Self-reflection and new insights that informed relationships.
“The circumstances of the past year have deepened the appreciation I have for my family connections and friendships. Because the interactions I have with people are now more often one-on-one, rather than in group social settings, the conversions have been more personal and at a deeper level.”
“I feel my relationships with our grandchildren have gone down a notch or two because there are no family gatherings and I hesitate to ‘bug’ them. We do get two-minute check-ins with the grandchildren occasionally, and they and their parents have visited occasionally for indoor distanced lunches, but it’s just not the same – and no hugs!”
“I have managed to keep my family and friend relationships intact, since I am on the same page with the majority. As for the few others, I cannot waste my time arguing with those who are entrenched in nonsense.
What I miss most is the freedom to see my family whenever I wish. I am not a good driver, I don’t have a car, and I would have to use public transportation. Also, I find that ordering anything online is the pits.
Restaurants, the theater, movies, and gatherings will just have to wait.”
“My husband and I were used to being home together all the time, often in separate spheres, but this [stay-at-home quarantine] does sometimes seem more like 25/8 than 24/7.”
“My son lives in an Asian country; I have not seen him in over a year. Although there is a 14-hour time difference, we text or talk daily, but I still feel detached.
The rest of my family is scattered in across the country and in Cape Town, South Africa. We talk on Zoom sometimes but less often than we used to. There are not a lot of updates in our lives. The same for friends.
In both instances, communication is positive, with everyone doing okay, even though a couple have had the Covid-19 virus and have recovered.
I do fine alone, even prefer it in many cases. Mostly I am grateful that I am healthy, retired, and have a pension and a cushion of cash that my makes life easier. I live in warm weather, so I have access to riding my bicycle and swimming. I have very little to complain about.”
“About a year and a half ago, in the fall of 2019, my boyfriend and I admitted to each other that we were having problems. I told him about your book [It’s All About Relationships] and he actually agreed to work through the Assessments Tools together. I gave him a copy of the book, he read the first chapter. I did, too. But when I test drove the ‘How I Feel Treated’ assessment, I realized — with gut wrenching clarity — how truly unfulfilled and unhappy I was and had been for a while. He never mentioned the book after that first conversation and neither did I.
In hindsight and honestly? We were over a long time before Covid-19.”
“I have pretty good boundaries when it comes to engaging in political discussions. However, an individual I’ve known for a number of years does not — so I found out! He’s very opinionated and takes every opportunity to express his political opinions to me, even though he is well aware of my parameters.
Recently, as I was attempting to close him down on the political path he was taking and to change the subject, I was stunned when he said the most reprehensible, despicable racist remark about a celebrity woman of color. I told him that I was shocked at what he had just said, and that it was most inappropriate. As I started to walk away, he began to elaborate, making his initial remark even more offensive.
This encounter gave me some real insight into the depth of character of this individual, someone I ‘wrote off,’ someone whose company I no longer wish to be in.”
“The political unrest has been an opportunity for me to do a lot of reading, listening, and thinking, and particularly for me to learn from my daughter, who’s queer and mixed race, and who’s always opening my eyes to ways in which my (white, middle class, cis, born-in-the-1950s) reaction to things is often way more conventional (a/k/a uninformed) than I’d realized.
As outsiders in U.S. society, Black people see things much more clearly than those of us who grew up feeling that it was (a) truly our country and (b) the best place on earth. It’s a really good time for people like me to be listening to them.”
“Because of my wife’s and my social and physical isolation during most of 2020, I find that, more than ever, we take pleasure and humor in the most mundane aspects of daily life. It feels like a kind or mutually supportive harmony. It’s weird kind of contentedness and gratitude at being able to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude in spite of the chaos that’s raining down around us. Lastly, it has reinforced my gratitude to be living a life of isolation and quarantine with a mate who has a very calm and good-humored temperament.”
“While my 2020 was blessed with health and consistency in many ways, it was also a journey through anger and betrayal, confusion and sadness, grief and loss. And then, yes — a reassessment of what’s happened, what my role was in the endings, what there is to learn as a result.
And now, after months of ‘processing’ and journaling and a new round of talk therapy…I’m starting to see how 2020 has also been about the sloughing off — clearing out some dead wood to make way for whatever comes next. For me personally, but I think the same is true for us collectively.”
“I have been very sad since 2020 made it impossible for me to visit my son, daughter, and young grandson in West Africa for over a year now. My basic way of coping and not falling into depression has been to do lot of exercise.
I found that my concentration has suffered during this pandemic, even though I continue to teach online. Also, I have not been able to read the way I usually do. That said, I make sure I give thanks every day for having my husband, my sisters, and a couple of good friends for support. And I am so grateful I live in a beautiful place and can take lovely long walks with our dog. And finally, I thank God for our health and economic security.”