people toasting wine glasses
On my Mind

Saying Goodbye to 2020.

people toasting wine glasses
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Warning this may be a long one.

Ahh New Years Eve! The holiday that I usually run out of time to plan to do anything for. Looking back I did go to a few neighborhood parties with family and some nice house parties in college. Every year I say I am going to see The Avett Brothers in Asheville, but that has yet to happen.

When looking back at 2020 what will you remember?

The pandemic, the election, the riots, the marches for love, the endless amount of zoom meetings, not being able to find toilet paper or Clorox wipes, having to rearrange your whole life in the matter of days, becoming a stay at home mom or dad, losing your job, quitting your job because of your children, stress, stimulus checks, tiktok videos, binge watching, staying home, missing out on regular yearly events, and the list goes on.

I started 2020 out by being burned out by Christmas crafts and a sick infant son. My son had been battling pneumonia and several colds back to back. He even had to go to the hospital and was admitted for a week in the PICU for RSV. He pulled through, but was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease and had to continue breathing treatments nightly.

Fast Forward 2 months- Week of March 13th.

It was raining pretty hard that Monday. I work at a local elementary school and we were taking the students to the bathroom. My coworker’s phone started the emergency alarm that there was a tornado warning in the area. I instantly told the girls to get out of the bathroom and we went to our positions. This is a day I forgot my phone in my car. I have been in emergency situations before, but this day I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be and I was worried for my students and own children. After an hour of being on the floor, we went to lunch. My manic fear of the current state of the weather caused my mind to go blank and I couldn’t remember any student’s name in my class. After finally getting to my phone, I had a phone call from the daycare that my son had another high fever. Thankfully it was just an ear infection, but it added another layer to my already draining day. Did I forget to mention there was a full moon that day?

Then comes Thursday of the same week. The week had already been a wash because of all the excitement that Monday. There had been talk about some kind of virus that made its way to Washington and a lot of rumors and a lot of unknowns.

Finally, it is Friday, the 13th, 2020 (sounds like Alanis Morisette’s Ironic single from the ’90s). We don’t know what is going to happen or what the governor was going to say. The school decided to prepare packets and send materials in case we were going to close. No one knew we would be gone until the week before Thanksgiving. No one expected to be working at home for 8 months.

We missed out on a lot this year, but we also gained a lot. We missed memories of loved ones we didn’t get to see. We missed social gatherings, school plays and performances, trips to museums, restaurants, and parties. We got to spend time as a family, we got to see our kids grow up, we got to clean our house and love our house again, and we got to slow down a little bit.

Now it is December 31st, 2020. Experts and the data say we are in the worst of it. You are required to wear a mask everywhere we go. It is hard to escape the social realities of everyday questions: whether you should go to that party or not? Should I send my child go back to school? Should I travel home for the holidays? Is my mental health more important than staying home? Thankfully there is a vaccine slowly starting to make its way to the world. It could be awhile and we still have to be safe.

In the end you have to do what’s best for you and your family.

Here’s to 2021 and hoping its a little bit better than the last.

~Abigail Jean