As much as we have high hopes for 2021, we start it off the same way we finished 2020: in lockdown, trapped in the “safety” of our own home, feeling the opposite of homesick. Small businesses closed while big box stores thrive, parents going insane working from home feeling worked to the bone, children feeling isolated and confused, most of us clinging to hope for dear life waiting for all of this to be over.
But have we really stopped to think about what that truly means? OVER. It has been projected that mask-wearing will last into the next two to three years, and honestly I don’t even care if it means that I will be able to see my friends and embrace my family and “go out”, whatever that means anymore. It is so much more than just wanting to go to a conventionally “fun” event or amusement park or whatever, it is about refusing to continuously be deprived of such basic things that I previously took for granted like a play date, a friendly chat over coffee, or an extended family dinner.
More than anything I want my daughter to be able to run up to someone she will learn to call a friend without me having to literally hold her back out of fear in the same way I would from an oncoming vehicle. It pains my heart to see her disappointment, even if only for a second, I am even in tears writing about it. She is turning two this month and she literally has no friends, the only family she knows outside of her home is through a tiny screen, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I can live with masks, I can live with small gatherings only, I can even live with the fact that my business will never be the same as it was before, but what I cannot live with is this constant feeling of deprivation and longing. It comes to be too much most days. I like to think I will be fine, but the guilt and fear that keeps piling on makes it more and more difficult to keep convincing myself—but I continue.
Keep your chin up, keep your hopes up, and embrace the break downs when they happen—it means you can take time to FEEL all the things and lift yourself up again to keep going, one day at a time.