Monday, December 28, 2020

What I remembered

At the start of each year, I make a list of goals, both personal ones and goals related to my writing. This morning, I opened my '2020 goals' document and could have cried. So many of the goals involved face-to-face connection, travel, and new experiences. Of course, after early March, none of that happened.

Instead of lamenting what might have been, I am taking time today to reflect on what I gained during the 'pandemic pause.' Without the trappings of the external world:

~ I remembered that fresh air and sunshine are essential for my mental health. Time spent outdoors, listening to birdsong or children playing, soaking in nature’s palette and the silhouette of branches against the sky, the texture and scent of garden dirt --- ah, peace.

~ I remembered that I am okay with the status quo for a little while, but even during a shutdown, I need to shake things up. I tried new recipes, updated our kitchen, connected with new writing partners, adopted a cat, and learned to play the harmonica (badly.)

~ I remembered that I can keep some level of physical fitness without going to the gym. Hand weights, calisthenics, and Pilates can keep up my strength. Long yoga-style stretches can maintain my mobility, and brisk walks on hills can keep me in decent aerobic shape. Bonus points when those walks were with a friend who made me smile!

~I remembered the importance of connection, even when phone, text, and virtual connections had to suffice. This pandemic would have been far more devastating without technology.

~ I remembered the joy of simple things-- a scented candle, a picture drawn by one of my grandkids, the glorious colors of hydrangeas, watching TV with my husband beside a cozy fire. Oh, and I can't forget the joy of finding Clorox wipes and toilet paper! 😁

Many of the goals on my 2020 list will carry over to 2021. Best wishes to all as we close (slam?) the door on 2020 and embrace a hopefully healthy and happy new year.

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