I haven’t written here in years, but it seems like the theme for 2021 is picking up where we left off, so here I am.

A lot has happened in the last year or so, you don’t need me to tell you that. Suddenly, though, almost overnight the spell seems to have been broken. People are coming out of their metaphorical and sometimes literal bunkers and taking a look around.

Some people are going back right where they left off.

Some people have had a shockabuku moment and are completely changing their lives.

And some people have decided that the bunker feels safer and they plan to stay there.

Unlike anything in our recent time on Earth, Covid-19 has shaken the entire world. Everyone has been touched by it. It’s really quite remarkable if it weren’t so terrifying and sad. We’ve all been through something and whenever I go out into the world, it seems like everyone is so desperate to forget. To move on with their lives. To be safe and happy again. Of course, that is natural and I feel that too. I think it’s incredibly human to want to get on with it. To stop feeling so badly and to feel happy again or at least relax a little, to unclench.

I wonder though if this whiplash of being terrified of every stranger and every surface and then suddenly, within days, going back to a carefree existence will really mess with our heads and our bodies for years and maybe even generations to come.

We’ve all been grieving whether it is experiencing the loss of a person, a job, a home, a relationship, our health, our celebrations, fellowship, our safety, our plans, and our peace. It’s so easy to see those famous grief stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance in what we’ve all experienced. The part that seems to be missing is making meaning out of it. That is how we can heal and move on without doing more harm to ourselves and others.

How do we make meaning out of the pandemic? Do we change our lives completely? Maybe. Do we just make some small changes like disengaging from our phones on the weekends or maybe getting outside more? Maybe. What that meaning is will be different for everyone. My go-to is always to journal about it. There is something about writing that helps me process my thoughts and feelings. Maybe it is helpful for you too. I’m listing below some journal prompts that may help you to discover what the meaning of the pandemic is for you.

Journal Prompts:

What have you learned about yourself in the last 15 months?

What have you learned about others?

What did you miss most during lockdown?

What did you miss the least?

If you could wave a magic wand and the pandemic never happened, how would your life look right now?

What do you want to remember about this time in your life?