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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Waiting for the expiry date

 

 

“Today I will live in the moment. Unless the moment is unpleasant, in which case I will eat a cookie.” This is the message on my desk calendar. It’s kind of my mantra these days.

After the first few weeks of self-isolation, when the novelty of wearing yoga pants all day and never having to put gas in the car began to wear off, I started playing the game with expiry dates.

It is something I have been doing since I was a child. You pick up a carton of coffee cream, look at the date and imagine what might be different in your life by the time that date arrives. In the past, I have looked at the date and thought, “Huh. By the time this milk goes bad, I’ll be a married woman!” – or – “by the time this cream expires the baby will be here…”

No one could have guessed, back in February, that when we reached the late March expiration date on the carton, life would be very different indeed.

For a family that is accustomed to gathering en masse for Sunday dinner each week, this surreal period of isolation has been very hard. Coming from a journalism background, I realize I read far too much in the way of news and public health reports. My family is getting tired of having their very own Covid police officer.

Over the past nine months we have tightened up, relaxed, and re-tightened our restrictions. At the moment we are not supposed to be gathering outside our household. Again. It feels like a punishment. Does that mean we didn’t do it right the first time, so we have to do it again, for longer? Ugh. I feel like we have been collectively grounded, but we can’t remember our crime. Did we have fun, at least??

By the time we reach the date on my current carton of coffee cream, the year will be over. I am an eternal optimist, but I might need more than the few weeks on a dairy product to consider the future. So as we look forward to the end of 2021, I think we can all start thinking about the expiration date on this particular moment in time.

I’ve read the conspiracy theories. I’ll take science, and a vaccine, when it has been tested and proven effective. And then, when the threat has passed, we might have a huge outdoor party on the farm, with food and live music and a campfire, to celebrate the simple things in life. Like hugs. Harmony. Handshakes. This virus has an expiration date. This too, shall pass.

-30-moment. Unless the moment is unpleasant, in which case I will eat a cookie.” This is the message on my desk calendar. It’s kind of my mantra these days.

After the first few weeks of self-isolation, when the novelty of wearing yoga pants all day and never having to put gas in the car began to wear off, I started playing the game with expiry dates.

It is something I have been doing since I was a child. You pick up a carton of coffee cream, look at the date and imagine what might be different in your life by the time that date arrives. In the past, I have looked at the date and thought, “Huh. By the time this milk goes bad, I’ll be a married woman!” – or – “by the time this cream expires the baby will be here…”

No one could have guessed, back in February, that when we reached the late March expiration date on the carton, life would be very different indeed.

For a family that is accustomed to gathering en masse for Sunday dinner each week, this surreal period of isolation has been very hard. Coming from a journalism background, I realize I read far too much in the way of news and public health reports. My family is getting tired of having their very own Covid police officer.

Over the past nine months we have tightened up, relaxed, and re-tightened our restrictions. At the moment we are not supposed to be gathering outside our household. Again. It feels like a punishment. Does that mean we didn’t do it right the first time, so we have to do it again, for longer? Ugh. I feel like we have been collectively grounded, but we can’t remember our crime. Did we have fun, at least??

By the time we reach the date on my current carton of coffee cream, the year will be over. I am an eternal optimist, but I might need more than the few weeks on a dairy product to consider the future. So as we look forward to the end of 2021, I think we can all start thinking about the expiration date on this particular moment in time.

I’ve read the conspiracy theories. I’ll take science, and a vaccine, when it has been tested and proven effective. And then, when the threat has passed, we might have a huge outdoor party on the farm, with food and live music and a campfire, to celebrate the simple things in life. Like hugs. Harmony. Handshakes. This virus has an expiration date. This too, shall pass.

-30-



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