Friday, March 19, 2021

In A Word

I saw this writing prompt on Tanya's blog (The Other Side Of The Road) and thought I'd play along. This month marks one year since the world went topsy turvy (topsy turvy-er?), and as my blog is more or less a journal of my observations about life, this seemed like a nice way to sum up the year that was. 

Can it be summed up? 
We shall see. 

If you'd like to answer the questions copy the graphic and have at it. Let me know if you do so I can read what you write-
What was life like in early 2020? Well, it was ordinary is what it was. I only wrote three blog posts in all of January and February and they were about the everyday beauty found in a pinky red sunrise, adorable baby boys growing up fast, a road trip to my mother's house in New Jersey which, as it happened, was the last time I saw her in person until a couple of weeks ago. I also posted a list of small seemingly manageable goals for the year. Ha! 

2020 just laughed at our goals and resolutions, wouldn't you say? 

Unlike many Americans Covid was actually fairly high on our radar because we have family living in South Korea, and they'd locked down there two months prior. We were naturally anxious for their safety, but the country and the Army both seemed to have the situation mostly in hand. 

In early March hubs and I drove to Florida to spend time with lake neighbors who had recently purchased a home there. We had a wonderful few days of fun in the sun before the clouds rolled in. 

And rolled and rolled and rolled and remained pretty much to this day.  

Covid struck here for real the day we headed home, and in those early days we were all pretty much on the same page as far as staying home, apart, and a little on edge. It was almost as if we'd been issued a group challenge and as a nation were determined to master it. We felt up to the task and thought fourteen days at home to slow the curve would be very do-able.  

Yeah. Remember fourteen days? Well it morphed into something else entirely and people lost their ever lovin' minds ransacking the toilet paper aisle and buying up all the yeast, flour, rice, and clorox wipes they could get their hands on. 

In a word-ridunkulous. 

What was the biggest change? America turned ugly. It wasn't just Covid though...I think it was Covid combined with so many people's endless (and I do mean endless), borderline-sick, white-hot hatred of our president and their inability to not carry on and completely melt down over every single word he spoke, tweeted or thought. It's really hard for me to separate the pandemic from the political fallout because I think it was a double whammy we have yet to recover from. 

In a word-exhausting

What were my coping mechanisms? Baking for one, but of course I couldn't keep that pace up for an entire year. I mean I could have, but we had a wedding to plan and a dress to wear which was highly motivating. 

Mostly I spent very little time on social media, and when I did scroll I hid or muted anyone spewing vitriol and judgement about lockdowns, social distancing, mask wearing, and the election, all under the guise of opinion stated as fact. Hubs and I intentionally listened to as little news as possible and I read books, prayed a lot, Zoomed with family and friends and I blogged. These things kept me sane when the world felt...

in a word-insane. 

What did connection in my relationships look like? 

It looked a lot like text threads, faces on a screen, and a perpetual longing for things to be different. Like wishing I could hop on a plane and see my grandsons, hug my mom around the neck, and have a conversation with the person sitting beside me at a table, in a church pew, or standing less than six feet away in the check out line. 

Still we made it work. Things were far from perfect but the ties still bind. 

What will I remember most?

Lots of one day felt so much like the next, how time was blurry and we kept thinking tomorrow would be different...better..

Masks and hand sanitizer and wrinkled fingertips.

Netflix, no makeup, and cooking all the meals all the days every day. 

Cancelled appointments, cancelled parties, cancelled trips, cancelled fun. 

So much judgement. 

In a word uncertainty

What was a beautiful memory?

My girl got married. I highly recommend a wedding in the middle of life's most uncertain seasons. Where no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Where hate is poison and joy is the antidote.

In a word-love wins. 

What do I believe now that I didn't one year ago? 

The media is lost. News is now commentary, very often without any facts at all behind it, and we are so much the poorer for it. 

In a word-dismayed 

What would I do differently? 

Buy stock in Purell, Clorox, and Kimberly-Clark? 

Honestly there was so very little we had the power to control that I'm not sure I could have done things differently. We live on a lake with plenty of space both indoors and out and took full advantage of the natural beauty in our own backyard. We're retired with no school aged children in the house, so we didn't have to figure out the whole work from home while also overseeing a child's education thing so many struggled with. 

Mostly we considered ourselves luckier than most. We rolled with the ebb and flow of life as best we knew how and I reminded myself daily God is bigger than any challenge we might face and He is still in charge of the universe. 

In a word-fortunate

What will I carry forward? 

That in the midst of both enormous challenges and minor irritations, quiet acts of kindness make things easier to bear. That God is present, working, and available even when we humans struggle to understand the hows and whys of a situation. 

Also this. These people. The knowledge that even when the world tilts love will find a way-
In a word-2020


  1. Thanks so much for the mention! It is so hard to remember how things felt back when "14 days to slow the spread" was the advice. And I completely agree about the political antagonism of the past year and its effect on the covid crisis. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

  2. So many good thoughts and words in this one. It's definitely been a year (and then some). But there were some of the most joyful of things as well :)

  3. I would echo similar answers to most of these questions. No weddings here and no little ones thousands of miles away but I agree completely with your media comment and 100% with love conquering all. Well said, Joyce! xo

  4. As you know I love your writing and this post is perfect. I love how you answered each question. It would have great to buy stock in those companies!! Take care.