R-E . . . or The Word That Got Away
Although it’s very welcome, the “re-opening” of . . . well . . . nearly everything sort of knocked me for a loop. I knew it would happen eventually . . . that once enough people got the vaccine, we’d surely be able to start moving around and doing things, taking off our masks and worrying if we had anything stuck in our teeth again. (Y’know.) But it just came about so quickly! And it’s been confusing, sort of. Do I wear a mask? Can I eat inside? Should I travel? What is safe, really, anyway?
It’s just . . . a lot of change.
After so much change.
And it’s hard to process and manage. Sure. I’m thrilled. But I also want to be . . . thoughtful. After all, now is one of those Big Chance times in life . . . an iedeal opportunity to rethink the way we live our lives -- and maybe to make some changes.
The other day, Tom shared an article with me about just this kind of thing: taking off our masks and moving forward, but maybe just a little differently. I read it and immediately thought . . .
YES! It’s a real Re. . . . . .
Yeah. When I read the article, a word - a perfect word - came to mind for what this article described. Taking off our masks and moving forward, but maybe just a little differently . . . was going to create a Re. . . . .
The perfect word had been there for me, but it was one of those words that turned out to be elusive; one of those words that flickered away before I could grab hold of it. (Don’t be alarmed. This happens to me sometimes with ideas or words. Not a lot, but once in a while. And it has for years and years. It’s not a sign of dementia, and I’m not losing my mind. It’s just a thought that flickers in and out on the periphery of my busy brain before I “catch” it in some way.)
Anyway. It was bugging me so much that I couldn’t remember this word that so perfectly described my feeling when I read that article . . . that I stopped thinking about the article and focused on the dang word! Then, of course, when I was doing something like working in the garden or carting laundry around . . . it would flicker in again, but just for a second. So annoying. And I WANTED that word!
I knew it started with R-E . . . so I started thinking about R-E words. (There are a lot of them, by the way.)
Reorganize? Realign? Reorder? Restructure?
No. It was none of those. Although they could actually work, because they perfectly describe how many of us feel about putting our lives back together, post-Covid.
Remake? Rebuild? Repurpose? Revamp?
No. It was none of those either. But, again, they also perfectly describe our efforts at picking up the pieces after the last year-and-3-months. So . . . they could work, too.
Nope. Not my word. But most of us are looking for ways to get together with people we’ve missed and gatherings we long for. So those words are also appropriate.
Reiterate? Reignite? Regenerate?
No. Not my word. But, again, yes. That IS what we’re looking to do.
No. But I think . . . closer?
And then, quietly . . . it snuck up on me!
Yep! That’s the one!
Taking off our masks and moving forward, but maybe a little differently . . . is creating a great RECKONING for us. It’s an opportunity to think about what we want to let go of, what we want to hold onto, and how we want to step out - masks off - into this changed world.
Now that I’ve Reclaimed my R-E word, I’m ready to think more about my own post-Covid Reckoning.
Speaking of a Great Reckoning . . . Tom’s little “pandemic project” has come to an end! It was fun while it lasted, but he was several exits past “ready” for a haircut.
Before (15 months of no haircuts) . . .
After (goodbye ponytail). . .
Awwww, Dale will be SO sad when I tell him Tom cut his hair! hahahaha! I think reckoning is a great word for right now. I'm happily not wearing my mask at work but I haven't been anywhere else yet (this maskless thing only become effective last Saturday) so I don't know how it will feel. I think part of the process we're facing is reckoning our belief in science with our fear of COVID.
Posted by: Carole | 06/03/2021 at 08:19 AM
Oh boy. I too have been spending lots of time thinking about "COVID after-life" and yes... I want it to be very different. A great reckoning is the perfect analogy! An altered re-entry. Thoughtful rediscovery of this changed life. I have been wondering how the wise people emerged from the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago... I would like to be counted in that number versus the less than wise group (although, I am sure I am less than wise more often than not) but I have been thinking about the two bookends of this 100 year spread and imagining something different going forward.
Posted by: Kat | 06/03/2021 at 08:30 AM
It's a weird time here in NJ. All restrictions have been lifted, but in my trips to the grocery store and curbside gyro pickup, it seems as if 60% of people are still wearing masks (including me). I have been thinking about people who are not yet immunized (~50%), and those who are immunosuppressed or susceptible to the virus because of chemo, radiation, or comorbidities. They deserve to be protected, so I'll wear my mask for a while yet until it seems okay to take it off. Maybe I'm just holding on to the mask like a security blanket, but that's okay, too.
