The Day We Locked Down
I will never forget St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Our usual plans to meet up with friends and raise a glass, in a fun Irish pub were put on the calendar but never executed. As the news reports of rising cases of Covid-19 flooded every television channel, and shelves at the grocery store started to go bare, I realized we were going into a lock down and going nowhere. On his way home from work, my husband stopped at the market and the liquor store. We made our own St. Paddy’s Day party at home. Just the two of us.
Later In The Spring
As the months progressed and the numbers of infected rose, every day became blursday. I filled the time making Zoom calls with loved ones, looking for ways to keep my freelance career alive, and getting outside a few times a day to get exercise with my dog, Coco. I have always loved to cook, but with the lockdown, it became the main event of my day. I joined an online bake club to level-up my pastry game and even baked a sourdough from scratch. I felt like a boss. But, as the spring dragged on, events and invitations, my daughters’ college graduation, my family vacation, my annual get-togethers were all cancelled. When I did see friends we tried our best to remain six feet apart outdoors and take the least amount of risk – trying to connect in person. It was taking a toll on us in different ways.
We Let Our Guard Down In The Fall
At the beginning of fall we became empty-nesters not for a semester but for the foreseeable future. Our daughters moved in together and started their life after college . They rented their own apartment and began to navigate their own work from home routines. After that, we let our guard down and loosened up a bit. We met with friends who were also keeping their circles small and had a long weekend camping out in nature. We hiked, hung-out by a bonfire, and enjoyed spending time together. We were the only ones at our campsite. I grabbed the chance to have some weekend getaways, mostly for work, but also for my sanity. Each time it was a risk but low risk in terms of exposure.
As Thanksgiving came around, the numbers from Corona spiked again and our world seemed to be right back where we started. I was fortunate to have good friends lend us their home near my daughters’ apartment for Thanksgiving. The house was a gift for the long weekend. We could have spent a day or two in their small apartment, but the house gave us the room to spend more time. The kitchen provided a place where we could cook a small turkey and enjoy our holiday meal. The rural neighborhood provided a place to get some fresh air and a walk in the sunshine.
Christmas at Home
The girls returned home for Christmas, but again, we cancelled large gatherings and kept it just us four. That was hard for us, so we Zoom called our family and wished each other Merry Christmas instead. We wanted to share time on the day, and while it wasn’t in person, it helped. On New Year’s Eve we ate take-out, played games, laughed and spent time hoping for better days. Even breaking out into a dance party after the ball dropped. We made the best of staying home and spending time together.
Reflect and Reset
I take long walks and reflect a lot now. It’s January and the start of the new year. I don’t want to look back but I do, and I remember all the events since March. Then I review my hopes for 2021. I didn’t make resolutions on the first, I made wishes, hopes, dreams, and goals. I repeat them like silent prayers. I can’t say what the future holds, because none of us saw any of the last part of 2020 coming. During my walks, I choose to focus on the silver linings of the past few months and I keep focusing on the positives. I discovered that there were many.
My reset now is to propel myself forward into what will be and make future plans. I want to make time for physical and mental health which includes spending time outdoors walking, biking, or hiking. Outdoor activities keep me sharp and increase my focus and keep me positive. I’d stalled because I spent too much time inside watching and listening to the toxic news. I had no choice, but I know I have to limit that for my creative spirit to thrive. I realized there are ways to feel less helpless and more hopeful. As January starts to close, these are my wishes, hopes, dreams, and goals as I start my new year –
I wish the world would heal. My silent prayer – let’s work together to end Covid, so we can reunite in person.
I hope we can unite as a nation and as a world. My silent prayer – let’s work together on the problems we face, so we can all feel safe and respected.
I dream and believe we will return with an appreciation for the time we spent away from each other and the moments we had to postpone. My silent prayer – let’s make the time we have together meaningful.
And, my goal will be to travel to see more of the world and its infinite beauty. It is in my DNA and my soul.