The door’s open. Where should I go?


I am now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Yay!

And, like this little bird, I’m pretty happy staying at home by myself.

But it’s nice to have options as I face the (nearly) post-pandemic world.

It’s a literal question -- “Where should I go?” -- and also a metaphorical one. Click To Tweet

Where could I go? And what could I do?

I could see people in person!

Preferably others who have also been vaccinated. Why push it?

I could eat at a restaurant!

Inside, even. Although, who wants to, when it’s so nice outside?

I could go shopping!

For what, though? I love Instacart for grocery delivery. And shopping online.

I could travel!

Well…there are other considerations besides COVID…fitness and finances, to name two.

I could have people over!

But how much did I ever do that anyway? Maybe I want to start doing it more?

I could go visit people in their homes!

Depends on how many others are invited. I’m still an introvert, after all.

I could work with clients in their homes!

Except all my services are, by now, exclusively virtual…and I like it that way.


It’s a literal question — “Where should I go?” — and also a metaphorical one.

This (nearly) post-pandemic period of time is a crossroads not unlike….

…graduating from high school or college.

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

…moving to a new city.

What’s on offer that I want to do, or see? How do I want to make myself useful?

returning home from a trip.

What did I enjoy about the trip that I can apply to my home life?


This is a chance for us to reevaluate our lives, homes, and businesses.

Here are some more questions I’m asking myself….and you can ask yourself too, as we face the (nearly) post-pandemic world:

  • What am I grateful for? Were there any silver linings to the pandemic for me?
  • Do I want to resume the activities I was engaged in before? Or is this a good opportunity to switch gears and focus my energy on something else?
  • What did I start doing during the pandemic that I want to continue doing?
  • Which people do I want to reunite with, and which ones maybe not so much?
  • Are there some projects around the house that I’ve been putting off? Which ones will make my life nicer and easier?
  • Do I need to make my workspace more functional and comfortable, so I can be more productive working from home?
  • Do my household systems need review?
  • Do I need help getting back on track?


The “door” is not equally open for all.

I want to acknowledge that many who took the pandemic seriously are still feeling cautious, or have extra health risks, or limited access to vaccines, or continued regional lock-downs. Workplaces, social and support groups, classes, clubs, friends, and families are all having to negotiate when (and whether) to resume meeting in person. I hope everyone will give everyone else the space to re-enter society at their own pace. For small groups I lean towards waiting until each of us is comfortable, so as to not be missing anyone when (and if) we resume meeting in person.


If you’ve been fully vaccinated, what’s the first thing YOU did with your newfound freedom?

What activities or behaviors are YOU looking forward to starting/stopping/resuming?

Please share with us in the comments below!

Copyright 2021 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
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  1. Diane N Quintana on May 31, 2021 at 7:29 am

    This is great, Hazel. I appreciate the advice you offer about giving everyone the grace to re-enter when they are ready. I wanted to go to Seattle to visit my son and his family as soon as I was fully vaccinated. They were not ready for a visitor. I had to wait until they were comfortable having someone else in their home. They decided they were ready in mid-March. I went and spent 3 weeks with them! It’s so important to acknowledge and be sensitive to everyone else’s comfort level. It’s not just about me (or you).

    • Hazel Thornton on May 31, 2021 at 7:41 am

      Talk about delayed gratification! After this whole past year, what’s a few more weeks (or months) to make sure everyone’s comfortable. Right? I’m sure they enjoyed your visit as much as you did!

  2. Seana Turner on May 31, 2021 at 7:34 am

    This pandemic has gone on long enough to change our behavior. Wear a mask for two weeks, you can easily take it off. BUT, wear a mask for 18 months, and suddenly you feel a little weird taking it off, like it is risky. I had one client pull her mask down and ask me if I thought she looked different. She was self-conscious.

    Now is definitely a unique time to reflect and be intentional about what activities we resume, and how. I think many in my area will resist returning to the full-time NYC commute if their employees will allow them to work from home. It literally saves hours each day!

    • Hazel Thornton on May 31, 2021 at 8:14 am

      Speaking of self-conscious, I wonder how many women will resume wearing makeup (if they stopped because of the masks and the quarantining), and how many will decide they are brave/comfortable/accepting enough to go without? Same for the women who stopped coloring their hair, many of whom have realized they look great in grey!

  3. Jonda Beattie on May 31, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Great post! I am finally allowed to go visit my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren as they are fully vaccinated. But with that offer now comes points to figure out – fly or drive? where to stay when there? how to eat on the journey?

    Yesterday I worked virtually with a client who was mentally and physically exhausted because she had taken a one day trip with 2 friends. Being around other people during the trip that were not masked and probably not vaccinated really stressed her even though she is vaccinated.

    We all need to ease back into this new world.

    • Hazel Thornton on May 31, 2021 at 8:21 am

      Good points — that we are having to make numerous decisions beyond “should I go or not?”, and that it can be exhausting!

  4. Sara Skillen on May 31, 2021 at 9:19 am

    I’ve been doing a lot of this kind of thinking lately. One small thing I know is going to change forever is the way I shop for groceries. Ordering online has simplified it so much, saved time, and probably saved me money too since I’m not seeing impulse buys as I wander the aisles. On a larger scale I’m wanted to invest more effort (not necessarily a lot of money) into making my home office more comfortable and supportive. I’m grateful to be able to note these “silver linings” in an otherwise dreadful year.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 5:19 am

      Me too! I may never step inside a grocery store again. And I think we all have silver linings (in general) that if we can realize what they are consciously, and be grateful for them, they will save our sanity.

