Pandemic After Effects
Life in General

Pandemic After Effects

Is the pandemic over? It sure seems like it is, but I’m not so sure. I do feel, though, that having been vaccinated, I should not be required to wear a mask anymore. I also don’t feel I should have to complete this extensive check-in process when I visit my dad, in addition to wearing a mask when I’m there.

But that’s not the point of my story.

The point is, I’m struggling a bit. While I haven’t particularly enjoyed living through the last year, I have found some comfort in having a good excuse to stay home. I’ve gotten used to my quiet days, puttering around the house. Now that we’re free to move about, I’m getting less home time.

I should explain that in general, I am not a social butterfly, so don’t get the impression that I’m going out constantly. I’m not. But even the little bit we are doing is much more than what we’ve done the past year.

I’ve enjoyed finally going to a restaurant as opposed to getting takeout. You forget how much better the food is when you get it fresh from the kitchen and on real plates.

I’ve loved spending time with my friends. My book club is meeting at our homes again and I spent three days at the lake with my childhood girlfriends. I even had breakfast with a friend this week and have a lunch scheduled with another one in a couple of weeks.

With Tim being retired now, we’ve also been on the go a lot more because of the grandkids. We drove 2.75 hours one way once a week from April through June to watch a baseball game. We were in the car for 5 hours to spend maybe 3 hours with them. I’m not complaining. I started a new knitting project so I do have something to show for all those hours in the car. It’s been great getting to know Brady’s team, both the players and their parents. And I thought it was making our relationship with the grandkids better.

Things were easier with my dad when we couldn’t do things, only because there was a lot more free time for phone calls. Now it’s challenging to fit those into my days and there are days when I don’t call him. I honestly don’t think he minds, and he’s said he doesn’t want to affect our schedules. We can visit him, which is great, but because we live 30 minutes away, it fills up an afternoon.

Almost everything I’m doing outside the house is fun. I have a trip with my book club coming up at the end of August and a weekend at the lake with two other friends in September. But I’m already experiencing some conflicts.

Last year, it was so easy for me to do the 24 hours of cross stitch marathons because I wasn’t going anywhere. I may have to miss it this month because of other commitments. I was able to take online card-making classes and now it’s tough fitting those in. I was able to spend lots of time making cards, but it’s been weeks (until today) since I’ve made cards.

I also feel that it’s harder to get motivated. I hardly do any cooking now, Tim does all the grocery shopping. I bake occasionally but not as often as I used to. I’m reading a fair amount but mainly before bed. I have been very diligent with my walking but that’s suffered at times because of things I’m now doing.

Even my blogging has taken a hit and it was suffering before now.

So many things were easier when I was in my little cocoon!!

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a little out of sorts because I’ve lost my home time. A friend of mine expressed the same feelings. Being retired, we didn’t have the hassles many families did during this time so it was a less stressful time for us.

Do you feel this way too? Or has it been an easy transition back into “normal” life?

20 Comments

  • An’Nyce

    You are not alone! I know we talked about this when we got together. I know people think of me as an extrovert, but I am not. I truly enjoyed being “stuck”at home.
    I love my alone time, but I cherish times with friends and family. I do miss traveling!
    My favorite days are unscheduled when I can do whatever I want. You know how much I love to read, too.
    I definitely pared down my extracurricular activities. I do not plan on getting back to many activities that I used to do. Like others who commented, I am wearing a mask again, and I think we are far from finished with this pandemic. I am thankful to be fully vaccinated, but our numbers in Hamilton County are trending upward.
    Stay safe, Linda. ❤️

    • Retired Introvert

      You are the friend I referenced in my post!! I also love those unscheduled days but it seems there aren’t enough right now. I’m trying to be better at going with the flow, but it’s not exactly who I am!!
      I am wondering what this latest COVID trend means. I worry about the kids under 12 who can’t get vaccinated. And I don’t understand why those who could have not. Did you see that old cartoon Caroline shared on Facebook? Just shows people have been this stupid before.
      Stay safe yourself. Thought I was beyond needing to say that. ❤️

  • Marty

    This has been a continuing theme for my wife and I. We complained about the (largely) stay-at-home last year, but now in some ways we look back on it with a small degree of nostalgia. Having to keep from others meant that things were simpler. Now that we have more choices we actually miss not having to make as many decisions. lol

    • Retired Introvert

      Funny how that works. We’re never happy!! I’m a big fan of simple with minimal decisions. Unfortunately, life never seems to work that way. Oh well.

  • Mona R McGinnis

    I’ve grown accustomed to a dialed-down social life. Last week was a bevy of activities and it left me feeling a little overwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s my age or retirement or the pandemic response or current life demands but I’m questioning how I want to spend my time and with whom. I’m left to manage some degree of anxiety when I think about venturing away from home too often or too far or for too long. I trust I will find my balance again.

