I'm describing my reaction today as I opened my wallet to put some change away and noticed a bunch of receipts inside.
Usually I clean these out every week or so. I pulled them out and all 5 were dated around March 14. Right before I stopped going out anywhere.
It felt like I’d discovered a time capsule.
During that long-ago week, I facilitated a workshop downtown on Monday and Tuesday - taking the GO train, picking up coffee in a crowded food court, spending hours in a small training room with 8 corporate leaders. I hosted a webinar on Thursday, had lunch in a (nearly empty) restaurant with a friend on Friday. And, as the photo will attest, put gas in my car on Saturday.
And here we are, eleven weeks later.
Eleven weeks of Zoom meetings, countless walks around our neighbourhood, deferring all errands to my husband given my immune condition, and alternating between worry and gratitude.
Eleven weeks. It's really a drop in the bucket of time and yet it seems like forever in these circumstances.
Eerie. Bizarre. Unsettling. When I looked at the dates on those receipts, I was reminded once again of the massive waves of change this pandemic has brought crashing down amongst all of us. In a very short period of time.
No wonder anxiety rates have been skyrocketing.
And yet - aren’t humans amazing?
We adjust. We get up every day and make the coffee. We create new things and new routines out of necessity. We learn.
No hand sanitizer? We make it. No masks? Let’s figure out how to sew some. Someone is living alone and lonely? We check in with them regularly.
Yes, eleven weeks is a long time. And yet it isn’t. We are all making our way through this, hour by hour, week by week.
My wallet time capsule was an important reflection trigger.
It reminded me of the magnitude of change the pandemic has brought, and that it’s ok to feel anxious and uncomfortable at times as we all figure things out and try to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
It also reminded me of our collective resilience and the engine of hope that keeps us all adjusting, creating, learning.
I don’t know how long it will be until my wallet is filled again with paper receipts. And while, yes, I long for a good browse at my local Homesense store, I’m grateful for the lessons of the past eleven weeks.