The Year That Wasn't

Nine Inch Nails has a song "The Day The World Went Away." I have been thinking a lot about that song recently. I know it only is October, but I have been feeling very reflective and thinking about 2020; a year that started with such promise and has turned into something I don't think anyone could have predicted.

December 31, 2019 - everyone was hopeful. We were on the cusp of not only a new year, but a new decade: A fresh start, a chance for endless possiblities. Many of my friends were posting memes talking about reverting to the fashions of the flappers of the 1920s, and there was an air of excitement, of possibility.

However, even from the beginning of the year, I think we realized this was not going to quite be the renewal we hoped for. We started hearing about massive, unprecidented wildfire in Australia - threating thousands of acres of land, endangering species, displacing people, and just wreaking havoc.

Things didn't get much better from there, as it wasn't long into the new year that we learned of the sudden death of sports great Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven other passengers onboard a private helicopter. This wasn't the way we thought things were going to go this year, and were but a precursor of what was to come.

I think it was mid- to late-February that I first started hearing people talking about "coronavirus." I didn't pay it too much attention, but it did remind me to go get that flu shot that I had been putting off since October. I remember sitting in Walgreens and the pharmacist was asking me if I was getting the flu shot because of coronavirus: I think I just looked at him blankly. I still was naive - I didn't know what this coronavirus was.

And, I'll be honest: When I first learned more about coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19), I was one of those people that rolled my eyes and thought this was something that was being blown totally out of proportion. However, as the days passed and more information was released, my perception definitely changed.

March 16, I went into the office and worked a regular Monday. We were told that we were going to start working remotely after that to implement what was being called "social distancing," a new word brought into my lexicon in 2020. I have a whiteboard on my office door and I remember writing that I would be working remotely that week, but expected to return the following week to the office, seven months later and I still have not been back to my office, instead finding working niches in my home. Because not only am I working from home, but my husband is learning to teach his 7th and 8th graders from home, and my daughter is attending 6th grade from home with my father helping to instruct her.

Aside from some doctors' appointments and my partial hysterectomy in early September, I have not left my home since that March day. The more I have learned about COVID-19, the more afraid I have become: To the point that I probably will legitimately need some type of counseling after we start to define our new normal because I have all but become a recluse.

As I think of all that has happened, I think back to what I thought 2020 was going to be: The concerts I was planning, the conventions I was excited for (both as a vendor and as a fan), the sporting events, the musicals - that has all just...gone away. In the grand scheme, these are small sacrifices. So many people worldwide have died or lost loved ones to COVID or COVID related complications; many more have seen income lost, I know in the grand scheme my issues are minor. However, I can't help but feel that for all of us 2020 truly is the year that wasn't: It seems like a lost year. I suppose I could say I look forward to 2021 being better, but I don't know whether that is just courting trouble - after all, we said the same things about 2020.

I try to keep a sense of positivity and I am grateful that I have had my father, my husband, and my daughter with me throughout this whole quarantine and social distancing process and that we all have remained relatively healthy.

I also am grateful to all of you who have been with me on this journey and follow my zany pictures on Instagram, and read my meandering thoughts as I post them in this blog. We can be here - even virtually - to support one another and make it through the rest of this year and see what the future brings.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

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