    • Retired Introvert

      Overwhelmed is a good way to describe it. I sometimes feel a little silly about it because to most, it would seem like nothing. But since I retired, I’ve definitely become used to doing less. I think we’ll all eventually find our balance again.

  • La

    I have found it extremely easy to resume my old life, though I have refined it a bit. The past year brought me clarity of purpose I guess, so I’m enjoying life 2.1

    • Retired Introvert

      That’s great!! I think part of my problem is I’m also adjusting to all the life changes that occurred during this time as well. I’ll get there. I’m just slower than most. 😉

  • Trudy Huisman

    Let me start by sending positive thoughts to JB Lockhart who replied to this post. I hope your brother’s health improves soon.

    Regarding the change in lifestyle from pre-pandemic to now, I’ve definitely become lazier! Too much sitting around and socializing through text and facetime! I’m working on getting out more but, as others on here have stated, I don’t think the pandemic is over (as we’re already seeing in states like Missouri where Covid hospitalizations are on the rise) .

    Linda, you’re doing great getting out and about. I need to follow your example!

    • Retired Introvert

      I think you’re right that the pandemic is far from over, even if many people are acting like it isn’t. I do feel better for the businesses that suffered through this and see that some have made pandemic related changes that will continue from now on. Getting out is good. I just have to find the right balance again!!

  • Louise Crall

    I am feeling similar after effects too (and I would catagorize myself as an extreme extrovert) – I am working to be very selective about activites and am more likely to say no post pandemic. And you are right, there is no place like home!

    • Retired Introvert

      I assumed my introversion played a part in this so it’s reassuring to hear even an extrovert like you has these same feelings. All during my retirement, I’ve tried to spread out my outside activities, knowing I need that home time. I need to remember that as we try to catch up for what we’ve missed!!

  • Debs Carey

    The pandemic gave everyone a taste of living at a different pace. For some of us that pace was reduced, for others it was upped (I’m thinking particularly of those having to work from home while also home educating children). Mine changed a little, as I’d always worked from home and my social butterfly days are long behind me. But I have started to ponder on what level of work, hobbies, family life, friends etc, I find optimum, in order to make sure that I try to get the balance better this time round. It’s especially when you live a shared life but don’t share interests. Supporting your loved one is good, so long as you ring fence time to do what feeds your soul too. Fortunately, I don’t think I need to make any hasty decisions about that balance as, like Donna, I believe we’re not at the end of this pandenic by a long way and so having to still choices about our health.

    • Retired Introvert

      I suspect we’ll all take things slow at first and then in a few years, be right back to where we were, having forgotten all about the pandemic. But I am worried that not enough people are getting vaccinated and I hate hearing reports of more hospitalizations and deaths.

  • Erica/Erika

    Hi Linda, I believe your feelings resonate with many people, including me. An excuse to stay home and not visit or have visitors is a nice break. Although, with the pandemic, it was not our choice. You and your husband are amazing grandparents to drive all of that way. I feel we are too booked up now which is stressful. I think all human beings require some ‘space’ in their lives to stay healthy. Thank you for sharing a great post, Linda.

    • Retired Introvert

      I do think in our crazy world, having no choice but to stay home was good for people. Families with young children lead very hectic lives but they seem to thrive on it. I need a more quiet life, I guess. Love to see family and friends but always ready to come home to our peaceful home!!

  • JB Lockhart

    I have joined you as being an Introvert. Maybe to a fault. I enjoy being a homebody even when I don’t accomplish much. The past two weeks I have forced myself to meet friends for lunch, outside.

    I still mask (except when eating) because my older brother may have contracted TB!!!! It takes only one droplet from an infected person who shows no symptoms. He’s been in ICU for over two weeks, ventilator, now dialysis, feeding tube and now he’s caught pneumonia.

    Yes, I will probably always mask. I works for me.

    • Retired Introvert

      I think if I were still single, I’d be a hermit. Scares me sometimes. However, I have good friends that I love spending time with so I would be ok.

      I think we’ll see more mask wearing going forward. Just look how nonexistent the flu season was!! We all need to stay home when we’re sick!!

  • Donna

    From my perspective, that dance card is full. You are an introvert, so I can see where all that activity would put you out of sorts. Not much has changed for me. I had no social life pre-pandemic, and I have no social life mid-pandemic (I don’t think it’s over). We still haven’t been to a restaurant. Mostly I play golf, cook and do art.

    I totally understand missing your home time. I say figure out what you can reduce or eliminate and get back to what makes you happy.

    • Retired Introvert

      I know it’s all about expectations and I have to set them based on a different routine. I love doing things with others but I have to balance that with time to myself. I can feel when I’ve overdone it.

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