About a year ago, I wrote about how the word “unprecedented” had become the most overused, and therefore, my most hated word on the face of the planet. All the data and news and shutdowns and pandemic related minutiae was being announced by your favorite media source or casual friend as unprecedented. And while, by definition, most data being released during the pandemic was, indeed, unprecedented, I had nonetheless become sick of that word, and hence, removed it from my verbal dictionary. I refused to use it and instead, chose to focus on the positive things that were happening around us.
Fast forward a year later, and I have a newfound disgust. My disgust lies not with a single word this time, rather a phrase…
“…and then there was COVID…”
This phrase, used in tandem with a conversation about how good something was going…how great such and such was…how awesome this situation…
…and then there was COVID…
COVID, thus, ruined whatever the conversationalist was speaking of…it ended the good…ceased the great…turned awesome into hell on earth.
Before I get too far into this essay, I’d be quick to remind myself and my readers that I, too, have suffered from overusing this phrase. I’ve used it to describe the school year that was shuttered, the vacation plans that were canceled, and the WFH orders that made our firm work less efficiently. I’ve been the first to complain, to argue, to disagree with government overreach, to form opinions of those who disagree with me, and to poke fun of those were simply trying to protect us.
It stops today.
Today, I remove this phrase from my dialect. No longer will I cower under the pretense that COVID has ruined everything for me. No longer will I give credence to how this pandemic has somehow ruined my life to the point of no return. Today…I move on. I more forward. Expectantly gazing through the windshield, while glancing at the small rearview mirror. Seeing the beauty of where I’m going, but glancing at the past that got me here.
Sure, COVID thwarted many plans, but it never ruined me. It changed many of my routines, but never had victory. COVID weighed down the markets, but couldn’t keep them down. It changed how I connected with others, but never severed a relationship. It sought to put fear in the driver’s seat of my mind, but I’ve stayed above the fray.
Things are reopening. Mandates are relaxing, if not going away entirely. Social distancing is narrowing. A hug and a handshake are returning to normal. The sun warms my face, oxygen fills my lungs, nature’s beauty fills my gaze.
Abundance all around.
I take for granted there is more computing power in my cell phone than what filled the entire Apollo 11 mission to the moon. I take for granted that when I turn on my faucet, clean water flows. I take for granted that the food inside my refrigerator doesn’t spoil because it’s able to be kept cool. I take for granted that gravity exerts just enough downward force to keep my feet on the ground, but not too much that it doesn’t crush me under its weight. I take for granted that each breath I take, I inhale mostly oxygen, then exhale mostly carbon dioxide…which then leaves from a tree pull in to feed the tree, which through photosynthesis creates a chemical reaction, which produces oxygen, which I then pull back into my lungs. Each thing beautifully designed, each fulfilling their purpose.
COVID changed things, but it didn’t change me. I’m still here. I’m still breathing. The good is still intact. Greatness awaits. No longer will I allow my mind to think that somehow, the pandemic ended all good things. I’m eliminating that phrase, I’m replacing it…
…and then there was Amazement.
…and then there was Wonder.
…and then there was Optimism.
…and then there was Sincere hearts.
and Positive minds.
and worthy Goals.
COVID will soon be a distant memory. The future is bright.