We Get Letters!

Like it or not, each issue, Tonic Publisher Jamie Bussin gives his thoughts on health and wellness.The Return to Choice

At some point in the future I will exist in the full embrace of our new normal. Whatever that might look like. Will it look exactly like the pre-Covid reality? Yes. No. I don’t know. It will be what it will be. The vast majority of us will have dodged the existential threat of the pandemic and go back to concerning ourselves with the really important issues of our time – you know; “Where should we go for dinner on Saturday night?” or “Should I buy the Peloton (everyone else has one)?”

Many people are convinced that we’re heading into a time of great prosperity…because that’s what happened in the 1920’s after the world recovered from the Spanish flu (leaving aside what happened in the 1930s). Maybe. I have my thoughts on this, which is perhaps for another article at another time. I think it’s fair to say that most of us are excited about the prospect of choice and the opportunity to exercise their discretion with the world opening back up. But not everyone.

During the pandemic, that is what was missing for many; the real freedom to make decisions and act on them – rather than choosing (ie.)  the colour of one’s designer mask. I expect that there will be a rush of emotional decisions, built on frustrating restrictions we experienced. People will change jobs, move out of (or into) the city, or perhaps move on from significant others.

I admire those decision makers. Not because I want a new career, a slower life in the sticks or a break from Naomi. I admire those brave spirits who are champing at the bit to embrace their new world. Me? For the most part I coped very well with the impositions and strictures of Covid. Because I had to. My strengths come out when the proverbial chips are down. Nobody plays the short stack like me.

But recently, with the world opening back up, I started to not do so well. Buying new clothing seemed like a wretched chore. I deferred the decision to book a vacation with Naomi and our friends, because I couldn’t wrap my head around the details. Every decision seemed like a challenge. I was stuck. I was anxious. Just as everyone else found their optimism.

Eventually, I found relief in discussing my problem with Naomi and some close friends. I knew that ultimately I would enjoy the trip (and the new clothes and the dinner out on a patio) and I didn’t want to hold up the others happy to move forward in their plans. So, I decided to opt out of decisions until ready. I let others decide a few things without my input. I created a literal if not informal “trust” which existed until the fruition of some of those choices – allowing me to experience the return to our freedoms without  the stress of making decisions. For the time being, it’s easier for me to make plans to meet friends while enjoying dinner at a restaurant patio, rather than from the same kitchen table where I’ve eaten for the past many months. I expect that I’m not alone and would suggest to others that they be mindful of those who might be similarly stuck. If you can’t make decisions – why not let those who can, help you to do so for a bit? And if you see someone you care about struggling, maybe make a reservation for brunch.

If you’re having difficulty in deciding what to read first in this issue of Tonic, put your trust in me and allow me to curate. Have a look at Joel Thuna’s article on how to have better bones. Consider learning about non-binary gender identity with Carlye Jansen.  Or perhaps read Julie Watson’s article about what yoga really is. As always, if you’d like to discuss this note or anything you’ve read in this issue, feel free to reach out to me.