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Getting Back Out There

For many of us, Mother's Day marked the first time we connected n person with family in 14 months. Scrolling through social media revealed so many wonderful messages of time spent with loved ones.

I flew to Miami to be with my mom. I hadn't been there in 18 months and the lush, tropical landscape almost looked fake. But the hugging was very real. It was actually the second time I had flown in two weeks. The prior weekend we visited Seattle. And even within that one week, airline protocols had pivoted from an empty middle seat to a full flight.

Just like that, it feels like we're nearing the twilight of the pandemic. Rates of infection are going down and, if you wanted to be vaccinated, you most likely are.

As we wade back into the world, one semi-socially distant experience at a time, we are readjusting to social cues, ditching Lululemon for Levi's and pivoting to some semblance of what we once called normal.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm finding it a bit exhausting.

I mean, I've always been an extrovert. At least I used to be. Current PR firm owner, she-who-never-met-a-stranger, former class clown. But lately, being out in the world wears me out.

And so I wonder -- as I have throughout the pandemic -- what will the new normal actually look like? Are we now totally re-wired to sweatpants and sourdough starter over street clothes and sitting inside restaurants? Will we always wear masks?

Don't get me wrong, I'm embracing every minute of time with friends and loved ones. And I'm seriously savoring hugs.

Just wondering when and if our brains will readjust to traffic, office environments, barstools, packed restaurants, airport security and shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

We're all learning and adjusting as we go. Father's Day may look very different than Mother's Day. And Labor Day a far cry from that. I hope we hang onto home-cooked meals, binge watching TV, once/weekly family Zooms and living each day like it's our last. Add big hugs and getting to travel and that might very well be the new normal. At least for now.

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