I spent some time over the New Year’s weekend looking back at all of the photos from the year stashed my phone. I found I took a selfie in the car just before I wore a mask into a store for the first time. It was April. I never dreamed then that masks would still be a necessary part of our everyday lives even now. When I saw that photo, I realized just how much 2020 had changed us.
That niggling fear of CoviD-19 (that we photographed and nervously laughed off) steadily grew and descended on us like a thick fog, engulfing everyone in its wake. We locked down our homes and lives and barricaded ourselves and our loved ones inside our personal cocoons.
Summer came and after months of isolation, we steeled ourselves to be brave and buck up. We determined to carry on with our own versions of normalcy, all the while fighting back the feelings of anxiety that would pop up, much like the game of Whack-a-Mole. We learned how to deal. We learned how to function within a fog of uncertainty. We learned how to keep going.
We learned how to overcome fear.
The snow was still thick in my yard last year when fear moved into my life. Like the rest of the country, this new and bold emotion took its place front and center and darkly commanded us all to bow down. We were told of horrendous numbers of CoviD casualaties on a daily basis. Livelihoods were threatened as stores and businesses shut their doors to keep unknown germs at bay. All of us midlifers beared the burden of keeping our elderly parents as well as our teenagers and littles safe. We tried to keep it together for all of them, strapping on a smile just like a mask.
We learned to function in the midst of this awful fear. I might even say we became numb to it. We had to. We escaped it temporarily with hours and hours of Netflix and “Tiger King” , though no one knows why. And we learned the true value of yoga pants. Seriously. Read more about conquering midlife fear here.
Are you ready to start anew? Looking to begin 2021 with a goal to Redefine Yourself? I’d love to help you! Just shoot me your email at the bottom of this post!
We learned how to research immunity.
When CoviD numbers spread through the country, we soon dove headfirst into the web to order masks and toilet paper when stores came up short. News channels gave ‘helpful’ information that turned out to be ‘all over the map’. Do this. Don’t do that. Then a new day would bring exact the opposite advice.
So, with our families’ lives literally at stake, we found our own information and trusted sources. I know I must have visited the CDC site (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) every few days, as well my local and state health department sites. We listened to our guts, quite literally, and strived to make our bodies healthy. It seemed we were learning about this crazy disease at the same rate as our doctors. Even now, a year later, we still don’t know exactly why some people have a more difficult time with CoviD-19 than others. So, America went with what it knows: washing hands, wearing masks, and staying distant. Read more about ramping up your midlife immunity here.
We learned how to search for truth.
Daily we were bombarded with numbers and statistics. We relied on our own local news and websites more often for analysis. Before CoviD, I had never visited my local health department website. Had you? We questioned friends often, wary of the infection numbers when initially we didn’t know anyone who had been sick.
I know that I have learned to trust my gut and pay attention when things seem ‘off’ or don’t make sense. At the beginning of all of this, we were told masks were useless. Then 3 months later we aren’t allowed to do anything without them.
In my research of various topics, I quickly learned that different browsers yield different results. I searched them all and compared my findings, especially when I came down with CoviD myself. My mind became a steel trap as I questioned everything, grilling my own doctors every chance I could. I even learned how to read scientific medical journals (not a bad skill to add to my repertoire).
We learned how much we need the human touch.
Did you ever dream at the beginning of 2020 that you would spend most of the year isolated – trying to keep your own breath from infecting someone else that you love? If nothing else, 2020 taught me many things about myself, including the very real lesson that I just can’t go very long without touch. I need hugs from my people. I’m a hugger. I don’t think I ever really stopped hugging my family.
My elderly dad lives in another state so luckily I didn’t have to make the hard choice on a daily basis of whether to hug or not. We need each other. We need to show our faces and smile and laugh with our people. My own family learned that hugs can become nearly as necessary as oxygen. The risk was and is worth it.
We learned how resilient we really are.
The year 2020 forced us to change nearly everything in our lives, virtually overnight. And guess what? We did. We found toilet paper. We learned Zoom. We wore masks. We rescheduled our lives, helping our families along the way. We learned anew the value of prayer – and worship……..TOGETHER. The saying “There is strength in numbers” is a valuable truth.
All that being said, I’ve never been so grateful for the modern day miracle of the internet as last year. It allowed us some form of connection when we had none other. We helped our fellow small business owners survive by ordering food online via carryout. Once we literally turned off the news, the internet saved us.
So what does all this boil down to?
Yes, 2020 changed us. But in lots of good ways.
And, I just want to tell you that I’m proud of you!!
You launch into 2021 a changed gal. You’re wary. And questioning. And you have a new sense of what – and who – is really important in your life.
You learned to do ‘work’ differently.
And you learned how to do ‘yourself’ differently. Taking care of your body in order to fight infection.
You’re stronger now. And ready to push through anything that 2021 may bring.
You go, GIRL!!