Do you have a mixture of excitement and apprehension about how we will do life moving forward?
Now that the pandemic restrictions are loosening here in Ontario, Canada we can add people to our social circles, go shopping and go on other outings too.
But I am finding that this whole pandemic scene is so weird. We’ve never been through something like this before and we have no points of reference.
I realized this when I went on my first shopping trip to the Mall.
I had that mixture of excitement and apprehension, as I got ready to go. I had been waiting for this day and I was eager to go somewhere other than the grocery store! I had my lists ready and I even wore some ‘going out’ clothes!
But wow! The Mall sure didn’t look the same. The food court was closed. Not even take out was available. A place that was usually full of people enjoying food and conversation was empty. It seemed sad. I know some people went to the Mall everyday to meet friends and have a coffee. I wondered about those lonely people and how they are coping with this social isolation.
A few stores were opening up. The doors were only open wide enough to allow one person to enter or exit. One of the women’s clothing stores for older women had a line up already at 10:30 in the morning. I don’t think many of them were able to do any online shopping so they were ready for new clothes.
My first stop was the Dollar Store. A store that is usually crowded had only a few customers. I didn’t browse like I usually do. It seemed like I shouldn’t. Not sure why, but it did.
Maybe it was because I have only been shopping at the grocery store for necessities. This trip was not about necessities. It was just for fun stuff. I enjoyed picking out some craft supplies and stickers that my granddaughter Alice and I can use on her weekly visits. My shopping felt like a little return to normal.
But the reality of this pandemic and the safety measures were apparent again when I got to the check out and there was a plexi-glass shield between the cashier and I. I know it’s there for everyone’s safety. But it made conversation difficult and I couldn’t do the friendly banter that I usually do. I felt like I needed to complete my transaction and be on my way quickly. It was as if there was no time for friendly conversation.
I took my bag to the truck and used my hand sanitizer – again.
Then I went to one of my favorite women’s clothing stores to get a couple of summer t-shirts. The sales clerk greeted me at the door and showed me where the hand sanitizer was. I used it because I had touched the door handle on the way in. She pointed out the direction arrows on the floor.
I saw t-shirts on display to my left but I followed the arrows to the right and wound my way around the store. I knew my size and quickly found my two t-shirts. One in white and another in hot pink. I found some sparkly earrings and followed the arrows to the check out. It was fun to buy a few new things.
This time I didn’t let the reality of the pandemic safety measures hurry me. I took the time to engage in friendly conversation. I found out that it was their first day open and I was able to commend her for handling the new situation well.
I thanked her for her service and left so someone else could have fun shopping too.
I still felt that mixture of excitement and apprehension and decided that the visit to the Mall was enough for one day. I was content to return home.
How about you?
Have you ventured out shopping yet?
How did you feel?
Now I don’t want you to think that I am not thankful for this little shopping trip because it was fun. I am thankful that the businesses are opening up again. I am thankful for the safety measures that are apparent. I am thankful for the sales clerks that are back to work and served me. I am thankful for the things I was able to buy.
I’m just a little sad that things are so very different now.
I’ve shared in another post about this pandemic and what it is teaching me. You can read that post here.
After my shopping trip I learned that the pandemic safety measures should not stop me from interacting with people. It’s important to smile, if I’m not wearing a mask, and to engage in small talk like I usually do. It’s important to thank people for their service. We are all struggling with the new normal.
As I navigate through this new normal I am so glad that God is always with me. As I stated in an earlier post, during all this uncertainty I am learning to trust God more.
I am certain He is a trustworthy God. He has proven Himself so many times in my life, that I know I can trust Him now!
I am certain that I can have hope and peace because God will help me with whatever comes my way.
I am certain that because God is control I don’t need to figure out all the possibilities for the future.
Even though I don’t understand how; I am certain that God is using this pandemic for good.
Today’s little step: The new normal is going to take some getting used to. I suggest we ease back into outings slowly.
How about you? How are you easing back into the new normal? I’d love to hear your plans.