The need to reconnect now feels urgent. I long for personal, meaningful interactions with people outside of our immediate family circle and our dog and cat who have been brought to near-human levels during the pandemic. I took conversation for granted beforehand and often viewed it as something I had to plan. That meant we didn't talk often. Now I want to open the doors and fill our home with the friends and family we have missed. It doesn't matter whether we eat on a china plate or a paper plate, or eat a homemade meal or a pizza. – Sally Mathew, Birmingham, Ala.
I look forward to wearing lipstick this summer. Not a bright color to match your gums, but a real bright coral that stains the napkin at lunch. Something that doesn't go back behind a mask. Then I'll know we've moved on. – Becky Schaeffer, Atlanta
I'm attending a small, masked, detached outdoor concert in Santa Cruz, California, a big step towards the new normal. I'm going with my concert friend who was my companion on the last show I attended in January 2020. Mara J. Wildfire, Mountain View, California.
My friends and I have met and planned a trip every summer for the past 11 years. Last year it was difficult not to see her. This year we're going to be doing a canoe trip together and I can't wait. We are all vaccinated, have been hardworking and safe throughout the pandemic and look forward to spending a moment of normalcy in the forest together. There are things I'm not quite ready for (eating inside), but more and more as vaccination rates go up, I feel moments of regularity that have shone through. It's an excited summer! – Jared Smith, Boston
Travel to Capri and Positano for a wedding in September. – Mary Bairstow, Atlanta
I look forward to being spontaneous! Live in the moment without reservation. – Robin Berman, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
I look forward to sitting in a park and being content with where I am with the world. I look forward to smelling freshly cut grass without a mask. Hear birds sing on branches above me. Watch what the sun looks like as it peers behind the distant clouds. I look forward to focusing on those pleasant sensory details and nothing else. I've waited a long time to move to New York and the pandemic pushed it back another year. But last week I took a plane and then a train and then a taxi. And now I'm in a shower that's too small. I'm cooking in a kitchen that's too crowded. I drag sacks of groceries up five flights of stairs. And i love it. – Samuel Eaton, New York