I went back and read my 2019 end of year blog post I had to laugh. I thought 2019 was the year of change. 😂😂😂. I had no idea. 2020 turned out to be the year of change…for the entire world…
How it started:
The year started off great. In February we went on a weeklong trip to Hawaii to celebrate my son’s 10th birthday. Kauai was a first for me and Hawaii was a first for the kids. But there were so many firsts on this trip. The first one planned by the kids. The first-time tubing. The first time traveling during February break. At the time there was some talk of coronavirus, but it was still a fuzzy idea. Something that was just coming over. It did not affect our lives yet. We had a relaxing beautiful time and it was the perfect family vacation. 3 weeks later, life changed forever.
Like millions of Americans when the pandemic truly hit California, our lives changed overnight. My husband and I both work office jobs, so we got word on a Thursday that come Monday, we would all be working from home. My children found out that same Thursday night that there had been a COVID-19 exposure event at the school, and school was abruptly closed and opened virtually a few days later. None of us have been back since. In fact, just two weeks into shelter in place, my work at a financial services company came to an abrupt end. My company went through a round of layoffs and I found myself unemployed like millions in the pandemic.
That being said, it turned out to be one of the best things that happened. We had saved a bit for this possibility, so we were able to get along on one income. At home, I was able to help my kids with virtual school. I concentrated on myself, focusing on my writing, and relaxing. I bought a pool for the kids. We took hikes every week, and during summer break went to the beach almost every week. My husband had some health issues that required multiple eye surgeries this summer that put an abrupt end to our summer fun.
The fall brought virtual school and a consulting role for me that took up a lot of my free time. But I was grateful to be in a role I enjoyed and still able to be home with my kids who needed me. We took a short weekend trip to Oregon, our only other trip outside Hawaii this year. Having been home for months on end and having cut out all the travel we planned for the year; we spent the money on upgrades to the house that we had in mind for a long time.
How it is going:
Seeing the rare opportunity that 2020 gave us, we decided to spend the entire month of December in New Jersey. We knew the kids could do school virtually and we could work virtually. We took off before the California stay at home order started and settled into my father’s house in New Jersey. It was not always easy. We were all in the house and we had to quarantine for two weeks. We really did not see anyone outside our family. However, it was nice to just relax and have no agenda. We did manage to make it to New York City one day for a short visit. But otherwise, we stayed home, with family, our pod of 10.
What will 2021 bring?
Honestly, I do not know. For the first time ever, I have no travel plans. Sure, I hope to do a few trips in 2021. Certainly, more than 2020. But I am also aware that until there is herd immunity, we may not be going any where anytime soon.
I do have hopes for 2021. I hope for a reset year. I want to spend the year just getting my bearings after two intense years in a row. I hope to see friends again. I hope to do a nice long reset trip with our core family unit. One where we just stay in a rented home for a week, take hikes, watch movies, and get to be someplace different. I hope I finally get that solo trip in this year. I hope I can fulfill my promise to the kids to do a mother/son and mother/daughter trip. I hope we get a Girl Scouts trip in this year.
But most importantly I hope we have a healthy year. That we work together with masks and a vaccine to put an end to this pandemic and return to whatever is the new normal. May you have a happy and HEALTY new year!
* Photos taken by Atma Photography