After a year of virtual “hugs” and spending lots of solo time indoors, it feels amazing to start venturing back into normalcy. It’s been incredible to hit the gym again (I missed you, StairMaster), aimlessly wander around Bed Bath & Beyond, bear hug my friends, and take public transportation without fearing for my health.
We might not be totally out of the woods yet, but this newfound freedom feels really good. None of us really know what true post-pandemic life will look like, but I do know I’ve spent the last year and a half dreaming about it!
In my daydreams, I’ve found myself romanticizing things that used to bug me pre-pandemic. Train delays and long lines? Starbucks running out of lemonade? Loud teenagers on the subway? In the words of Michael Scott, “I’m optimistic, because every day I get a little more desperate.”
Here’s my post-pandemic “wish list” of all the little things I never thought I’d miss. If post-pandemic life includes any of these, I’ll know I’m in good shape!
The joys of airplane food & jet lag
Two things I never, ever saw myself wishing for — but it’s been 18+ months since I’ve been on a plane, and at this point I’m basically craving some Biscoff biscuits and heat-lamp airplane risotto. Having the option to safely travel by air is a luxury I took for granted pre-COVID.
Now that I feel more comfortable flying again, I will be grateful for every Saran-wrapped airplane meal that blesses my tastebuds. And as for jet lag, I will gladly suffer through a weekday redeye flight if it means being able to take vacations again. I’ve missed the thrill and exhaustion of exploring a new city too much to ever complain about jet lag!
My friends and I have a Grand Canyon trip planned for the fall, and our returning flight lands in NYC at 5:45 a.m. In years past, that would be a huge “yikes” — but not anymore! Catch me at JFK with a smile on my face as I take a rush-hour cab straight to work and thank God that the trip was able to happen.
Waiting in long bathroom lines
Pre-2020, I absolutely hated any time spent in line waiting for the bathroom at a concert or sports game. However, in my new, enlightened mentality, I vow to never complain about long bathroom lines ever again. I’m even willing to sweat buckets in the basement of a bar as long as I can have an emotional compliment-fest with the girl in line behind me.
Being a part of a crowd of people with a common interest — whether that be the Yankees, John Mayer, or charming cocktail bars — is a privilege that I have missed dearly. I am willing to take the good with the bad and tough out those bathroom lines if that means getting to enjoy the energy and excitement of a large-scale group event.
Very loud people
Nothing used to bug me more than sitting next to loud people on the subway or at a restaurant. But now, I’m just grateful to be out and about with other humans. Booming voices in Starbucks or music blasting at the park or beach are just telltale signs that life is slowly but surely getting back to normal.
My city felt like a ghost town up until a few months ago, so I’m still in the honeymoon phase with this one, but for now, I have room in my heart for groups of loud high schoolers or touristy families with matching T-shirts, because they’re doing what we all have missed so much this past year — getting out there and living life in-person with the people we care about.
My “post-pandemic wishlist” is made up of pre-pandemic “pet peeves” that suddenly became more valuable when life shut down. I guess all it takes is a yearlong pandemic to shift your outlook on things!
Making this list has shown me that by having a big-picture outlook on the annoying or inconvenient parts of life, they don’t seem so bad. (Although, I may budge on jet lag, but the jury is still out on train delays.)