Taking Gathering For Granted- What Living Through A Pandemic Taught Me
Taking Gathering for Granted
This past year the ability to gather was something that all of us lost. We didn’t get together for holidays like we had in the past. We didn’t sit around a table with our family and friends because of social distancing. Instead of planning events to get together we planned on how many people we were seeing and planned on ways to get together safely.
I think that I was someone who took gathering for granted. I’m an introvert and have also always been really shy. Big get-togethers have always felt a little intimidating and I've been hesitant to allow myself to feel fully comfortable and at ease in social gatherings.
When covid hit and we all jumped to Zoom to hangout with friends, talk to coworkers, spend time with family, and take yoga classes, it felt fun and novel at first. In some ways I loved the newness and it felt like everyday was a snow day. But as time wore on I missed seeing people in person.
I didn’t realize or appreciate all the ways that I had unintentionally been gathering in my community, with my friends and family.
Walking along the Olentangy trail I would see and say hi to so many people who knew me from my past job, people who recognized Dagwood and different people who I recognized from the trail. When covid hit there were so many less people on the trail and we were all walking farther apart, making sure to keep a safe distance. We were wearing masks and people could no longer see each other's smiles as we passed one another.
Yoga to me is just as much about the space and the lack of distractions and technology as it is about the movement and instruction. I wanted to gather with others and collectively move. I didn;t want to be guided online and experience technical difficulties while trying to slow my mind.
The holidays have never been a particular favorite of mine. Thanksgiving and Christmas fall in the busiest and craziest time during retail and I always thought that I felt too exhausted to want to go and celebrate with my family.
I took for granted the smiles from people on the trail, the way that collectively moving with others in a yoga class calmed me and the way that our family holiday traditions were something that I really cherished.
I missed gathering and being with people in all the small and meaningful ways that I wasn’t appreciative of until they were taken away.
Realizing the importance of the small moments that you share with others is something that I strive to be present for and to never take for granted again. Gatherings are now things I try to go into filled with gratitude and appreciate all the little moments.