Pep Talks for a Post-COVID New Normal

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In case returning to “real life” requires a little encouragement

I listened this morning to the “Wait, We’re Not Ready” episode of the fabulous What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood podcast — and let me tell you, those ladies have apparently hacked into my brain. I couldn’t have done a better job of summing up all the reasons I’m kind of OK with continuing to stay in my pandemic quarantine bubble — as long as we can still ditch COVID and I can see my favorite people, of course.

Photo by Ardian Lumi via Unsplash

The net-net of the show? No, we’re not quite ready yet to begin a post-coronavirus normal. And that’s OK. But as amazing things in the DC area continue to reopen, we will all want to be back out there again — so I thought I’d share a few pep talks I might or might not have given myself in recent weeks, on the following topics:

Seeing people again

It’s gonna be OK. I mean, we’re gonna see each other in person again at some point, right? And everyone looks a little different than the last time we saw each other, right? It’s gonna be fine. Focus on their faces. Be happy to talk to someone without a screen between you again. 

Getting ready to go out and see people again

OK, so — need to find some real pants. Do I have any real pants that fit? Hmmm. 

Actually, on second thought, do I truly need to wear real pants? These people have only known me since I became a mom, and I’ve basically worn leggings since that happened, so surely real pants aren’t required, right? Right. Fabulous. Leggings it is.

Realizing it’s more than just real pants again

OK, let’s put on a little makeup. Just a little. Don’t want to look over-eager! There. Perfect. I’m cool. I remember how to do makeup.

Oh, jewelry! Oh, I’m so happy to see you again. Ouch! That earring hurt. And when did necklaces become so hard to open and close? 

OK, I’m ready! Pants leggings, check. Make-up, check. Jewelry, check. Oh, shoes! Cute shoes. I missed you, too.

Let’s go. 

Putting on a real bra again

Oh be real — you never liked wearing one even pre-COVID. Just get on with it.

Photo by engin akyurt via Unsplash

Seeing people again … without masks

Oh wait, do I need a mask? We’re meeting outside, and everyone’s vaccinated. But is it presumptuous to show up without a mask? Is that rude? I don’t even know what rude means anymore. I guess I should take one. Wait, though, do I have one that matches this cute outfit I put together? 

Juggling multiple events in one day

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness! There are TWO events today. TWO. We’ve had months and months with nothing to do and nowhere to be and no arrival times to meet, and now TWO events!

OK, you can do this. Start planning. Make a little timeline in your head. Oh, look, we’ll have to leave the first event a little early to get to the second. Even better. No excuse to invent!

The dreaded birthday party invitation

Wait. It can’t possibly be time for birthday parties already? I mean, OK, I guess we did all miss at least one birthday in COVID quarantine. But didn’t that teach us that maybe birthdays don’t need to be such a production? That wishes on Zoom and Facebook and all that are just fine? And who needs more things, more toys, more cake? Didn’t we all just spend 15 months of our lives trying to downsize (in more ways than one)?

But fine, OK. I mean, I do want to see people again. And yes, we should celebrate even the small things in life. I mean, yay party hats!

Eating in public again

OK, this is not like at home — with the bag of everything-pretzels barlely off-camera on your desk. These people can see what you’re eating. How you’re eating. How fast you’re eating. Remember: One bite, then fork down. One bite, fork down. Savor this post-COVID moment. Don’t hoover.

It gets better

And don’t forget: Being out there in the world can be joyous, funny and surprising. Even if it’s a little annoying at first.

You got this, Mama!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

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