Anyone else feel like March was just yesterday?
Here we are, nearing the end of one heck of a year. I sat down to write about this fresh start we are about to be given, but honestly, found myself only looking back.
When the pandemic started, I was not one of those people “using my unexpected time wisely.” I remember wondering how the heck everyone was doing projects, starting new ventures, exploring with their families, homeschooling their children; I definitely caught myself comparing myself to the Insta perfect vision other people were presenting. They were off galivanting through National Parks and making sourdough bread while I really was just trying to survive. The only thing I knew that was scheduled in my every day was panic. Now, I know that is just social media playing with my mind or even if it wasn’t, everyone deals with situations differently–one does not make the other right or wrong. But still–I felt like I was being tested in every way possible and barely treading water. I was a new-ish entrepreneur and still recovering from surgery when this thing all started. And suddenly, I was a teacher, too. Add in basically house arrest and gym closures and you’ve got yourself a Robin ready to hide in her closet with a spicy marg or 5 until COVID19 was gone. My little world was shaken to it’s very core. I felt destroyed, torn into a thousand pieces being throw into different directions with no end in sight, no real answer for when this would all be over and I would be put back together again.
I knew it wouldn’t help but I dove into the ‘gram. I felt like I needed to be connected outside of my own home. But as we know, social media is just what others want you to see and with so much time on everyone’s hands, everyone had an opinion about everything– “quarantine 15? Get out there in nature, do home gym workouts, run with your dogs!” to posts telling you to “give yourself grace, slow down and just breathe through it. Sit and do nothing if that’s what you feel.” There was a lot of noise on both sides of things. And that’s what it all was, just noise.
When I was able to finally drown out the sounds and focus on my own voice, my own needs, and even open up and talk about my frustrations, I felt connected to the world, again. Chatting with my girlfriends, I got the “Thank GOD, somebody said it. I feel so much better. I’m just over here trying to keep the house from falling down, maintain a job, and keep my family fed. And you know what, if the kids don’t do their school work every single day to the exact requirements of the curriculum, they’ll be just fine.”
Somehow Instagram and Facebook missed the moms crying on the bathroom floors or the parents out of work trying to figure out where their next meal would come from. I was blessed with my fortunate circumstances because things could have been much, MUCH worse. My family is healthy, we are together, and my husband and I are both still working — gratitude fills my heart just typing this.
This was a time to be messy and chotic, to get real and raw, emotional and just downright crazy. But isn’t that how life works — an endless stream of the unknown? I guess 2020 really just brought it front and center so we could get up close and personal with the inevitable uncertainty of life.
When I think back to this pandemic year, I know I’ll remember true connection to my inner self will ground me and listening to my internal voice will guide me. As long as I keep my heart and mind open to those needs, I can do anything. Over the last few months, I gave myself permission to just be — just as I am. I didn’t hold myself to dietary restrictions or a work schedule. I moved when I felt like moving and stopped when I didn’t feel like it. I tried new things. I honored my nutrition needs without the demands of diet culture creeping it’s way in — some family movie nights looked like a bowl of popcorn while others it was a bowl of roasted veggies.
More than the time I spent with myself learning about acceptance, I hope I also remember these few months as a gift of time. I watched my girls grow before my very eyes. My oldest started turning into this little lady that I was missing somehow. It’s been incredibly beautiful to watch her as she blossoms into the beautiful incredible human that she is becoming. We’ve become even closer as she’s learning to process her emotions on her own. Some emotions are a little hard to deal with given the world’s circumstances and she’s coming to me for guidance — a connection and bond that will last a lifetime.
I hope I remember the blanket forts that my girls had to turn my upstairs into every single day for at least a month. It drove my perfectionist self crazy, but taught me to let the little things go. Some days my entire house was in shambles — dishes unwashed, laundry piled up for days on end, those massive forts through my entire upstairs, ice cream eaten for dinner, wine drank for lunch and through it all, we’re still here, y’all.
I hope I remember the adventure with our incubator hatched chicken, Corona. This was the single craziest blessing in disguise when my daughter brought home the incubator project home from spring break pre-COVID. Out hatched one sweet little Turken and that sweet chicken brought so much light to our lives.
I hope I remember the nightly walks with my puppies — without fail, no matter what, we always ventured out. It gave me the space and time I needed to breathe, to reflect and be with myself.
I hope I remember the days we stayed in pj’s all day long barely getting out of bed. I will remember the little whispers from my husband, the snuggles from my children, and a bed crammed with all of us in it, a reminder that we are living life as a team and no matter what, we were in this together.
I hope I look back and I’m proud of myself as a new business owner. Despite spending the first half of the year stuck and paralyzed by fear of my ability to move comfortably within my business, I lit a fire within myself and at some point, I shifted, pivoted, and found my passion reimagined.
2020, you were one for the books — a book I will never forget and truly want to remember. The good, the bad, the crazy, the emotions, the celebrations — all worth remembering. I won’t be ripping this chapter out of my book of life and I’m challenging you to do the same. What are YOU hoping to remember when you look back to the 2020 Pandemic? What are you grateful for?