What were you doing a year ago?

A year ago, my stay-at-home lockdown date happened to be Friday the 13th. I went out in the afternoon, stocked up on groceries at TJs, filled the tank with gas, ran a couple of errands. Then I went home, and there I’ve stayed ever since—with some limited in-car excursions.

I’ve now had a first vaccine, and it looks as though my get-out-of-jail card will be good by about the middle of next month. That’s hopeful.

Was it worth it? It was, although it has been a long and lonely year. What has helped to get me through it? Writing, of course. That’s my oxygen. I have a manuscript that might grow up to be a book. I have supportive family and friends. A routine that gives me focus and a plan for most days. A regular dose of yoga. FaceBook and Zoom. A cozy nest of a home and, within that home, a canine companion who is a good listener and doesn’t seem to mind my off-and-on approach to housekeeping. As to that, I keep the kitchen and bathroom clean, the bed made, belongings in mostly orderly condition, and let the dust fall where it may—until I’m motivated to launch a vacuum/Swiffer attack.

In terms of following politics, I was addicted for most of the year and am only now moving away from hourly and sometimes minute-by-minute reading, listening, watching. The news was often, for me, terrifying and horrifying, and I use those words deliberately. There was a steady flood of “breaking news” from lockdown through January 6 and beyond—much of it generated by an out-of-control pandemic and an out-of-control president.

As we recover from multiple political tsunamis and, with a new administration, begin to experience a day-by-day calming of the waters, I have returned to a more normal news infusion. I know what’s going on but I’m not in perpetual crisis mode. It’s quite a relief.

We have all been subjected to the same political turmoil, and the same life-sucking pandemic. It’s not over, but it’s better. We’re not coming together politically, but we’re coming back to relative health and freedom of movement.

May God watch over the families and friends of those who lost their lives during this pandemic, and keep us safe as we carefully and with deliberation return to our blessedly “ordinary” lives.

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