This time last summer, I was busy fussing over my nascent garden, perfecting my sourdough starter, and indulging in my personal Grey’s Anatomy Retrospective, all the way back to when a boy met a girl in a bar.
(I see your pandemic coping cliches, and I raise you 362 episodes of a TV drama, at least 300 of which I already watched.)
I remember reading early in the pandemic that we’re drawn to revisiting familiar stories during times of uncertainty because it’s comforting when we already know how everything turns out.
Sure, the familiarity of Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan Memorial/Whatever It’s Called These Days was comforting, in spite of a ridiculous amount of cliffhangers in the season 16 finale, but the real reward for all those hours of Grey’s re-runs came in this year’s season finale, when Meredith herself uttered something I had been thinking about for months:
Maybe it’s time to rethink everything.
COVID’s over, everything’s getting back to normal, right?
Except it isn’t.
Cases may be down where you live, but it ain’t over, nor is the pre-February, 2020, version of whatever you remember as normal ever coming back.
Can’t step in the same river twice, and all that.
We’re different, and the river – the world – will never be the same.
Even if you’re as blessed I am, having not lost any dear ones to the virus, able to safely do meaningful, well-paid work for the past year and a quarter, and having avoided getting sick from the time of the first local case through becoming fully vaccinated, there is no going back to before.
And, sorry, Dr. Grey, but there’s no maybe about it, either
Now is the perfect time to rethink everything.
Not in order to tear it all down.
To appreciate, honor, and mourn what’s been lost.
To be intentional about what you choose to release and what you choose to retain.
To take the lead in creating your own next episode and next season.
This year my garden is bigger than ever, bringing me even more delight, even as it sucks more cash out of my bank account.
My sourdough starter remains robust, and I’ve added whole wheat bread and pizza dough to my baking repertoire.
I still watch TV, sometime too much, and what with next year being the final season, there is likely a This is Us retrospective in my near future.
In the meantime, I’m going to invoke the words of a TV character who survived more near-death experiences than any real human possibly could, and embrace that it’s time to rethink everything.