Chris Wiegman Chris Wiegman

My New Normal

Joy and I on the beach at Siesta Key in June 2021

If you had told me at the beginning of 2020 that all travel would be ending, that we would stop eating out, stop drinking and generally be tied to our house for over a year and a half I would have panicked. In 2019 I had spent almost 4 months of the year in hotels and we ate out an average of 5-6 days a week while still spending all our social time at a local pub with friends.

It was a very different life than today.

As we enter the second half of 2021 we’ve been away from the house once, a couple of weekends ago, and have eaten out a total of 8 times (not including delivery), all within the last month and a half after we became fully vaccinated. I spend my evenings reading. We make our own food 5-6 days a week only ordering delivery once or twice on the weekend and I haven’t had a beer at all since last October (and could probably count what I’ve had since March of last year if I wanted to).

Through all the changes I must admit, life is pretty good. While I do miss actual travel I don’t miss all the rest that came with our old lifestyle. I don’t miss the beer. I don’t miss the food. I don’t even miss many of the people we used to hang out with.

After losing about 25lbs, so far, I’m healthier than I’ve been in years. I have some to go but, for the first time ever, I’m feeling like I might be able to get to my goal weight. Not eating out and traveling has also meant that we were able to put a lot of money away last year, even after paying off my last student loan. These are real benefits that I wouldn’t have been able to do if we had just kept hanging out at the pub and going to Disney or some other place every weekend.

These changes are my new norm, a norm from which I don’t want to go back.

I had spent years trying to get healthier, years trying to improve my diet and find ways to spend our time that didn’t involve beer. It took a monumental change in society to do it but, at least for me, that has been the one positive of this past 18 months that I wouldn’t want to go back on.