I spent some time naming all the things that were lost this year as the world was jarred to stillness with Covid-19. It was painful. Some of the things lost have been public—we lost a lot of income and one of the properties we run our ministry out of. We lost students, momentum, opportunity.
Some of the things we lost have been personal—a writers’ conference I’ve planned on going to for four years, an anniversary getaway that can’t be rescheduled/refunded, a week camping at the beach we’d been hanging onto for months.
Some things lost have been less tangible—the work I imagined digging into before it got sidelined by homeschooling, the lack of access I feel to attend to my family should something go wrong overseas.
And other things lost have been small—missing conveniences like online grocery shopping, the library, or the luxury of lingering in a cafe or browsing a thrift store for no particular reason, the gift card to the cinema that’s still tucked in my wallet from Christmas.
But there are other things lost, too. Things I’ve been relieved to lose: the hurry, the expectation to be all the places, the “shoulds,” the shuttling to birthday parties, pretending to enjoy school socials for the sake of the kids, functions where I felt obliged to “make an appearance” when I much preferred to stay home.
These months have certainly been strange but now that they’re changing all over again I’m wishing for it to slow down, wishing the collective pause would last longer.
What have we lost? Has it been too much? What did we need to lose? Have we lost enough? I’m not looking for answers so much as I’m not done asking the questions.
As the world quickens its pace, how do we ensure we don’t find some of what’s been lost?