Dear March 2020,
I started the month with high hopes and expectations. I had spent months preparing for a system conversion, worked crazy hours the first week and half of the month, and was preparing to get back to normal. Little did i know, that life was about to change dramatically. On March 13th I found out that my oldest daughter’s school system was closing for two weeks. I naively thought this would be short-lived. As we all know too well, what we thought would be a brief period at home, turned into a year. A year that has looked like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
The last year has not been the best. Days turned into weeks, which turned into months without seeing or touching the people we love. We have seen friends and family suffer, and in some cases, die from Covid-19. We have watched as loved ones get laid off and businesses close as our economy struggles under the weight of the pandemic. The list goes on about what has been terrible, bad, or not that great for the last year.
BUT I would argue that the last year has had some redeeming attributes. Please allow me to share the goodness I have found in the last year…
I am grateful for a slower pace. We all know that we need to slow down or we’ll fall down, and I feel like 2020 made us all do that without apologies or regrets.
Extra time with my children to observe firsthand their growth, learning, and experience with school. The window into their day(s) has been amazing. I’m in awe of how my oldest is as a student, and how my youngest is learning how to be a good peer among her classmates.
Soft Pants – Working from home means that a work mullet (business on the top, soft pants or no pants on the bottom) is totally acceptable, as long as my appearance in view of the camera is professional. No one needs to know or see what’s below my desk, but my supervisor can rest assured there are always pants on.
Getting outside (almost) every day has been so good for my soul. In 2019 I read the book There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk with the hopes of making it a way of life. It took a pandemic to make it happen, but I’m committed. Raining outside? Put on a raincoat, some wellies, and get to puddle jumping. Cold outside? Put on a thick coat, a hat, some gloves, and get to walking. Hot outside? Put on some shorts, a t-shirt, some sunscreen, some sunglasses, and stroll.
A deeper appreciation of making choices for the greater good. Growing up as a Japanese American, there was the recurring phrase “a good Japanese daughter wouldn’t ____.” As an adolescent, this was an infuriating thing for my mom to say, but she wasn’t wrong. Sometimes you have to make choices that are for the good of others not just yourself. So I will wear my mask, get my vaccine (soon!), maintain 6’ of social distance, and (im)patiently wait until I can see all the people I have missed.
I will say it again…
The last year may not have been the best, BUT I would argue that the last year has had some redeeming attributes. While some may want to rush back to the way things were before, I’m going to lean into the good things I’ve loved this last year. What lessons have you learned in the last year?