I have a bad habit of viewing my life as a series of dates. I look forward to events scheduled in the future and overlook the days that seem arbitrary, resulting in a constant cycle of ups and downs, where I’m unhappy on the days that seem to lack purpose.
Throughout the pandemic, I began to think that every day lacked purpose. I wasn’t able to find happiness through the anticipation of specific dates. Nothing felt memorable, and my day-to-day life stopped being meaningful.
I wasn’t the only person feeling this way. My close friends were also experiencing these emotions to a certain extent. It felt like a dark cloud hanging over us, raining down a layer of negativity that we couldn’t shake. Even on the days when I felt happy, someone else would be having a down day.
It was imminent that something had to change. The uncontrollable circumstances of the pandemic were not changing, so we were the ones who had to shift our perspective. I set a common goal for myself and my friends: do at least one thing every day that will make that day memorable. Put the energy expended on looking forward to certain days towards making the present-day special.
We started planning to do simple things every day. Go on a walk, play a game, sit outside or make dinner together. To us, these seemingly ordinary activities created a purpose. It forced us all to feel like we accomplished something that day. We would have something to look back on and feel good about when falling asleep as the day came to a close.
The conversations that occurred during these activities were equally important as the activities themselves. We talked about highs and lows, complex things and simple things, deep topics and light-hearted jokes.
These talks not only strengthened the bond of our friendships, but they reminded us that we have one another to lean on. We don’t have to experience the highs and lows of our lives by ourselves because we have each other.
Looking back on these days, it was one of the best times in my life. I got to know my friends on a level that I have never experienced before. We could spend all day together and still find things to talk about. Each day, I felt our friend group growing closer and closer together.
Today, we are transitioning back to pre-pandemic times. We are all busier, and naturally, have less time to spend with each other. However, no matter how busy we are, we will always find a minute in the day to slow down and check in on each other. We ask ourselves, “What did you do today that makes your day memorable?” If my friends and I struggle to answer, we make sure to do something that will change that.
This has made all the difference when making the negative parts of our days feel overpowered by the good moments—even if it’s just one. Even if it’s just sitting, talking and laughing with my friends, it means the world to me.