2020: A Year of Fear; 2021: A Year of Hope

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The year 2020 was a year of fear.  For many of us, the year 2020 took our anxieties and threw them as high as they can go.  The year also made us experience so much in so little time such as loss, depression, illness, and anger.  We have dealt with so much within the year as a country, as a community, and as individuals.

I cannot speak for all of us because I have in no way experienced what others have gone through.  However, I think we all have experienced mostly the same feelings/scenarios regarding health issues, anxieties, depression, and guilt.  To start off, I was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early April where I was isolated for two weeks and it was one of the scariest times of my life.  I was isolated in a room, by myself, away from my husband and daughter and just stayed there.  The symptoms I experienced were headaches, fatigue, body aches, coughs, chest/lung pain, back pain, and sometimes I experienced shortness of breath. 

To say the least, it was horrible and scary.  It was horrible to be isolated and being so ill that I couldn’t get up out of bed.  On the other hand, it was scary because I heard stories of deaths from this illness, so I kept thinking of what if I died…I don’t want to leave my husband and daughter behind…and I didn’t know what I would do if became that ill.  Therefore, my anxiety and depression was going haywire…

In addition to this, my mental health started to go down where my anxiety and depression levels were rising because of the isolation and the illness.  So, I can only imagine what people are going through right now in hospitals or at home and are sick.  I can’t imagine the pain that some are going through with losing a loved one to this illness.  My anxiety went back where it was when I first started seeing my therapist because I was/am always on the defense when I have to do my regular errands or bring my daughter out with me. 

Even when I am still working on the trauma I have experienced…I am now working through my feelings when I was sick, going to school and helping my daughter with virtual learning, and still being there for my husband when we need our time together.  After all of this, I am still experiencing the aftermath from being sick.  The major effect that I have is the fatigue and headaches.  The fatigue gets me everyday.  Although, the other thing that I have come to realization is the loss from 2020.

To start, I am/was a substitute teacher for the school district and since the schools are still virtual, there is no work for me.  That has hit hard both socially and financially for my family, but the good thing to come out of it is that I am grateful for the time that I get to be with my child while being her teacher as well.  I have been so happy that I have been able to watch her grow in her education all year.  At the same time, there has been some mom guilt because I have felt bad for her.  This was her time to make friends since kindergarten, but half of her kindergarten year vanished because of the pandemic and she switched schools during the summer.  So, last year and this year was her first time at this new school and it’s all virtual. 

Don’t get me wrong, she has been doing great with adjusting, but I feel guilty that those experiences were taken from her.  I am also feeling guilty because the school keeps postponing the in person instruction timeline and I have decided that it would be best to keep her home.  Their schedule was either going to be stay at home under a new teacher or go to school three days a week for more than 8 hours and sitting down all day without any activity.  I feel guilty for her not being able to be social and make friends, but at the same time, I think it is best for her, at this time, to stay home and still have activities. 

Another loss that I have experienced is not being able to travel to see family members.  We couldn’t travel for the holidays because we didn’t want to expose ourselves, but then some of our family members got COVID, so that was it for us in making our decision.   My daughter and I did go with family on vacation this year though and that is where I did injure my knee.  That injury did lead to surgery and I am still swollen and in so much pain, but it was worth it.  Being able to see family, having that family time, and at least see something outside of our house last year was worth it.  All in all, this pandemic threw us in for a loop.

However, now that we are done with 2020 and it is now 2021, I think we can start hoping for a better year.  Even though we are still experiencing the aftermath of 2020, there is a hopeful sense in the air when the new year rang in.  I feel more compelled to get my health in control, get organized with all of our schooling and activities, stay in contact with friends and family, and to not take things for granted.  Well, I guess I have learned a lot of lessons from 2020 and taking them into 2021.   

I do believe everyone has learned something from 2020.  I learned more about my health, my mental health, what my passions are, what I want in life, and the path that I need to be on for my goals.   I am sure with everyone, we are all still feeling the effects from our anxiety, depression, the losses we had, and the experiences we had during the pandemic.  However, there is some light to all of this.  I have seen communities come together, neighbors coming together, and more communication between friends and families.  It’s been an eye opener on how we can come together to make sure that everyone is alright. 

Even though there has been events throughout the country, recently, that makes us seem divided, I do believe that the good will come and we will come together as a country and a community to hopefully make this year a better year.  I have set out my goals for the year and my goals revolve around one word, which is HOPE.  I hope to be more confident, I hope to not take things for granted, I hope to do good in life, I hope to be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, grand daughter, and daughter-in-law.  I am hoping that this year is a better year.  

Anyway, I hope you all are safe and have a better year this year.  I hope you reach your goals for the year and that the good will come.  Thank you for reading and I will see you in the next post!  Have a great week!

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Featured In: Personal | January 8, 2021
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