March 13th of 2020 was a Friday. Our office closed early. I drove to Mardel’s, excited to buy a gift for my mom’s birthday. I chose the book “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way”. There was one more stop I’d promised myself I’d make. It was a rainy overcast day, and the drive from Mardel’s to Genesis Thrift store, accompanied by some good music, was therapeutic.
A week before, I had made several large donations to the store, and while I was there, I’d spotted a gorgeous Givenchy tote. It was sleek, black, and in mint condition. The only problem was, I was on a no-spending week. I made my donations, and promised myself I would return on payday. If it was there, it was meant for me. If not, well, it wasn’t.
The moment I walked through the door, I spotted it. As I paid, I made small talk with the cashier, a pleasant older lady. She smiled, and I smiled back.
I picked up my son from school and we went home. When my husband arrived from work, we loaded up in the car and took my mom to have her birthday dinner. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was warm and relaxed. We didn’t know it then, but it would be the last time we would eat in a restaurant for many months.
I’ve thought often about that Friday, almost a year ago now. I use that bag on a daily basis, and everytime I look at it, I’m reminded of my last normal shopping trip of 2020. But there’s no way of knowing that when you’re in the moment. Life changes in an instant and the things we took for granted suddenly matter more than you thought. To that end, I’ll share five things I never realized I was grateful for before.
- Not having to raise my voice to be heard through my mask in normal conversation. Shout out to my fellow soft-spoken people.
- Lip gloss. My gosh, do I miss lip gloss.
- Eye contact that isn’t creepy because you aren’t sure if the other person is smiling or not.
- My stellar sense of smell.
- The ability to take a deep, unhindered breath.
As we all learn to readjust, take some time to sit and acknowledge the things you never realized you were grateful for. Allow yourself to appreciate those little things more than you did before, because there is no way of knowing which moment will be the last time you’ll have that experience. This life God has given us is beautiful, not because of its permanency, but because of its ephemerality. Embrace it.
You are loved,