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Thursday was the final day. After what seemed endless weeks during which we were only allowed to leave the house for important errands and when the government had granted permission by SMS, the lockdown is now finally over. Things are going back to normal. And a part of me is feeling grief.
Back when it all started, I knew there would be restrictions and I was aware it would be an intense and difficult time.
But what I didn’t see coming was that the end of lockdown might have felt worse than the lockdown itself.
While my Facebook feed is full of posts from people in Cyprus dining in restaurants, hanging out on beaches, and having their first little gatherings or parties, there is also news that some things which used to be a part of daily life won’t be possible anymore.
Hobbies, my favorite hangouts, and even some individual people – things I was enjoying before lockdown and partially even throughout – I have now found out now that they won’t be available to me in the same way anymore.
And I’m sad and angry about all the farewells I never got. Things that are just gone now, and things I didn’t get to fully enjoy when they were happening for the last time.
It’s small things for the most part. But for someone who is extremely structured, these unplanned changes are something that can feel upsetting.
I will never drive into the parking garage again, run up the stairs to my gym, and get my workout.
It will take a long time until I can go back to my favorite cafe for a co-working session. That is – if it opens up at all and we will even be allowed to be working next to each other.
My acro yoga remains postponed indefinitely.
And a few other things I daydreamed about during lockdown might always remain lockdown fantasies and never turn into reality.
It seems as if the end of the lockdown created a spirit in people to send out hasty messages about the state of their things. And that’s how I received a couple of messages from people informing me how they were proceeding with things.
Of course, being transparent and upfront is a good thing per se. I would have just loved a little warning maybe.
Then I would have enjoyed that last visit at the gym to the fullest. Gone to acro yoga practice during winter. And would have bought more of my favorite coffee beans to roast them at home. Maybe then the end of my fantasy during lockdown wouldn’t have been so abrupt and painful.
Obviously I know that no one could have given me these warnings. No one could have known how long our life would have come to a standstill and what the bitter consequences would be.
And that’s how the lockdown situation simply reminds us of how life works. It’s unpredictable. Not knowing when a visit is actually a farewell. And sometimes it’s so painful that I get angry. Angry that this is how life is.
And therefore mostly angry at myself.
I’m asking myself what it is that I do want to return to. Essentially I’m feeling like all the other people, who either can’t open their studio space, have to pivot in their business or let go of some of their social networks. It’s about channeling a clear inner vision, a set goal in mind.
I’m also noticing that I’m not the same person I was before. Priorities and interests have shifted but I was so busy that I just kept doing everything as usual.
For me, I feel it’s time to take a little time off work. The timeout many had during the lockdown, while I was busy doing everything I could to keep things running without interruption. Without noticing that while I’m working towards a secure financial future, I’m missing the point because you can’t create happiness in advance, just in the moment.
And that’s how I find myself on the patio of a beautiful villa in the Cypriot mountains, knowing I’ll have a lot less money from next week because I let some of my clients go quite spontaneously. I’m nervous, but I’m also feeling rest and peace settling in.
If life didn’t give me notice for those farewells, then at least I’m creating new beginnings for myself.