Last night, I laid in bed and re-read old posts with memories of Christmases past and the fun shenanigans of my children. I am so grateful for all those memories and the time I spent documenting them. Blogging has fallen by the wayside for me, but somehow as we wrap up 2020, I’m convinced more than ever that taking down a history of sorts is incredibly valuable. What will we remember and take away from this dumpster fire of a year.
Perhaps it’s far too early to see what lessons we can take away. But nonetheless, a few things I want to remember, and I’m writing from the helpful prompts from Laura Tremaine’s 10 Things To Tell You
1. WHAT WILL YOU REMEMBER MOST
This was the year that we were all blindsided by a virus that nobody in our modern 21st century minds could possibly imagine. The stuff of hollywood thrillers, we began the year with such hope only to have it dashed. I think March 13th will forever be imprinted on my memory as the day when our world turned upside down in the United States. Up until that point, covid was something happening in another country across an ocean. All of a sudden, the President was on TV, and there was talk of lockdown. LOCKDOWN! This wasn’t something that happens here. Until it was. The grocery stores were emptied and anxiety became the common denominator for all of us. I will remember uncertainty, anxiety, crying in the car as school was canceled, crying weekly as we attempted to “homeschool”, subsequently moving to the lake house and finding community, even socially distanced. I will remember enjoying the most beautiful springtime in Carlton Landing, rejoicing when school was FINALLY DONE and we could just be.
I watched my boys flourish in the sunshine and fun in Carlton Landing and the silver lining of so many memories created together as a family and gaining precious time together. This was perhaps the most dramatic year of growth yet for Jude as he transitioned into adolescence literally before my eyes. We had hard conversations and plenty of laughs, and he ate every single thing in our house and was never quite full. Meanwhile, Archer lived his best life riding bikes, skateboards and all manner of things in between, up and down the Boardwalk.
I will remember the disappointment of trips canceled (RIP, France trip), anxiety as we headed back to school (will it last?), relief as the kids not only stayed in school, but thrived there. I will also remember the uncertainty of the holidays and the exhaustion of making what seems literally like life or death decisions on a daily basis.
Oh, and then the random ice storm in October. Did I mention that? Where we lost half our trees in a matter of two freak days. UGH AND THE ELECTION. OMG THE ELECTION and the utter relief once it was all over and done with. I mean, at one point it became laughable how crazy this year really turned out to be.
2. WHO WERE YOUR PEOPLE?
Our family of four became even more tightly knit, but we also found community all the more in Carlton Landing. My girlfriends, as always, were my sanity savers even when it was only over text messages.
3. WHAT WAS THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT?
Netflix! Oh thank the Lord for alllll the streaming TV, am I right? I watched Hamilton on repeat, and fell in love with both of Taylor Swift’s folksy surprise albums.
4. WHAT WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS?
Mental health was finally on the forefront of conversations for everyone, it seems. As a lifelong anxiety sufferer, it was a relief to me to know that everybody was feeling the same thing, and that it was ok to not be ok. Life in a pandemic is hard on every possible front.
5. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE?
How much I loved living at the lake full time! I’m a self-professed city girl and the thought of living in a very rural area full-time sounded awful to me. But I managed to find a great rhythm in Carlton Landing, and it was so fulfilling. In fact, I had a tough time reintegrating into the busyness of city life when we moved back in July.
Additionally, I was shocked that my business skyrocketed. I fully anticipated that people would stop spending money, especially on nonessential items like home decor and furniture. But the total opposite proved to be true. I’ve never been so busy as I have in the past six months.
6. WHAT WAS THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL DECISION?
It wasn’t *our* decision, per se, but the boys’ school made a significant effort to keep the kids in school no matter what. I’d fully set my expectation to be that we’d be homeschooling again once September rolled around, but to my shock we made it all the way to Christmas break. I’ve still not been inside the school building (nobody except the kids and teachers are allowed) but things like band concerts and basketball games somehow continue.
7. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?
We’ve seen people’s true stripes, have we not? And yet it’s all the more encouragement to deal with others kindly
8. WHAT HAS CHANGED?
Everything. Will we ever blow out candles on a cake again? Or look at it in the same way? I think not.
9. WHAT ARE YOU LEAVING BEHIND AND MAKING SPACE FOR?
I’m leaving behind hoping for what I want, and making space for asking for what I need.
10. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE OF NEXT YEAR?
Lipstick! Travel! FASHION!