have for granted, particularly the freedom to be able to safely be out in society. It has obviously heightened my appreciation for the simple, but most valuable things in life, such as family, friends, and good health, as these are the things I miss most and look forward to being able to enjoy in the hopefully not too distant future.
Yes, the travel needed to visit with much of my family is a bit more extravagant, but I am looking forward to the company I shall keep more so than the destinations I might enjoy through travel.
Lastly, I have gained an even deeper appreciation for delayed gratification. It seems that fast-paced instant gratification does not satisfy in quite the same way that those things we must strive to achieve and enjoy do.
The next time you are bored with what you have been entertaining yourself with during COVID, take the opportunity to reflect on your own post pandemic bucket list. It may help you identify the things you value most in life, and it may help heighten your appreciation for the things that you do have. If you are missing good food, take the time to learn how to make it at home, not only does it give you something to do, it makes it taste that much better!
Finally, as much as we may have grown to resent having to communicate with our loved ones through digital platforms, appreciate that we have those tools available to us and think of how much worse it would be if we could not at least see and talk to those we are missing. Take advantage of that technology and reach out to your friends and family – they are most likely just as bored and lonely as you are.
The views expressed by Loa are not necessarily the view of the Ventec Life Systems, its members or the clinical board. These blog posts are the personal experiences of Loa. The blog posts are not intended to provide clinical advice or training related to VOCSN. Always consult a physician or trained clinician prior to using VOCSN. Please refer to the VOCSN Clinical and Technical Manual for detailed instructions, including indications and contraindications for use. VOCSN is available by prescription only.