Sunday, May 17, 2020

Shadows and Light

I guess there's nothing like a pandemic, sheltering in place, and caffeine-induced insomnia to get you back to your much ignored little blog. It's been almost two years! How is that possible? I had two drafts in the works, but one was Halloween-related, and I clearly missed the mark (boo! ha!), and the other never got off the ground.

So here we go again.

There's been a lot of loss lately (some for other posts later).  A lot of damage to many of us.  Living in the US and having a loss of freedom of movement is crazy and odd and unsettling.  

I've always been an introverted homebody and worked from home before it was required, but I miss the energy of going into our office once a week. I miss playing music in my car on my short commute; going into the grocery store; the occasional Target run. I miss the sweet woman who serves me at the chicken place I will not name because I shouldn't be frequenting their drive-thru as I so don't believe in their politics. Still, I think she's great (and damn, so is some of their food!). I miss seeing my best friend for dinner and a cocktail (it's actual therapy!) and going to the movies with my husband. I miss being able to see my family whenever we wanted to get together.

I miss going into and eating at restaurants! We've been getting takeout and delivery to support our local faves, but it's not quite the same. And Aldi! Oh, how I miss Aldi! I've been shopping via InstaCart at Aldi, but again, it's not the same!

And these are small things. 

I am healthy, my family is healthy, and for now, most of us are gainfully employed.  We are safe and sound while so many are not. I am grateful and know all of these things can quickly change.

I lost a sweet friend (not to COVID) the last week of February, and it was a shock as he was healthy and only 50. I am thankful his family was able to have a proper funeral (which was packed), and we were able to spend time with his wife and kids. COVID-19 was creeping in, but it didn't impact us celebrating his life and coming together.  I never thought I'd be so grateful for a funeral. I am also so happy I got to see so many old friends and celebrate a great man.

There have been positives too, of course. 

I can still work from home, which is enormous, and I work for a company that supports it - also a big win! I'm biased, but they've made it a positive experience and done thank-yous that have made a world of difference and boosted morale.  No small feat during this time! I've also been busy, which has kept me sane and "business as usual" has been a gift - normalcy and routine are A-OK.

My husband and I have been taking more walks and spending more time together as he's been working more from home too. Our dogs love the extra walks and attention as well. I've been baking more (a good and bad thing, I guess) and we get to have weekday lunches together every now and then. There's more time for the two of us to talk - not a bad thing.

It's been an extended Spring season weather-wise, and it seems like we've been able to really enjoy it this year. We talk to our friends and families more often as well - those check-ins have become even more essential and needed.  Small house projects and chores are getting done on the weekends - woo-hoo!

I'm listening to music whenever I can to keep my energy up (I get my money's worth on our Spotify family plan), trying really hard to keep a gratitude list every day, and messing around with paints, crayons, pastels, and pencils too. 

Is everything perfect? No. But it wasn't before the pandemic hit and it won't be after. If nothing else, it's been a reminder that change is the only constant we have and we can choose to focus on what's working and always pivot when it's not.

Please stay home, stay safe, and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Be well and whoever is reading this, thank you!