The past 18 months have been incredible, unbelievable, unthinkable, unimaginable, extraordinary, horrific, terrifying, bleak, stressful to say the least. This virus flipped the world upside down. The earth almost stopped rotating. At some point, you’d think the sun would rise in the west and set in the east. Life stopped for a couple of months in the busiest parts of the world. The planet got a much-needed break from us. The pandemic brought death and devastation. People died, especially old people, the people who are the most vulnerable. Families got shattered, jobs got lost, businesses closed, governments fell, and society reached its breaking point. Some couples separated, others were formed, and finally, rich people got richer and poor people got poorer.

The past year and a half were filled with so many intense negative emotions that suicides, depression, anxiety skyrocketed. Loneliness, the other deadly virus we don’t talk about or that we choose to ignore because facing it would mean to change radically our way of life and we certainly do not want to do that out of cowardice and self-centeredness, has reached unprecedented levels in the western world and it is also rising in other countries. Normally, loneliness affects the older generation, because they are isolated in their retirement homes and they are away from family yet, with this pandemic, it is now affecting young people. I live alone and even if I am not that young, I know how loneliness can affect someone’s mental state and their body.

Moreover, this global crisis is far from over, and most predictions show we will be living with the coronavirus for years, at least 5 years, to come. So, we still have a long way to go as a people on this planet. Have we been through the worst already? I hope we have but we never know. We have learned a lot in the past 18 months, and we got a reminder of how uncontrollable and unpredictable this life is. That’s a fact. No one could have ever predicted this turn of events. No one could have known how devastating this pandemic would be. Some had predicted worse but it’s quite bad as it is. Life is unpredictable, mother nature is unforgiving, and she also is an independent entity. She answers to no one, and we, the supreme predators on this world’s food chain, are simply at her mercy. The pandemic happened and there wasn’t much we could do. That’s another lesson in humility, offered graciously by mother nature.

It’s been heavy, dramatic, we have been filled with anger, we felt despair and I believe we all lost a piece of ourselves during those endless months spent in our houses, away from our family, friends, coworkers and away from human contact. It’s been so bad that certain people must learn how to interact and socialize with others again. I am talking about grown people who were so isolated that reentering society has become harder than the 12 labors of Hercules.

We lost people. We lost our people. We lost people we loved, and we still love them dearly. We have mourned them, and we still do today. Yet, since we were in a vulnerable mental state to begin with, our mourning has been quite shaky and vastly incomplete. It’s no one’s fault really. The world stopped and we didn’t have the support system we needed to process the grief and sorrow we felt at the time. That’s traumatic enough as it is. Once again, the past 18 months have been tough. I might run out of superlatives to describe the pandemic’s consequences.

So, given everything that’s happened, do yourself a favor; go out and have a good time because you deserve it. I am serious. Have a good fucking time. Go out, drink, eat, fuck, try a new hobby, hug, kiss, live a fulfilling life. I know I am speaking in a profoundly idealistic way, as if all those activities are independent of money and time. Ok. I get it. You don’t have to do anything extravagant. Simply enjoy life. Maybe take that vacation, go to the beach or go hiking, talk to a stranger, learn new skills, learn a new language, go out of town for a weekend, learn a new cooking recipe, reconnect with an old friend, squash a beef with someone, be kind or kinder to people, smile more, laugh, stop getting so offended and upset about things that ultimately don’t matter, stop obsessing about people’s opinions for crying out loud. Basically, do something you love, whatever the fuck it is! Go ahead and read a book, start writing, paint, ride a bicycle, spend more time with your kids and get to know them, exercise a bit, eat a salad, learn new stuff on YouTube, take singing and/or dancing classes, or maybe do nothing, how about that? If your definition of a good time lies in you doing nothing, then do nothing. Do something or nothing but in the end, make sure you are having a good time.

There are many lessons to get from this unprecedented situation. One of them, perhaps the most important, is that life is too damn short. Life is unfair one day and magnificent the next. There isn’t a blueprint on how to live life. There is none. So, please, make sure you have a good time because you deserve it. I don’t care what you call a good time, that’s up to you! I don’t even care if you have a good time actually. That’s up to you once again. I simply know when people are having a good time, their soul, their mind, their heart, and their bodies feel better and by feeling better, you spread positive energy, which makes the environment better and hopefully others feel better. So, feel better. You deserve it.

You have been through a lot. I have been through a lot. We all have been through a lot for fuck’s sake. We deserve a break. We deserve to rest a bit and to enjoy life again. Who the fuck knows what will happen tomorrow? I know I am going to do my best to have a good time, because I deserve it. This life is too damn short. Do what you can to have a good time. Be fucking happy. Enjoy life. Have a good time because you deserve it.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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