It has been just a smidge over one year since the world went crazy…businesses (and even whole countries) shuttered their doors and there was even a Great Toilet Paper Shortage (in case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know there was a run on TP). Although it has been called many things from the frighteningly prison-like “lockdown” to “quarantine” (which is a highly inaccurate use of that word – QUARANTINE is a French word that means 40 days of detention or isolation (imposed on ships, people, animals or plants) on arrival at a port or place when suspected of carrying some infections or contagious disease.)
Whatever you call it, it has had its ups and downs for everyone.
At first, I saw shock. I saw crazy hoarding and a sick dog-eat-dog mentality (“They don’t need this bottle of hand sanitizer [though I have 6 in my cart], they are old and going to die soon anyway…” – yes, a friend of mine actually heard that said at a grocery store.)
But then, I started to see good things – more parents and kids playing in the yard, people offering to help others, especially the afraid and at-risk elderly, with grocery deliveries, etc.
Someone in my neighborhood even built a “Community Pantry” and put it out in front of the last empty lot left from the tornado that went through in 2015.
These things gave me hope for our future…It was almost as if all the kids who constantly roll their eyes at their parents and tend to spend the non-school hours on their butts playing video games had suddenly been transported back to the 1990s (my childhood) and they were enjoying the outdoors more, and actually talking to their parents and siblings.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying 2020 was all sunshine and roses, because I am not, but it had its moments. In 2020 I lost 7 relatives, including my grandma who I was really close to. I saw things happen locally, nationally, and globally that were wrong, and downright sickening. I prayed a lot. I wired a cornet to be a lamp. My charity bike ride was cancelled, so I stopped training. I discovered Outlander (on Netflix). I battled sorrow, and hopelessness. I finally completed my dollhouse. I said goodbye to my grandma and grandpa’s farm – forever. I learned to stand up paddle board, and how to crochet more than blankets. I even had a virtual birthday pawty for my cat!
This weekend I got to thinking about IF I could go back one year…what would I have done differently (knowing what I know now)?
IF I could go back and do 2020 over again, I would have:
-resumed writing letters to my grandma regularly. When I was at A&M we exchanged letters weekly. I still feel horrible about the fact that since she was in a nursing home, and then the hospital during the “Covid crisis” she was not permitted visitors. I regret that she had to be alone in her last days – under “normal” circumstances I (and my family) would have been there to the bitter end holding her hand, so she didn’t have to be afraid and alone.
-kept training like I was going to complete that 36-mile charity bike ride, and then set my aim on a 50 mile or even a century ride. Last week I went for a measly little 4-mile leisure ride around my neighborhood (on which I found and hauled off a nice free chair and four bales of hay). I was winded! I am so out of biking shape. It was horrifying to be gasping for breath after 4 miles when I used to easily go 26! Walking on the treadmill as my alternative has apparently only been beneficial when it comes to the StepBets I’ve been competing in.
-stocked up on some more Freedom Essentials. If you know what this means you either did or wish you had too; and if you don’t know what I mean, don’t worry about it…
-read more. I had been a reading fiend for the past few years, but something happened last year, I lost my love of reading and I missed my reading goal for the first time in six years. I have been struggling with reading for fun again this year, but I hope to get myself straightened out soon – because my To Be Read pile is way too big to abandon.
-started my garden earlier and gone bigger. Last year I had a really good tomato harvest, but everything else was just kinda, “Eh.” I would have started earlier and thought bigger.
-started a journal. I have always loved the idea of keeping a diary or journal, but even as a little girl I found the actual journaling process to be more difficult than one would think. My thoughts flow too fast for my hand to keep up and then I get frustrated because I end up skipping a word or two and then it isn’t therapeutic or anything it is just another source of frustration. Despite all that, I wish I had recorded, for posterity, what was happening, how I was feeling, what I was learning, etc.
I am really curious, if you could relive 2020 (knowing what you know now) what would you have done or done differently?