A 2-Year Reflection

It's been two years since our world started to shut down because of COVID. Much has returned to a new "normal" and much is still on hold or at least, very different.  I thought it might be a good time to reflect on what I've learned and what has changed.

I remember pretty clearly picking up Lucille from school (it was a Friday before a 3-day weekend) and her teacher telling a few of the parents that she really didn't think that there would be school for the next few weeks so she was sending kids home with some extra stuff. And to be prepared.

Taking a look back at my post where I shared some resources I used in those early weeks to keep the kids on a schedule and learning, I am grateful that I did that. I know that the distance learning was hard for many kids, but mine really thrived. I think in part that had to do with my ability (since I already worked from home on my own schedule) to put them on a schedule and find learning activities for them to do. I know that wasn't an option for all parents, so I feel lucky.

In so many ways, we have been very lucky. My work didn't change much at all. My clients remained steady and I was able to find the time to do my work even with the kids home during that first year. My husband continued to go into work (for Amtrak) because transportation was considered essential. Monetarily, we weren't impacted. 

There are changes that might not have happened if the pandemic hadn't occurred. My children switched schools. We found out Lucille got in to the Rapid Learner program and had everything been normal, I might have hesitated switching schools on her - pulling her away from friendships that had really just starting to be so strong. But I felt like there was going to be a lag in the kids returning to the classroom (understatement of year!) and figured it was as good a time as any for a change. I asked Lucille what she thought and explained the program and she agreed. A year later, Gus got into the program as well, and we haven't looked back. It's been a wonderful experience for them both.

Obviously, it isn't all rosy. It's easier for me to concentrate on the good things than dwell on the bad. I'd venture to guess I'm not alone in that. 

My anxiety, for one, is something I could do without. My whole life (until 2020) - I never really felt like I suffered from any type of anxiety. I was always pretty easy going, I enjoyed new and different situations and prided myself on being pretty adaptable. But, the instantaneous and constant worry about the health of my kids, my parents and my husband, was too much for that easy going girl. I was (maybe still am sometimes) constantly concerned that I wasn't making the right choices to keep our family the safest they could be. 

At the beginning, and probably for the first six months, I would have panic attacks. Often at night, when everyone else was asleep and my thoughts and I could sit alone and fester. I'm glad that part is over for me.

And now we are all vaccinated. Kids are back playing sports. I read more. I say "no" more when I want to. We had COVID in January, and saw that the vaccines and our healthy immune systems did their job -- with only one of our family of four experiencing the mildest of symptoms. 

New worries have cropped up. Like the Russian invasion of Ukraine (more on that later.) My heart is still heavy, but I still feel hope. And I hope you do as well.

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