It is official, this year got the best of me.
I know that this past year has left some families barely affected. Their lifestyles haven't changed much and they didn't bother themselves too much with what was going on around them. I also know families who lost too much; Jobs, family members, friends, and livelihoods.
I feel lucky that I didn't lose any direct family members or close friends to 2020 or 2021 so far, but boy was it a heavy year full of worry, sadness, and long stretches of isolation.
The news came in fairly gradually and I took it in as it came. My family was all home working and studying. We chose to play it as safely as possible steering away from opportunities to socialize or go out in public unless necessary. I've kept things upbeat for my family and pretended it was all under control.
This is until we got our vaccines and started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This is when the aftershocks of this experience shook me forcefully and left me feeling depleted, defeated, and lost.
Waking up every morning I promise to pull myself together and get things done, but I just can't find the energy. Things that used to take minutes are now taking days and I can't remember the last time I cleaned my house or gone out for a walk. Springtime walks in nature to witness color bursts and baby animals used to be one of the highlights of my year. Now all I want to do is sit down and do nothing.
How do we go out and jumpstart our social life again? Return to working in person? The thought of a full classroom? Taking public transportation? Do we just pretend that nothing happened? Consider it a switch and simply turn it on and move on with our lives? Doubtful.
Just like any big change, some slower steps will need to happen as a form of "recovery" from this experience. More like coming back from major surgery.
True that I don't know for sure what it will take for me to regain my energy, but that's not my biggest worry right now. I know it will happen.
What truly worries me are children who are wound up tightly because of their experience this year. Those who are standing strong right now but will very likely collapse as soon as we start returning to a stable state of normalcy.
Children who lost parents, homes, or a year of their social and academic development. How will they handle these aftershocks? Will they have the support needed to carry them through to recovery?