We’re living through an odd time of transition.
That’s what I came to realize most recently, as I sat to interview a longtime friend as she looked forward to retirement.
It has become customary these days, there seems to be an “interview”/inquiry of yours truly, as those who have known me a while inquire on my health before we get to the true manner at hand - them. As the two of us spoke, I gave an update of my current health (which is good) and then shared the challenge of transitioning back to life as it was before I was taken aback by cancer.
In that moment, it also struck me how this could very well be the case for a large majority of readers who may now find themselves called from their home offices to report back to in-person work.
Personally speaking, I’m adjusting with training wheels if you will. A good part of the past year for me has been run by a calendar of testing, lab work, doc appointments and treatments. You can’t quite prepare for what life is like once that is all over. That being said, I’ve openly shared often my gratitude for a profession and life which allowed me to place those things first. In short, I was able to set my work schedule around the medical priorities and for that I’m grateful.
Now, as I type this from my desk at 122 South Third Avenue in Oakdale, I’m a bit overcome. It feels good to be back among people other than my family and close circle. It’s nice to see people’s faces again, their smiles and their joy.
Granted I’ve been privy to the genuine faces of quite a few for a while, but this is different. It’s nice to be back to “in person” living. In short, it’s equally nice to be seen.
Yet if being completely honest … I’m just a little lost. So much of the past year has been structured around appointments other than work and “work” all came by way of phone calls, some even made from my car as I drove to said appointment - I’m truly in training wheels.
I’m a faith filled girl, so now that we’re back among the living and bright smiles, it’s reminded me a bit of my initial feelings when the shutdown first knocked us all on our sofa’s.
There’s a lot we take for granted. Yes, even you, the person who wakes every morning with the intention of living your best life. Sometimes we slip and the Pandemic shutdown (in my opinion) was partially a higher power’s way of forcing us all to truly slow down and live in the moment - with those we love.
Early on, gone were the distractions of dining out, amusement parks, movie theaters and shopping malls. The replacement of all these luxuries quite simply the life we had built for ourselves above and beyond the fluff and the flash. In an odd way, I’m grateful and I’m also relieved.
I’m relieved that during a time of isolation from so much, I was surrounded by people who I love deeply and learned I could actually survive on a desert island with.
How cool is that?
I’m also relieved that rather than becoming a way of life, it was quite simply a moment- a long moment- but a moment all the same.
Re-acclimating with training wheels, well it can be tough at times. The things which once filled my day, now taking a bit of a back seat as I resume some running about town in search of the next inspiring, fun or informative story.
In short, while I am most grateful for the comfort, support and acceptance of a crew which is more like family than “co-workers,” it’s also nice to return to a place which quite simply feels like home.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.