Reflection At the End of 2020 – Random Thoughts and Impressions

self-care Dec 22, 2020
Reflecting at the end of 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’d like to say in this post as we round out 2020 and move forward into 2021. I’m reflecting on the year in my world and wow. It’s really been a doozy!

We ended 2019 with my husband having a health scare that lasted well into 2020 – although we knew he was okay by summer, he had to jump through hoops for the powers that be to be able to resume his work as a commercial airline pilot. He finally returned to work just this past month after being gone for over a year.

We started 2020 with my mother in law being very ill and hospitalized for several days. After that we had two months of home health and occupational therapy coming in to help her get back on her feet. She’s been fine since, knock on wood.

In February, we helped my mom pack up her place and moved her from 4 hours away to an apartment close by.

In the middle of all of this, we got to spend some good quality time with our 5 grandchildren in January and February. Then in March, one of my daughter in laws and the kids got bad cases of the flu. In the middle of that along came a global pandemic.

If I'd Known Then What I Know Now?

I’d have lost it. Had you told me that I wouldn’t be picking Keaton up from preschool at all for the remainder of the school year and into this one? I’d have lost it.

Had you told me in March that we wouldn’t be doing our summer vacation at the lake with all of the kids and grands? I’d have lost it.

And had you told me in the summer that we weren’t going to be doing our family Thanksgiving? I’d have lost it.

To add insult to injury, in the middle of all of this, a black man named George Floyd was brutally shot by the police. This sparked much needed discussion and awareness around white privilege. It also sparked further hatred among those who didn’t believe that such a thing existed.

A country comprised of seemingly self absorbed people appeared to be even more so. Between that and Covid, things just felt bleak.

The Hard Stuff

For someone who suffers from anxiety, the panic and unknown in March was terrifying. The rug was pulled out from under us. Schools were closed. Restaurants and businesses of all kinds were shut down. We were considered essential employees in our work in behavioral health which was great and scary at the same time. But not half as scary as being a medical doctor or a grocery store employee.

My time with the grands is limited and different. And I don’t know how much longer that will last. I’ve had some good cries with friends who have also been missing their grands.

I haven’t seen my father for a year and a half – who knew when he and my stepmom left in summer of 2019 that we’d be separated by a pandemic? And I have many friends who are caring for senior parents who are in facilities and haven’t been able to see them and/or monitor their care.

Night after night I’ve watched the news full of people who have been separated in medical situations because of hospital safety rules around Covid. People who have had to have funerals over Zoom. Who have said goodbye on Facetime to loved ones.

I watched my neighbor – her husband fell and he was placed in a rehab center for three weeks – in a building where there was a Covid outbreak. She couldn’t see him or monitor him. They lost him last week. He was hospitalized right before he died and she was able to be with him and say goodbye at the end.

I watched a high school friend over Facebook – a strong rancher from Texas. I followed his journey as he fought for his life with a Covid diagnosis. When they put him on a ventilator, I prayed. For him, his sons, grandchildren, and his wife.

He was one of the lucky ones and I believe a large part of that was because his wife is a nurse and got him into a good hospital and was overseeing every aspect of his care. He is now using a walker and has lost a great amount of muscle mass. But, I believe he’s going to be okay.

I’ve watched the parents of the kids that I work with struggle. Their kids have autism and removing the structure of the school schedule is tougher on them than their neurotypical peers. But, even more than that, these parents aren’t getting a break. They love their kids but the rate of burnout is at an all time high. The divorce rate in this population is 85% on a good day because of the stress level. I can only imagine what having these kiddos home 24/7 during Covid is doing.

The Good Stuff spite of all of this, there’s been so much good. Much of it proof to me that I can adjust and adapt, even though I don’t always give myself enough credit.

I started Life Balance After 50 and am meeting and creating content for an incredible group of women. All over 50 and continuing to want to do all of the things.

I started Yammi School for one of my grandsons and two of his friends. Those boys and their moms have been such a bright spot in my life. Had it not been for the pandemic and trying to create a social situation for the boys, I would not have had this in my life.

I’ve been able to slow down a bit although I’m realizing that I’m still busy and am still juggling life’s roles, in spite of Covid. And that is a huge blessing.

This Christmas my husband flew presents down to our North Carolina grandchildren because we weren’t getting together as a family this year. Planning it and seeing it happen was so much fun.

I watched my best friend as she helped a family create Christmas for their kids. Spurred by a Facebook post where a woman was complaining because someone was parking in her neighborhood and walking through the side of her yard to get to their home while carrying a toddler and dragging another child IN THE DARK, my friend decided to reach out to that mom and see if she could help. That mom turned out to be a single mom with two small children who was working two jobs. And now she and her kids can have Christmas, thanks to my friend.

There are many stories like that that have helped restore my faith in humanity.

I think for me, the biggest positive change is that I’ve rediscovered prayer. There have been so many friends and family this year who have reached out for prayers. And, I know, there have been many who have said them for us. When my kids were younger, prayer was a constant in my life – prayers for us, prayers for others, and most of all prayers of gratitude and thanks for all of our blessings. I stopped doing that for a while and I’m not sure exactly when and why.

But, this year, I’ve started praying again. Stepping outside of my own head and saying prayers for those who need it. Those who I’m close to and those who I’m not. I’m trying to get better about praying for those who I think don’t deserve it – this year has given me alot of opportunity to practice that skill!

And along with praying, I’ve made time each day this year, often several times a day, to practice gratitude. For the big things and the little everyday moments.

Yeah...It's Been a Year

And like all years, there has been good and bad. The pandemic is new and something that none of us have ever lived through. It made for a rough 2020, especially for those of us who have a need to control all of the things.

I’m looking forward to 2021. But I’m looking back on 2020 and finding the good. It was there.