Tom's after is a huge improvement over the before!
Posted by: Bonny | 06/03/2021 at 08:57 AM
That is a great word .....we are all doing a bit of reckoning with our place in the world.
I still wear my mask quite a lot. Probably will, especially during flu season. I reckon I want a quieter, not so busy life.
I sure have learned to enjoy my crafting more.
Your post today was excellent. I can't wait to hear what your reckoning brings you to.
Posted by: Dee | 06/03/2021 at 10:37 AM
Going from 0 to 100 is pretty strange! I'm carrying my mask and going with the flow. I see folks in masks I wear it - I don't then I enjoy the ability to see through my un-fogged glasses :-) I like short hair Tom! And here's to the reckoning!
Posted by: Patty | 06/03/2021 at 11:14 AM
Oh! sorry to see Tom's ponytail go, but his new "do" looks good too. I still wear my mask out - to stores, wherever. Even though my office is mask-less for those who are fully vaccinated, the property management company has requested that everyone wear masks in the common areas - lobbies, elevators, stairwells, etc. Most people around here are still masked in the stores...as are the workers. I guess we got used to it.
Posted by: Vera | 06/03/2021 at 12:26 PM
Ha, that last photo gave me such a laugh -- especially because he looks kind of wistful that his full head of hair is gone!
Reckoning is a really good word. And it's not just about how we go about our lives in a way that has felt so dangerous for the past year or so. I think it's also a chance for a reckoning related to how we look at our lives, how we make accommodations for those with disabilities (which clearly weren't all that difficult when we were able to make adjustments when we all needed them), and what we value most. I would hope that we'd all come out of this with more consideration for our fellow humans!
Posted by: Sarah | 06/03/2021 at 12:40 PM
Reckoning is the perfect word for this time we are in! It all still feels a bit strange. I'm puzzled because I see more people wearing masks now as compared to six months ago! I still carry my mask with me in case I'm in a place that still requires a mask.
I fell a few days behind reading blogs, but I do look forward to the zoom discussion of Shuggie Bain!
Posted by: Debbie | 06/03/2021 at 03:12 PM
Reckoning indeed - I've learned a few things over the past year and a bit that I'd rather not know, to be honest. But truth is truth -- It's a confusing time - many places here, masks are optional for vaccinated people. Yet, I suspect it's the unvaccinated who are going maskless. Congratulations on the end of the ponytail era ;-)
Posted by: Pam | 06/04/2021 at 02:32 AM
Such a great word! And a RE that is not merely a prefix! For sone reason the mask/unmask-ness of others does not affect me. I can go with the flow about that. It’s my own unmaskedness that is a little disconcerting. For one thing, I found those masks so nice and warm! And then my badly-combed-not-ready-for-a-haircut hair didn’t matter. Now I have to think about Looking Good again. Masks can be simpler! Tom looks good both ways. Sort of Tom Hanks-Castaway on the one hand and “Sunday best” on the other. I’m a child of the clean-cut Fifties so I like short-haired Tom better. But my opinion is irRElevant. (Sorry!) Which do YOU like better, Kym?
Posted by: Chloe | 06/05/2021 at 06:49 AM
Reckoning is indeed a great word for this time. I was shocked to see how few places required masks (only a few) and how few people still felt the need to wear one. I really am torn and confused, too. Tom looks so good with short hair. I don't think it really matters how long men wear there hair (I am an old hippie, after all), but I've enjoyed seeing men I know sporting new haircuts.
Posted by: Margene | 06/05/2021 at 10:45 AM
Tom is looking sharp!
This post is so much food for thought. It feels like a conversation I'm having with some--and one I'm uncomfortable having with others. For me, I am out and about more than I was a few months ago, way more than a year ago, of course...but I still don't want to go into a store unmasked. That doesn't trouble me or weigh on me at all... it just feels like when I'm comfortable doing. It makes me feel like I can participate again, to a degree.
Great word, meaningful post, thank you.
Posted by: Carolyn | 06/05/2021 at 01:40 PM
This is a great post, Kym - I do love the word Reckoning, instead of some Re-word that implies we're all going to just go back to what we were doing before. Tom's hair made me laugh - Marc has been doing his own hair for a while now (5+ years) and was pretty much the ONLY person I knew through all of this who looked like himself :-) I got my first post-COVID cut on Friday and I'm still amazed at how good it makes me feel ... hopefully Tom is feeling that way too.
Posted by: Mary | 06/06/2021 at 02:07 PM