One Year

One year ago most of us began lockdown, and I was able to get my last professional haircut only because my hairdresser, who is also a friend, agreed to come to my home and cut my hair out on the patio. During the 12 months since, I’ve clipped and chopped and basically mutilated what was a nice, elder-appropriate “do.” It looked okay from the front and, since I didn’t have to see the back, I thought this is as good as it’s going to get.

It turns out worrying about what my hair looked like during this past year was not even close to the top of the list of things that stressed me out. Lots of terrible and/or sad and/or depressing things happened to all of us. I am fortunate I didn’t lose a family member, but I did lose a few wonderful friends. I’m so glad that I didn’t get COVID, but I did test positive for this virus and that created the scariest ten days of my life … until I got the “all clear” after remaining asymptomatic.

Things are beginning to improve

Now we’re at the mile marker in this unimaginable pandemic, and we’re looking back over the past year to see how we’ve responded to all we endured. How have we’ve grown, coped, stumbled, and ultimately conquered living in this most bizarre of times?

I’ve put some thought into what I’ve learned about myself and how I’ve grown over the last twelve months. One thing I have changed is the need to hide or apologize for the desire to stay home more. I felt sorry for my friends who hated being cooped up, but I didn’t mind it at all. I hope it’ll stay with me to not load up my calendar with activities “out there” when I really want to be at home writing or reading or doing nothing.

Another thing that has changed and that I will save from now on is the need to listen before speaking. I’m a knee jerk gal. I can respond before you even finish speaking. This has not worked out well for me, especially when others were sharing their fears and concerns. When I expand my listening, I learn lots of valuable information about the people in my life and about the world around me. Now that I’ve spoken it here, it’ll stick, right???

What about you?

What are the ways you’ve grown or changed over this scary time? Can you list three things that you learned about yourself because of all that happened in the last 12 months? Stop and take a moment and write down the ways you’ve changed and what you’re thankful for or sad about or proud of. Also, it’s a good idea to think about your life going forward:  how will it be different, better, and more informed?

What are you giving thanks for from what has transpired? Do you think there are positive things that appeared in your life that might not have otherwise? Is there a positive change that you made that you’ll continue to do in your life after all is better for everyone?

Don’t forget, however …

Marta cleaning up my mess

Things are beginning to open up, and I got a much-needed haircut back inside my hairdresser’s shop. Marta said I hadn’t done too bad a job of keeping it trimmed. 

But the pandemic isn’t over and done yet. We have a very long way to fully recover from COVID 19, which means we need to continue to be vigilant by wearing masks, safely distancing, washing our hands, and getting vaccinated. If we don’t do these things, we’ll remain constrained by all the ugliness of the past year for a long time to come.

Celebrate the future. Commit to the positive changes. Don’t stop being vigilant. And never forget what got you here today.