She didn’t miss the cruises, the weddings, pilates classes, or mah jongg games.
She didn’t miss the birthday parties, graduations, vacations, or school functions she would've attended-- because none of them actually happened.
She did miss a global pandemic.
My mom has been gone a year and probably hadn't heard the word "shitshow" uttered as many times in her whole life as I have these past 12 months. People described 2020 as unimaginable, and it was. Of course, the sickness and the deaths have outweighed the politics, the anti-social behavior, and the school or lack thereof, but everyone, everywhere has suffered through this shitshow in their own way.
A good friend of mine told me that I will eventually look back on this time in my life and wonder how I got through it all -- this year of loss - my parents, my body, my childhood home, any sense of control or normalcy; this year of firsts -- the first birthdays without her baking expertise, the first Hanukkah without her gifts, the first Halloween without saving her the Almond Joys, the first sunsets without texting her the pictures, the first holiday without her giving the kids packages; this year of change -- school, work, travel, family, the list goes on.
But, in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. (I'm not sure who said this, but it's on my vision board, so someone did.)
A year I thought would play out very differently threw me off my game. I've spent time trying to figure out how or why, but I have also focused countless hours on self-care, and I've learned a few things.
Stress less - breathe more
Release negativity - be positive
Sleep more - slow down
Let go of expectations-live in the present
Don't feel guilty - be grateful
Happy not crappy (Thanks Melanie)
I can't say I'm healed, but I am somewhere on the road to finding happiness again. Thanks to my team of great friends, some very resilient children, wonderful in-laws, more medical professionals than I can count, and an amazing husband picking up all my slack, I am going to get there. It won't be tomorrow, and probably not even in 2021, but with baby steps, hopefully I will come out at the other end of this shitshow. Who knows - I may even look back on this unimaginable time in my life, and wonder how I was able to get through it all.