Grace for the Win!

It is important to stick together and be kind to one another


2020 has been like riding a roller coaster, in the dark, on a full stomach …for about three weeks straight. The multitude of emotions I’ve felt this year would look like a paint splattered diagram of zigs and zags that even the smartest scientist would have trouble deciphering. I think I can speak for most of us when I say that experiencing a pandemic is a scary thing. Not knowing how this virus will affect people now and in the future as well as how quickly it spreads, is unsettling. Businesses being shut down, social distancing, wearing masks; it’s all unbelievable.

Never could I have imagined experiencing something like this, but the lessons I’ve learned have been extremely valuable.  2020 may have been the year of social distancing, but I think it brought people closer together more than ever before!

Uncertainty! With every news development, business closure, and recommendation from the CDC, I questioned my every move. Weighing decisions back and forth took a toll on my sleep and concentration. Were the decisions I was making safe for my family, business, and most of all, my two year old daughter? I tried not to be so hard on myself, but the uncertainty of everything was something I was not familiar with and didn’t know how to react to. I’ve learned to channel those emotions into fun, cheeky, and unconventional journals to relieve the stress I feel at the time, which helps over time. I’m learning strategic ways to calm and trust myself which is a huge life lesson.

Writing my column for Allegany Magazine was difficult at times. With my mind so jumbled with worry, anxiety, and all of the other emotions that go along with those, creative writing paid the price. I was uninspired and had a hard time writing content that mattered to me and my readers. I even took a month or two off to give myself a mental break. Thanks for sticking with me!

Working was a blessing. I was still fortunate to be able to work with my doors locked and have client meetings via computer platforms. Most of my vendors were still up and running, which helped keep things going. Staying busy during my first year of business in a global shut down was a blessing I never expected and is something I will always appreciate.

Creativity. One thing I was so impressed with this year was how flexible and creative businesses and people became to continue providing the services so many of us needed. I saw a unity in communities to keep people safe and businesses afloat and it was truly heartwarming. Grace for the win! I think giving yourself, and others, grace during these crazy times was something I tried to practice everyday. Everyone is experiencing this particular pandemic for the first time and is allowed to feel what they’re feeling, even if that was different from my thoughts. By giving them and myself a pass, the stress wasn’t as overwhelming. This is something I hope to continue. By being kinder to myself, my awareness and kindness towards others is greater.

Slowing down. By being forced to slow down from the day to day hustle, I found that I appreciated my newfound time to spend more quality time with my family, tackle projects and hobbies Between stressing about everything, these little moments were a nice change of pace and gave me some solitude from the storm.

Cherish your family and friends every moment of every day. This is the biggest, and most important takeaway from 2020. Not being able to see family and friends during the quarantine periods made me value those hugs and visits so much more than I ever had.   As many of you know, I lost my aunt to cancer in July so our time spent with her on the phone, FaceTime, and socially distant visits meant the world. You never know what tomorrow will bring so cherish today with your whole heart.

Appreciating what I have. This is probably the second biggest lesson of this pandemic. Appreciating what you have and only having what you need was a huge lesson. I know I am used to running a quick errand if I need something, or running to the market if I forgot an ingredient, and casual shopping trips on the weekends. By not being able to do these things due to closures, being limited with quantities and new store hours, and planning for groceries and necessities ahead of time, it really made me value what I was fortunate to have already and showed me that I can live without all of the extras.

Though this article is a little unconventional from what I am used to submitting, I appreciated the change of pace and creative freedom this presented to let out the last bits of emotion of 2020.

2020 has been a hard pill to swallow. It’s difficult to say how this virus will impact the world in the years to come and if there is an end in sight, but I am thankful for the food in my belly, the roof over my head, and the love from the people that mean so much to me. It is important to stick together and be kind to one another no matter the circumstance for you never know what battles someone else is struggling with, pandemic or not.

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