Ready … steady …GO! There is more than a spring in our step and more than Spring in the air, dear readers: and better still, ‘we are all in this together!’ There is a collective feel good atmosphere about and hopes are high of our return to the bright old world of two years ago. Oh, how we are going to appreciate all those beautiful experiences that we previously took for granted.
The ’roar of the crowd’ at a hurling match, getting out for a jive at a live music even; the simple routine of attending church on a Sunday morning, and not feeling you should maybe take a step back from the long-lost friend you meet on the street. It is the simple things that we missed the most – the simple beautiful moments.
I remember once reading something written by an old lady – and as far as I can recall, it was found after her death. It was about the regrets the woman had for the things she didn’t do. She said she would dare to make more mistakes if she had to do it all over again. ‘I would climb more mountains and swim in more rivers, and I would eat more ice-cream, the lady lamented’.
The lifting of Covid restrictions feels in a way as if we are all getting a second chance at this life thing. It is that opportunity for me to ‘climb more mountains, swim in more rivers and eat more ice-cream. This is a fresh start of sorts and a chance to take another run at life. No more will the ‘sensible option’ be my first and last decision.
I feel a giddiness coming on at the prospects of being able to come and go as I please and to relish the pleasures denied to me for too many months. This second chance will mean that I intend to be more impulsive and less cautious. The only thing I want to analyse in the course of this second chance, is the satisfaction of living the now.
Life is made up of fleeting moments that we remember. Yes, I appreciate that I have always had my share of ‘moments’, but I’m going to have much more of them now and for ‘as long as God spares me’
Breaking the Covid chain is for everyone an opportunity to revalue where we are at and what we want to do with our reclaimed freedom. Second chances are a rare gift by which you can do something better than at the first attempt. If we all regard this ‘getting back to normal’ as a second chance, and each of us does something better than the last time round, just imagine what a positive effect this will have on our country and our world?
One of the things I missed was not being able to plan. Things to do, places to go, friends to meet. Not all of the plans that ever came into my head were carried through, but in planning something – whether or not it ever happens; the plan germinating in the mind pays a positive dividend in advance. Plans are the seeds of future joy and are well worth cultivating.
Going forward from here, the daily-worry load has been lightened. It had been easing a bit since we found out that Omicron isn’t as deadly as Delta. But how often did the word Covid come into our head every day, how often was it the first word mentioned in conversation, and how often was it the main topic when we turned on the radio.
We are going to have ‘The Roaring Twenties’ all over again. The people have a little disposable income saved up through staying at home and there will be a bit more ‘if it feels good, do it’, in the air.
I hope that what we have endured over the past two years will make us all better people. The vast majority of people were brilliant in how they observed restrictions and recommendations. We have shown utmost responsibility by receiving the vaccine in order to keep our family, neighbours and fellow-citizens safe. I hope that the considerations shown towards our fellow-man will continue into our new free world. I hope that the debt of gratitude we owe to nurses, in particular, will never be forgotten.
And yes … there is a caution on the label. The lifting of restrictions is a gamble for the authorities; and in turn, a multitude of little wagers for each and every one of us. Like the lady who objected to being offered the bridal suite because she had been married for twenty years; and politely informed by the hotel receptionist; ‘Madam, if I give you the ballroom, it doesn’t mean you have to dance!’ We don’t have to take chances – but some little risks are worth taking.
I am penning this just after Michael Martin’s excellent speech. It could be dated by the time you read it – but anyway, let’s give it a lash!
Lost hope is the undertaker’s best friend.