That was a year, wasn’t it?
It doesn’t feel great to look back at posts and pictures from this time last year – it’s devastating, actually. Smiling faces filled with hope and excitement – minds filled with the concept that they were somehow ready to take on whatever 2020 had in store. We knew nothing. We were fools. How could we have been anything more, though, I suppose.
I suppose also, that there is hope here too, as we move toward 2021 – less certain, more desperate, and completely void of the previous NYE’s bravado – but hope, still.
Last year I looked forward to stepping up into my coming promotion – and I have been fortunate to maintain that role. Fired up and ready to continue climbing the corporate ladder, my thoughts were on maximizing bonus potential and growing my path. As 2021 begins, I am overwhelmed with the privilege of maintaining my employment, and consumed with thoughts as to how best to continue to lead my amazing team through this continuing unprecedented time.
I had such lofty goals for our family – expanding our activities and including my parents in more of our adventures near and far. Nurturing Jr’s love of team sports, perhaps steering him away from his scooter obsession. It turns out that mastering new scooter tricks is a fabulous solo sporting activity, and my most fervent wish for my family is to get my medically high-risk father vaccinated as soon as possible, adding him to the list of people I love that are on the path into the light after so long in the dark and cold of this overwhelming fear, along with Dr Sissy and BIL who thankfully have received their first doses. And then turning my attention to my mom – who is the sun and the moon to Jr, and hopefully someday myself and The Mr, and please oh please smarty-pants scientist people – my son and all of the other kiddos who seem so often to be counted last on the list of those we worry about in all of this.
I started 2020 in a battle to continue taking the medication I have relied on for over 20 years to keep Multiple Sclerosis from using my immune system to eat away at my nerves – a battle I won, ironically, in late February. Just in time to find out that the medication that tamps down that messed up immune response also made me a sitting duck for a novel virus we were just starting to learn about.
I hold no expectations for 2021. I wonder, really, if the idea of understanding what the future should look like in any way is forever lost on a large number of us, at this point. I hope that my inability to conceptualize that does not dampen my son’s ability to dream big. We will need those dreams and the promise within them.
Before I spiral off into the abyss of sadness and anger and horror that has been a constant looming presence for these many months – those same months have brought clarity on all there is to be so thankful for.
Big things like the amazing power of science and the determination of those who use that power to solve problems and those who combine it with their immense humanity to treat and care for those who are ill.
The strength of the will of people to fight the darkest depths of hate and shame and selfishness, and band together to elevate goodness and drive change. The collective magnitude of thousands and thousands of teachers and educational professionals moving mountains to try and meet their students’ needs – far beyond just academic – wherever those students are (and getting up the next day and trying again, even when it feels like they are only one grain of sand getting constantly blown by a giant unending wind.)
And little things too- for many it has been a new pet added to the family, for me it has been the opportunity to care for my aging doggie, and spending my days and nights concentrating on his needs and appreciating every moment and every snuggle with him.
The fun that the holidays bring, particularly for Jr – his willingness to believe in all the magic of the season may be growing short-lived, but this year when we needed it most, he was open and excited to see what Hopscotch the elf was up to each morning, or hold court in his usual competitive rounds of dreidel with his stuffed Grinch (and this year, the family’s newest member, his beloved plush rooster, who if you ask me, may be a bit of cheat.) A particularly perfect virtual visit with Santa after a day of cookie-decorating filled this mother’s heart with more thankfulness than I can find words for.
Time draws short, and in a few hours, 2020 will well and truly be hindsight. Our understanding of all that has transpired will grow in the days (and months, and years) still to come.
Even if I can’t envision it – I hold hope that the light has found us by this time next year.