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“The Pandemic 2 Years Later”

Despite the world essentially shutting down nearly 2 years ago, we were in a whirlwind of newness. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like the old way of life was gone and a new mode had to be put in its place.

March 2022. It just dawned on me today how different life has been since March 2020. I’m sure it is a month that will go down in the history books, that’s for certain! While it seems like just yesterday, yet at the same time, light years ago, I will never forget what those early days, weeks, and even months of the pandemic were like.

I remember being in my daughter’s room at the time, helping her get ready for bed. We were reminiscing and laughing about how we had recently been to Walgreens to get extra hand soap and hand sanitizer. My parents had gone on the ride with us (a thing we have done since my childhood and something I highly recommend implementing if you can) and I still remember the look on my dad’s face when he saw that I had bought several bottles of hand sanitizer and antibacterial hand soap. I was explaining how the internet “experts” had recommended getting these items early because there would surely be a shortage in the coming weeks. He said “ok”, but I could tell he thought I was being just a wee bit over dramatic over the whole thing. Being the prepared one that I am, I set right out to create what I would later refer to as “The Covid Shelf’ in our garage, to have a few additional supplies on hand. Keyword there being a FEW. No, we did not go crazy and stockpile large amounts, but I did want a few additional bottles of the essentials on hand in case things got crazy.

Little did we know what we were in store for!

As that notification message came across my screen from my son’s preschool stating that school would be closed beginning Monday for the next few weeks, it began to sink in how serious this was and how different this was going to make our lives.

We began preparing for a “new normal” in our household–both kids at home all day, every day. And my husband, an essential worker, had to make some major changes. He began sanitizing his lunch container every day and leaving his work clothes in the garage after each and every shift. I was proud of him for doing his part to help keep from bringing the virus home to our family.

Despite the world essentially shutting down, we were in a whirlwind of newness. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like the old way of life was gone and a new mode had to be put in its place. Ahem….toilet paper shortage-that says it all. This alone showed us that we all had to change our approach to how we had been living in the moment and instead prepare more for the future.

And here we are almost a whole 2 years later. I decided to homeschool both of my children after my son’s preschool year so he hasn’t been back inside a traditional school in 2 years. At his age, he doesn’t even really remember a whole lot about what school was like then. And my oldest daughter has spent her entire Middle School years under the guise of “the pandemic”--just another added stressor on a middle schooler that they didn’t need.

It hasn’t been all negative in our life’s changes since the pandemic began, however. We were very blessed to have remained relatively healthy throughout the pandemic and have grown closer as a family. I account this to my husband being an essential worker and not working from home the past two years….whew! Not sure how we would have fared with that one! I am of course joking, and we know we would have been just as blessed to have my husband home with us as we were that he was willing to continue to work through the scary and uncertain times to support us.

With the newly found family connectedness, I got to know my children more. We were able to slow down life just a little bit and hang out more. And of course, we joined the Animal Crossing world as well! There are some fond memories we made all huddled around the Nintendo Switch as we worked together to build our island. I was able to step back and see them for them–wonderful little humans that I had the privilege of not only raising, but observing growing as well. It has been a pretty good seat to watch it all from too, that’s for sure.

I know many people were not as blessed as we were and many families didn’t grow together like we did or maybe didn’t even get the opportunity to grow. And with that, comes the potential for some major mental health problems. I can’t imagine having my tiny little army not around me to travel through this life with.

So as we embark on 2 years of living through a pandemic (can you believe it?! Two. Years. I’m sure 10-15 years ago, none of us thought we would be saying those words of course), I want to encourage you to continue to remember how the world came together when it seemed our individual lives might fall apart. Remember what it was like supporting our healthcare workers, or birthday parades, or even sewing masks in those early days (yes, I learned how to sew during this time and managed to donate 100 masks as well!).

Take some time this month to work on your own mental health. Do some pampering for yourself. Fill your tank. Surround yourself with those who uplift you. I challenge each of you to jot down one thing each week this month that has been a positive change in your life since March of 2020 descended upon us. And then think of one thing each week that you can implement in your life now to continue to live more intentionally–whether that be in your relationship with yourself, your spouse, children, friends, neighbors, God, your health, finances–whatever it might be. Use this month to grow more intentionally and never forget how life can truly change in the blink of an eye–we’re all living proof of that and if you’re anything like me, these last 2 years have made a deep impression –one that will never be forgotten.

So let me know in the comments what memories you have from those early days of the pandemic and what silver linings have come out of these past two years?

Take care and stay safe!

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