  5. Janet Barclay on May 31, 2021 at 10:56 am

    My sister and I have talked about this a few times during the pandemic, after realizing how much we don’t miss certain people or activities. It will be interesting to see what gets swept aside and what remains virtual even when we have the option of going places and seeing others in person.

    My life was so small before (also being an introvert) but I’d been working on having more “adventures” for a couple of years before it got even smaller. I want to resume my adventures but might need a push because I’ve gotten very comfortable here in my nest.

    I got my second shot yesterday and am looking forward to hanging out with my sister again.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 5:25 am

      I’m glad you will be able to hang out with your sister soon! As for adventures, would it help to set yourself a goal of one a month? Or one per week? What qualifies as an adventure? Do you have a running list? Or is it more spontaneous than that? (I’m imagining they aren’t necessarily big, expensive, or time-consuming. Some of them are just doing something new, yes?) I look forward to hearing about your adventures! (There — is that incentive enough?)

  6. Lucy Kelly on June 1, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I’m so looking forward to working with people in person again. The biggest change for me will be that I’ll be keeping my mask on – I work in dusty conditions and had always felt embarrassed about wearing a mask. Now everyone’s totally used to that!

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 5:25 am

      Now, there’s a silver lining!

  7. Julie Bestry on June 1, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    So much philosophical and practical wisdom packed into one blog post! I’m an extrovert, but being forced to lead such an introverted lifestyle over the past year+ has made me realize that I’ve been starved…for activity, humanity, and actual restaurant food.

    It seems like I was on a diet prior to 2020, and then pushed into a far stricter one, and now I’m doing exactly what you said, re-evaluating my whole life. I want MORE of just about everything: more interaction, more delightful activities, and more food that someone other than myself has cooked! But this year has also indulged my lazy inclinations, so I’ll have to decide, which do I want more? Do I want to wear slouchy clothes or go out to a nice restaurant? Do I want to have a more relaxing schedule or work with a heavy load of clients? I’ve resigned from one time-consuming obligation, and another one seems to have stopped existing, and I know that I need to consciously fill that time or it will get filled for me.

    But you know what? It’s really nice to have some choices again.

    Oh, and I almost forgot your last question. I’ve been fully vaccinated almost two months now, but I’ve taken it slowly. For my first foray, our colleague Sara Skillen and I drove halfway between us (she in Nashville, me in Chattanooga) and met in Manchester, TN to eat at a Starbuck’s patio and go for a walk. But last week was the real test — I drove to visit my sister in Atlanta, and we (masked) went into some stores, ate a restaurant, goofed around at a playground…and sat at home watching Netflix, because that’s never going away. 😉

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 5:39 am

      Choices. That’s the keyword that stood out for me in your comment, Julie. We all feel better when we perceive some level of control — choices — in our lives. Sometimes (when there isn’t a pandemic to force us to stop and reflect) there are so many choices it can be overwhelming. And I hope we all appreciate the choices that are starting to open up again for us, and take advantage of them without re-overwhelming ourselves. Your visits with Sara and Holly sound delightful!

  8. Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    You are definitely right in that it’s a good chance to reevaluate. I am an extrovert but found you got more comfortable being at home and spending time alone. I still go out for work and to visit my mom, but I no longer looking for entertainment (unless you consider a walk around the neighborhood) outside the house. I do miss friends and am planning to get together with small groups this summer.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 5:30 am

      I feel bad for musicians, other performers, and venues that were hit hard by the pandemic. But I do think we’re all a little better at entertaining ourselves now than we were. Enjoy your summer get-togethers, Janet!

  9. Donna Kuper on June 1, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    This may sound crazy, but life never changed much for us. Yes, we wore masks when we went to the grocery store – the only indoor space we visited – and in crowded outdoor situations like farmers markets. But we do most other shopping online anyway. And we still socialized outdoors the whole time, without a mask to be honest. The hardest for me was not being able to visit my parents which was the first thing I did, though flying cross country with a mask was AWFUL!

    • Hazel Thornton on June 8, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      I hardly went anywhere, so never had to wear a mask very often or for very long. So, any extended periods of having to wear one would be unpleasant for me, too. So glad you got to see your parents, though! And glad I feel comfortable at this time eating outdoors at restaurants, in time for my birthday!

  10. Susan Williams on June 5, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    I am still staying home and ordering groceries. I do go to the plant nursery and Walmart to buy things I cannot get from delivery, but I still wear my face shield. I have not gone in to sit down at a restaurant except for one time and there was only one other couple in it and sitting completely across the way from us. We are finishing up the insulation on our shop building. We just finished a 20 by 40 foot awning off the shop with 5 ceiling fans and lights on it. We have ordered concrete for the entire outside work we have wanted since we bought the place. We will finish the inside of the shop and then begin building a fence around the property. We have also purchased the ceiling fans for the front and back porches. Then, we will be staying home, enjoying what we have, working from home. I love plants, he loves working on things. He is slated to continue to work from home for the foreseeable future with a few trips in between, but very limited. I can order almost anything I need from Walmart, Amazon, Albertsons grocery, Home Depot, Lowes, or Northern Tool. It is actually much easier than going to get it ourselves most of the time.

    • Hazel Thornton on June 9, 2021 at 6:07 am

      Sounds like you’re making the best of things and continuing to improve your living/working conditions!

  11. Mary E. Rossow on June 13, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Hazel… pithy post❣️
    Lot’s of good points to consider. Love your graphic at the top.

    Yes, we have all been “released from our cages”, so now the question: do we fly North, South, East, West… or do we just sit on the branch for a while, breathing deeply, while we assess our options.


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