I turned 28 last week. It was a very different birthday for a couple reasons:

For one, this was my first birthday as a wife. I have a new family in my husband, and it was special spending the day together in this new way.

Secondly, we’re currently in self-isolation because of a global pandemic. I wasn’t physically able to spend this birthday with my family and loved ones, though they made sure they were present for me from a distance with drive-by visits, phone calls, and a surprise virtual birthday party.

Despite the circumstances being weird and out of the ordinary, it was an absolutely amazing birthday. Above all, I’m thankful for my health and safety and the health and safety of my loved ones. It’s really the only thing that matters. Ageing is a privilege, and I’m so excited to see what’s in store for me in this 28th year.

I think most of us are thinking and feeling a lot of the same things during this pandemic.

We’ve had to change our plans for the year, some being significant life events. We miss our friends and family. We’re scared of the possibility of what could happen. We’re feeling a little hopeless at times. Our anxiety is heightened. Some of us are lucky to work from home, some of us are hoping we can get back to work soon, and some of us are exhausted essential workers. And by now, we’re simultaneously getting used to quarantine yet missing the ordinary day-to-day we were used to just a month ago.

I’m surprised at how much I miss the ordinary day-to-day. Being able to pick up groceries on the way home from work. The morning routine that was second nature. The freedom to hop in the car and visit a friend. The bliss of just living our normal lives.

But I know there is still so much to enjoy and be grateful for in this new, temporary normal, like:

extra time to drink our coffee

reading a book and not feeling rushed

calling our loved ones more than we ever did before

opening the windows and enjoying the spring weather

being more mindful in supporting local and small businesses

just being thankful to have a safe space

saving money on whatever we spent it on before (maybe donating some of that to help out others)

reflecting on what’s important to us

finding new ways to celebrate the big and little things in life

learning to take a slower pace

This is undoubtedly a confusing and tough time. We all have different ways of coping and getting through it. But I hope this experience helps us remember what’s important, and that we carry these realizations with us for a long time.

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