Curious what I was thinking about a year ago, compared to now, I took a trip to my blog history only to find it bare. I didn’t publish a single blog post last April. But what about unpublished posts? Nothing there either. I guess I could go digging through notebooks to see if I was even writing last year but I am not that organized. Without moving an inch, I remember a reliable way to capture what was going on this time a year ago: the ever reliable photo roll.
One thing I know for sure about last April is that I was unemployed. I think of that time now as a time of training for what we are going through now (except I could leave the house once in a while). But wasn’t it a simpler time? A carefree time. No worries about ending up in the hospital fighting for our lives. For me, my photo roll is a happy trip down memory lane. A screenshot of airfare for my trip to Greece. A picture of the Hamilton playbill from our trip to New York City. Daffodils and tulips growing around a tiny bush in a planter on Fifth Avenue. Snapshots of a haircut I was interested in having my stylist duplicate. Homemade fries from the brand new air fryer. The school play. Our freshly shorn pup. Sitting with my dad on our Florida patio. A visit to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Winter Park, FL and a picture of the crowd gathered for a lunchtime screening of a docudrama on the life of Vincent Van Gogh.
I can tell you what I had for lunch at the nearby Garp & Fuss (chips, salsa and guac to share and as someone partial to ordering off the appetizer menu, a bowl of steamed clams with garlic toast). There is a picture of a sign I sent to a friend who I thought would find it relatable. I got my eyebrows dyed for the first time and worried they’d look weird because they were so dark. I played BINGO, something I hadn’t done in many years and the evidence I won $50 with a double bingo. We made a VIP visit to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium where the Rays were playing our beloved Red Sox and got to watch batting practice on the field. I rode my bike to the pool and played shuffle board with my family. Photos can capture a life when words fail. Comparably, this year’s photo roll is bare save various pictures of the cat sunning herself in a patch of light and I have been busy keeping an online journal to capture the minutia of my current days.
How life has changed! While I realize this is all temporary, I do wonder how our collective lives will be altered when this ends in the weeks or months to come. Will we be marked by permanent anxiety, wondering when the next pandemic will hit? Will we get enough hugs and loving touch to erase the days of isolation we leave behind? Will our priorities change and will we return to the jobs we once enjoyed only to find they have no meaning anymore? Will our family relationships alter due to the amount of time we spend in each other’s company? Will they be better or worse? What will we miss about this time of isolation when the world returns to “normal”? Who will be missing among us when this is over and how high will the death toll go? Too high.
If next April, I want to look back on what I was thinking and how I was feeling, I will have plenty of material from online journaling and the photo roll will be nearly empty save pictures of the cat.