I was going through my phone today and looking at pictures of simpler times. This photo was taken about a month ago on a Saturday morning: I had just gotten out of Pure Barre, grabbed an iced coffee and was browsing one of my favorite boutiques in Garden City, NY called Madison’s Niche.

There was no structure, no real plan, just me sniffing candles and looking at winter sweaters marked down as the spring dresses were being brought out on the floor. I looked at serving platters with cute sayings on them and little stuffed toys for babies. There were signs for first homes and frames for wedding gifts.

Everything was so normal. Everything was so mundane.

And now it’s not.

The worst part is: we don’t know when it will be.

I wish I could look into a crystal ball and say we all will make it out like nothing ever happened.

I wish I could say the summer would come and all we had to worry about was if we were going to the pool party or fancy hotel for the 4th of July.

But I can’t. And that’s hard. It’s hard for us all.

I’m a planner and one of the most extroverted people you may ever come in contact with. My joy comes from being around others; my recharge time is fueled with in-person interactions. In the old days, if I haven’t had “friend time” in more than 72 hours I began to unravel.

Now things are different.

But I’m realizing not all different is bad. Maybe there’s some good in this quarantine.

Rather than grabbing wine with a local friend, it’s been replaced with a FaceTime date by my bestie that’s now on the west coast. My shopping trips on the weekends followed by a latte look a little different now and have turned into phone calls with friends with busy schedules, where finding a time that worked in the past was nearly impossible. My barre classes where I sat with the same people and took from the same teachers have become Zoom livestreams where I’m taking with new faces and experiencing new staff members.

There’s no escaping the medical and fiscal nightmare that has engulfed our world. I can’t sugarcoat that. I won’t try to.

But in the business of our normal day to day, we’ve been stopped in our tracks and forced to pause. To be still.

In the stillness, families are eating together. Friends are calling each other. Neighbors coming together.

This pandemic will end at some point. Our lives will resume, although maybe not in the way they looked before.

Let us never forget the sense of “together” we felt in this time.

When distance had the ability to unite.

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