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B.C. used to refer to the era Before Christ. Eventually historians changed that to B.C.E. to represent history Before the Common Era. I think that some of us might begin to see B.C. in a new light that stands for Before Covid. In many ways there has been an almost tectonic shift in the way everyone in the world is doing things at the same time that we are attempting to cling to our traditions. 

One of the boys little in our neighborhood was playing with a water table in his front yard while his mom watched him. I was returning from an errand so I was already wearing a mask. I decided to walk over to see how they were doing because I had not seen them much since Christmas when the family across the street had a big party. We spoke of ourselves and our families and discussed how everyone was fairing during the pandemic, noting that we had essentially been staying at home since about February. 

My neighbor mentioned that she had not been inside any building other than her own home in six months and I remarked that with the exception of walking through my daughter’s house to get to her backyard where we visited eight feet apart, I too had been mostly in my digs. She remarked that her sister-in-law had been wary of even venturing outside because of the virus. We both shook our heads in understanding because we agreed that if anything were to happen to any of our friends or family members because we became careless we might never forgive ourselves. Nonetheless we have both been gradually regaining more and more freedom. 

Our brief visit in the yard was a grand moment of triumph. It was nice to feel a bit normal even if it happened behind masks and from a distance. Human contact is so important and it is the very thing that Covid 19 has stolen away from everyone to some extent. Those of us who are older like me hope that one day in the near future we will once again feel free to hug and show our smiles, such little things that we mostly took for granted B.C.

I cut my husband’s hair today. It had begun to curl around his ears and on his neck. He invested in a set of hair clippers and had me watch an instruction video in how to trim a man’s locks. I suppose I did fairly well for a first timer. Admittedly he looks a bit like a character from Peaky Blinders but his hair is now still better than his old hippie look. I have some ideas for improving when I try again in a month. Who knows it might become a thing for me to cut his hair but he spent a great deal of time talking about the talent of his barber B.C.

My own locks have grown and grown. I needed a touch up on my highlights so I purchased a home kit from Amazon. I did something wrong because I ended up with two tone hair that was so brassy that I glowed like a lightbulb. I had to wait five weeks before I applied a solid color that was somewhat better. I could certainly use some styling but I won’t let anyone but a professional touch my hair. If the numbers of cases and deaths in the Houston area continue to stay down I’ll make an appointment with my stylist. She has a blank canvas with which to work. I think I want something quite different from the way my hair looked B.C. People appear to like me better without bangs and with a bit of length.

I haven’t been to the gym since February. I exercise daily but I need those weight lifting machines. My arms are flabby and I even have a semi-frozen shoulder. I’ve gained about five pounds and my mid section really needs some toning. I’d hate to think how bad I would be if I did not watch what I eat and walk every single day. It saddens me to think of how much ground I’ve lost from when I was really looking good B.C.

On the other hand it’s not all bad news. I’ve enjoyed the slower pace of my life. My calendar is rather empty save for the remote teaching sessions that I am doing. Helping my growing number of students has given me a sense of purpose and a feeling of doing something positive that has put a lilt in my step these days. I’ve become a small time essential worker and I’ve renewed that wonderful feeling that was so routine back when I was a full time educator. Retirement is nice but one can only do so much traveling and reading and gardening before wondering what’s next. I was beginning to feel a bit bored and useless B.C.

I have no idea how long all of this will last. I don’t think anyone really does. I do know that it has at times felt like a new era of history. I think of all of those lives that are so unexpectedly gone and I feel a great sadness, especially since we are all so eager to go back to the way things were B.C. I think that we would do well to use this moment to survey our individual lives and the trajectory of society and ask ourselves if it would not be better to make a few changes. I think that many of us have begun to rethink what is most important and we are reluctant to return to a duplication of life B.C.