Stranger Days #46: The Things I Miss

A chalkboard with scrabble letters that read "Stranger Days"
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.  

This post is not meant to be me complaining about the things I miss (and broadcast my privilege to all who come here).  Rather, it is my attempt to acknowledge that there are struggles and things that I miss after being predominately home for almost two months. In acknowledging them, there's a part that makes it much easier to sit with because I've given voice to the missing. 

Coffee Shops
I enjoy hanging out at coffee shops, often doing work, reading, or just meeting up with friends. At different times in my life, I might spend from 1 to 8 hours a week in coffee shops (and no doubt, have spend upwards of that much time in a single day--true story!). I find them an opportune space to get things done with background noise that can keep me focused (there's a reason why music sites like Focus@Will have a coffee shop channel--the ambient noise is actually useful) but it also introduces new and interesting opportunities.  For instance, I've made many a friend by having random conversations with folks at coffee shops.

Going Out to Breakfast
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and there's something that's classic childhood nostalgia about going out to a good diner/breakfast joint.  In particular, I'm missing The Ugly Mug, my absolute favorite place for breakfast.  And yes, I am certainly fine with making my own breakfast but I enjoy either sitting at the counter and enjoying my meal along with small talk with the staff or going to breakfast with someone and just enjoying the luxury of morning meal with someone.

Movie Theaters
I do rather enjoy the sensory experience of going to a movie theater--add to the theater a messanine that I can enjoy and I'm in total heaven.  Between the large visuals on the screen, the sound that can sometimes reverberate in the chairs, the attempt to find the right position while sitting in those chairs, the smell of stale popcorn, and well, the saltiness of said popcorn, it is such a vivid experience for me and I genuinely enjoy getting lost in a film when it is on the screen like that.  

The Library
Of course, I am so missing the library right now. Yes, I can find things to borrow online and while I don't like to make distinctions between ebooks and physical books, I am missing the opportunity to visit the library, pick up reserves, chat with the librarians, and just feel more strongly tied to my community as I meet people who also live in my city. I miss getting to explore different activities boards to see what is going on at the library or in the town or just freely perusing the aisles and letting serendipity decide what I read or watch next.  

Going for Runs with Friends
Not as often as I would like but still often enough for me to enjoy it, I miss going for runs with friends. It's a great way to both enjoy the body and the company of someone else. Finding mutual struggle and pleasure in the run and also in the opportunity to converse.  

Hosting Parties
We regularly have parties which are just great opportunities to spend time, eat, and play games with friends--just having people over, enjoy conversations over food, drink, and the like.  There's something wonderful about welcoming folks into your home and sharing that space with them.    

Day Trips
Trips in general I will be missing for the foreseeable future but in particular, my partner and I had been doing random adventures each weekend where we pick a random zip code, drive there, and explore. It was an opportunity to find new places and interesting things to do. I'm definitely missing these as they presented an opportunity to discover something new and be on an adventure of sorts.  

Yes, I am definitely missing hugs. To be clear, my partner willingly and happily dishes them out--but I've warned friends that when this is over, I may need to go on a hugging tour where I seek each of them out and give them just a long (well-past awkward length) hugs to make up for lost time.  

These are the things and experiences that I am missing. I know that many of them will come back and many of them are just small privileges I get to regularly enjoy. But today, I'm just acknowledging that I'm missing them.  

What are you missing?

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.

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