Op-Ed: The things we no longer take for granted

Op-Ed: The things we no longer take for granted
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News
2020 has taught us that there are many things we should no longer take for granted, says writer Ian Haysom.

With a month left until we can say goodbye to what has been without question the most challenging year in our lifetime, the one good thing about 2020 is that we will never take certain things for granted anymore.

Those include:

– Going to the movies and buying popcorn and settling back with a theatre full of other people and laughing, crying, cringing or being moved by the moment.

– Giving friends and family hugs and pecking them on the cheek, even if they didn’t want you to.

– Working in an office full of people, kibbitzing about something in the news – news that wasn’t COVID-related.

– Inviting friends into your home for a coffee, a meal or to look at that new rug or jug you just bought.

– Seeing people smile with their mouths, not just their eyes.

– Watching your grandkids play soccer or strutting their stuff at a dance recital before they banned spectators.

– Going to a restaurant or a pub and sitting so close to the people at the next table you could almost, if you leaned in, hear every word of their conversation. Not that you were eavesdropping.

– Whispering in someone’s ear.

– Singing with a group or a choir.

– Going to the theatre and trying to see over the head of the 6-foot-four person in the second row.

– Looking at passers-by with interest, rather than with fear and suspicion.

– Going out dancing and partying and drinking. OK, many of us stopped doing that 30 years ago.

– Taking the bus.

– Going downtown and bustling about with the crowds.

– Going straight into a store without checking to see if there are too many people inside.

– Sneezing in the open air.

– Going to the gym.

– Living without ZOOM.

– Going to church.

– Going to a Christmas market.

– Travelling north, south, east, west or wherever took our fancy – and sometimes taking a plane.

– Sitting next to a stranger on the ferry. Maybe even striking up a conversation, or offering them one of your pistachios.

– Taking the ferry.

– Going on a date.

– Going to a concert where the crowd numbered in the hundreds or thousands roared at the musicians, stomping and shouting for more.

– Getting close and personal.

– Running a marathon or a 10k with lots of other people you don’t know.

– Christmas. Last Christmas.

– Helping someone cross the road. Or helping pick up something someone dropped.

– Going to the supermarket and walking up and down any aisle you felt like in any direction you wanted.

– When a virus was something that attacked your computer.

– Meeting up with more than six friends.

– Sharing a smoke

– Yelling from the stands at a hockey game

– Rubbing shoulders with fellow aficionados at an art gallery or craft studio.

-Kissing on your first date.

– Blowing a kiss.

Eventually, when we get to do all these things again – or at least the ones we want to, we should never take them for granted.

Or take anything for granted, for that matter.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

Ian Haysom is the former news director for Global BC and a consultant for CHEK News.

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