Memory, Transformation & Legacy
The Covid-19 pandemic changed all of our lives. Everyone can relate to ‘before and after Covid’ as a timeline of sorts when discussing their experiences. Some of us have gone into a slow motion sort of re-entry when it comes to shopping and socializing.
Instead of jumping right back into our communities the way we would if there’d been a snow storm that kept people inside for a few days, Covid has left a lasting memory of long term illness and death for many. Its effects are still felt — deeply and in shadow. We now have “The New Normal,” and even, ‘re-entry,’ as part of our national lexicon.
What does “The New Normal,” mean to you? Does it hold you back and if so, in what ways? Has it all changed the ways in which we look at life and examine our own actions, both internally and through external actions?
The stories we still see of the Covid-19 pandemic carry a lot of weight and impact for future generations. This includes historical versions of ancestry, a journey of discovery, facing trauma, and of course, the anecdotes — funny, sad, fantastical and memorable.
Our stories of family can be any number of incidents we cherish and remember. Or we might feel the need to revisit them for greater understanding. Especially, the memories we need to heal in order to live better lives for our future selves. Covid brought this front and center.
We carry those memories with us like an invisible overcoat.
They can wear us down.
Steal our thunder.
What is your social life like today?
Do you remain a bit distant, find yourself staying out of stores and places where there are ‘too’ many people? Do you cringe a bit inside when you hear someone cough a little too loudly or too long?
How does all of that affect;
Not to mention mental health aspects and physical liabilities brought on by long-haul Covid issues for some.
Writing about your feelings and how the pandemic affected you, can open the door to emotional healing.
The term “Re-entry,” no longer belongs to NASA and space satellites. It belongs to the average guy and gal. Kids too.
What was it like for you and your family? Did re-entry come quickly or are there places and areas where you think twice about entering? I didn’t realize I was affected until a year later when I was still staying home. It was just;
Too much to go out and mingle.
I had little outside interaction.
Not enough laughter in my life.
Especially not enough fun.
I was almost frightened to go out.
Driving started to become an issue. That’s when I knew I was going down a strange and foreign rabbit hole of fear. And, I needed to do something about it.
So, I started writing. Not for publication, but just for me. I wasn’t looking to go deeper into craft at that point, but to keep myself sane. And, I wasn’t journaling either. I was writing vignettes.
Anecodotes and small things that jarred my psyche or caught my mind in some way. It was my thinking time, my experiences, my feelings and my actions. Internal and external.
I felt it was time to stop acting a hermit. Time to crawl out of the shell I was crafting for myself and my world.
I needed to return to being social and leave the land of isolation alone.
I went back to the gym on a steady basis.
Saw muscle definition again. Slight, but still something.
Stopped at the grocery store for something or another.
My energy started to come back.
Stopped mindless eating and let go of the covid weight.
Felt better about myself.
Looked better too.
I felt like I’d returned to the land of the living from a place that was a distant memory, one I no longer chose for myself.
I felt better when I wrote about how I felt. And, I wrote it all down.
My first thoughts were to rip it all up and throw it away. The energy of that time was dark. Dull. Stagnant. It was reflected in our politics, our conversations, our online presence. I didn’t want to read it or think about it anymore.
Why would anyone else?
Then I recalled the moment I turned my own corner of thought. Something deep inside pushed at me. I wanted to go out and see my nephew’s band play. I wanted to go shopping. I wanted to dance out loud!
Wallowing in sadness of the time lost no longer suited me. I wanted to move forward. No matter how dark it first felt, that would change.
Going back to the gym without a mask, traveling to a writing conference, seeing my family in Michigan, all meant forward movement to me.
I started to smile again. Shine, even.
That’s when I knew I was back. I felt like myself again.
I was flying without a mask.
Over the past few years of ‘before and after’ Covid, I’ve come back to knowing it’s all about choice. How to feel, how to live, how to dream with purpose and conviction.
Change was not only in the air, but I claimed what was mine.
I discovered have a choice how I live my life on an inner and outer level.
So do you.
Our task is doing it the best we can. Without blame or remorse. Regret or sadness. Owning the time spent.
Writing about the year that brought “The New Normal,” into our lives through story gave me a timeline into another aspect of who I was.
So, circling back to where we started;
What does “The New Normal,” mean to you?
Those stories of recent events carry weight and impact future generations. They are the historical versions of the time we lived in; our ancestry, the journeys of discovery, ways we faced and stood up to the trauma, and of course, the anecdotes — funny, sad, fantastical and memorable.
They belong to us, individually and collectively. They are the times of our lives.
Our stories of family can be any number of incidents we cherish and remember. Or we might feel the need to revisit parts of the past for greater understanding and awareness.
You know what they are; the parts we need to heal in order to live better lives. We carry all of them with us like an invisible overcoat.
With each generation though, stories can lose their meaning and purpose. They can be pushed aside with cherished histories forgotten.
Why not let generations of your family come to know who you are and where you came from? Your life is a legacy to the future.
You can share your memories by writing them so they won’t be forgotten but recorded on your own trees of life.
By the time you finish, I can guarantee you’ll have the basics of something only you can craft — a memorable piece of your life in the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic and re-entry into your own New Normal — as the effects of that time fade and help shape your views of the world.
The power to create;
Scene by living scene;
Belongs to those of the future.
Isn’t it time to get started on your legacy story?