January 27, 2021

Pandemic post: beyond the short and medium term

Filed under: adventures in the world of today,bloggery,living in the future — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 8:42 am

I’ve been thinking about crisis situations and what it means to think about the short term, medium term and long term.

In the first days of the pandemic almost a year ago, I think most of the people I know were focusing on “taking each day as it comes” just putting one foot in front of each other and keeping going, even when we were frightened.

Now we’re used to the pandemic, or at least experienced at it. We’ve made accommodations in our lives to work around the absences and we’ve evolved new habits like when we go shopping and the pocket we keep our face masks in.

And yet it’s still not over, the government says we have a “long long long” way to go before lockdown can be lifted. The death rate is high, and even with the comfort of the vaccines being deployed we’re all exhausted, our mental health is frayed – and I say this as someone lucky enough to have a job and a secure home and a partner and cats to keep me company.

So what does it mean to think not just about the medium term but the long term? I’m not saying the pandemic will never end. It will and we will reestablish our normal. But we’re long past the short term reaction and a year is more than medium term, it’s a year of our lives spent in this strange half life. So how are we thinking now?

For me, large parts of my life are on hold. Not just seeing friends and family and going to restaurants, but my creative work and fun projects are all on pause. I can do my job and I can do housework, because those are clear and obvious tasks, but I struggle to enjoy myself. Which doesn’t mean my life contains no joy – I have cats! – but that for me the fun things are harder to engage with than work. And with my exercise, I know I’m not progressing, I’m just trying to maintain an acceptable level of fitness.

I usually make New Years resolutions and this year I wonder what it’s sensible to resolve. I like to set goals and to achieve them. But what is realistic? People keep saying “be kind to yourself” which I actually find a bit frustrating because I am kind to myself, I promise, but I also want to set high standards for myself and meet or exceed them.

And so I’m contemplating the year ahead and wondering, what goals should I set and where do I want to be a year from now? Out of the pandemic, obviously, but what about the things within my control, where should I set my targets, beyond the short term exercise of getting up each day and living my life. (No judgement if that’s still all you can achieve, I’m so over judgement.)

Where are you at and how do you feel your horizons have shifted over the course of the last twelve months or might shift in the next twelve?

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