August 7, 2020

Cherishing Choice

If the hardships of 2020 have taught us anything, it is to cherish all of the things we took for granted – back before anyone knew what a Coronavirus was. Apologies to anyone who will have the Madonna song stuck in their head for the remainder of the day.

Of course, there are all of the things that we cherish because we miss them. Someone told me the other day that they had a longing for the smell of beer-bathed pub carpet. Each to their own…but I suppose it is the aromatic artefact of a night out with friends, a few drinks and a game.

There isn’t one conversation that I have had about 2020 where, in spite of the enormous challenges that continue to rage, there has not been a return to simple things – conversations with friends, books, DIY and crafting. Those phone conversations that I have with friends and family go for longer and are about more meaningful things. Maybe the quality of the connection isn’t about the connecting – it is about the longing and cherishing of it.

There are also the things we have come to cherish because Covid-19 stripped away the distraction of nights out at the pub. Things like family, home-baking, sleep and the sanctuary of the homes where all of that occurs.

We’ve grown to cherish the things we didn’t have time for and long for the things that took our time in the first place.

I’m curious though, now, if everything was as it was again – what would we do differently? If there was no Coronavirus tomorrow – is it the smell of beer-bathed carpet or fresh home-baked bread that you’ll cherish?

In some ways the answer is subjective, different people will find what they cherish. Yet in an important way, the question has an objective answer – we cherish choices. Coronavirus has robbed us of choices, and it continues to narrow the choices of our brothers and sisters in Victoria, especially.

Yet as time wears on and we understand that we can’t change the pandemic, probably the best advice I have had is to cherish what you can. Similar to Sting’s song – If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. And just a Sting promised, you will find that there is a awful lot to savour.

One thing the Covid generation will uniquely cherish are those choices, and I hope we do, for a long time after they return; and the choices will return.

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