While 2020 seems to have gone on forever, I do feel like I was just writing my January 2020 letter.
If you remember, I focused on one word for the year - COMPASSION.
Without knowing what type of year we would have, that word has consistently been a point of focus. The past year has been full of struggle. The struggle of simple daily acts; wearing masks; physical distancing; e-learning; and worse yet, the loss of loved ones.
This last year has been HARD. I don't like change and that has been something that has been unavoidable. While I enjoy down time, 2020 presented entirely too much down time for my extroverted self. With that said, I do feel like this new way of life has enabled our family to dig deeper and better appreciate the small victories.
Let's start in March. We all had our minds blown with the forced quarantine. At first, it was kind of fun...being isolated in your home (like a snow day), not being able to work, and allowing yourself to tackle home tasks that otherwise would get lost in normal daily responsibilities. Fast forward to school being cancelled indefinitely; kids losing their sh*t because the need a "real" teacher, not their mediocre substitute parent/teacher; minor concerns on how to find toilet paper and cleaning supplies to major concerns regarding personal finances; fear of businesses failing; and family well-being. As two parents that own their own businesses, we had flexibility to stay home with our kids. I understand that we are in the minority and very much do not take lightly that many families had to make the choice to work & pay the bills, leaving their kids home alone; or face being let go and not able to put food on the table.
What has this year taught me?
Well, I thought I didn't have many fears and turns out I do. Do you remember the time you could walk into Target unmasked, grab a cart without hand sanitizer, drink a coffee while you shop, cough & sneeze without death stares and return home without cleaning your hands? Seems impossible these days. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe being "scared" isn’t the answer, but it has definitely reminded me that we are not invincible and that we need to be careful in our everyday lives.
I have learned more about my kids, spouse, & self than I thought I ever would. Being intimately isolated with your family opens many doors. Can I say it's been a breeze...heck no! But, I do think it has brought our family to a new level of love and friendship. Forced long car rides, game nights, dinner together (every night) and much more has allowed us to be a unit without the outside distractions of sports, social agenda, work travel, etc. I am very grateful for the time we have (and will) share together.
I have learned that traveling is definitely what fuels my soul. I'm often mocked for my "trips" but after not being able to take them, I know why they are essential. I thrive on experiences. I love sharing new places & adventures with family and friends. I truly need something to look forward to and work so hard to earn it. Not being able to make these experiences happen has emotionally killed my spirit. I get it - it's a privilege problem, but a problem nonetheless. When the floodgates of travel finally open back up, you'll find me at the front of the line.
I know COVID won’t just shut down when 2021 opens its doors. I pray that each of you are able to take just a little bit of goodness from such a trying time and hope that you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
All the best to you & your family,