2020 was different. 2021 will probably stay different. In the book “Messy – The power of disorder to change our lives” Tim Harford tells the story of a strike on the London Underground. For weeks commuters were forced to find new routes to their jobs instead of taking the tube. Combining busrides, walking, biking etc.
It turned out that when the strike was over, not all commuters went back to their previous habits. Instead many had found new and better ways to get to work.
I can see some of the same effects on my family as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. I love my relatives of course, but celebrating every birthday with the same crowd indoors gets very samey. Looking back, I can’t tell different birthdays apart. Covid-19 has done away with all that.
Not being able to meet indoors, we didn’t cancel the celebrations, we headed outdoors. All year we’ve been out walking together, playing games in the forest, having hotdogs at the campfire etc. And we’ve all loved it. It has really made each moment come alive and be memorable.
Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s 14th birthday. In the forest by a small pond. It was freezing but we all dressed for it. We made the fire, served the hotdogs. Had hot drinks from thermos flasks.
Out on the frozen pond there was full activity – a hockey game was being played. And it wasn’t the usual rookies – Bambi on ice – it turned out it was the junior team of the local hockey club. With their usual facilities and rinks closed down they took the game outside.
From a creative standpoint I applaud it.
With all respect for the Covid-pandemic landing a real blow on many people lives, in many different ways – I find it hopeful to see how we can discover our routes in our lives when the old routes are being closed.
And I will keep that pond in mind. Next time there’s been a few cold nights. I’ll pack my skates and head out.