This Year

A year like no other

This year, has been a year like no other. A year of tough decisions, lack of normalcy, inability to plan ahead, and constant change. A year none of us could have even fathomed.

This year, a year where a piece of cloth has caused division among friends, families, organizations, and across the country.

This year, a year where "WFH" is the new norm and part of everyday conversation. Where remote learning is no longer for just college and grad school, and where essential workers have found out exactly what essential worker means.

This year, a year where going to the grocery store is no longer simple. Where Target shopping trips are more stressful than de-stressing.

This year, a year where refrigerated trucks have turned into make-shift morgues due to deaths exceeding the numbers that are normal within the hospital walls.

This year, where businesses have had to board up for protection.

This year, a year where what "PPE" means - is common everyday language. It isn't just for those who have to wear it for protection in their job.

This year, a year where we found out just how little control we have over things.

This year, a year where mental health issues are on the rise. Where adults and kids are both struggling with mental health issues at higher rates than ever.

This year, a year where "compassion fatigue" has a whole new meaning in healthcare providers.

This year, a year where panic buying resulted in toilet paper and cleaning supply shortages.

This year, simply put, is truly a year like no other.

A year of tough decisions

This year, a year where automatic "yeses" have turned into "I'm not so sure about that" or "I don't think I can make that decision right now" or even simply "no".

This year, holiday tough decisions are no longer "who to buy for and what to buy" or "what is the menu going to be". The tough decision is simply - is it safe to gather? Or, do we choose to not be together this year in hopes to prevent many more holidays lost?

This year, milestones have been lost. Prom, graduation, freshman move in, sports seasons, introducing the new bundles of joy, and so much more are not what they have always been.

This year, weddings and celebration come with risks and planning. Who ever thought hand sanitizer and masks would be the "in favors"?

This year, opinions and thoughts have to be shared carefully or risk you might accidentally say something that could ostracize you from a whole group once trusted.

This year, a time where healthcare employees suddenly were faced with "one mask per day" or "one mask per week" or even "one mask until this one is no longer usable".

This year, a year where countries have had to make decisions like "who gets the last ventilator".

This year, a year where "no Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving" has been thrown out the window.

This year, a year where school boards have had to weigh the risks of COVID vs mental health and keeping children on track academically.

This year, a year where teachers have had to completely redesign and think how they teach. Where they are no longer teachers, but also cleaners, zoom monitors, distance monitors, mask monitors, and so much more.

This year, a year where parents are juggling WFH, monitoring remote learning, and being a parent all at once.

This year, a year where family members and loved ones have had to say goodbye through windows or video chat in order to keep people as safe as possible.

This year, a year where healthcare workers have had to truly face what it means when you sign off on "possible occupational exposure to disease or viruses". Where once applauded healthcare workers are now using the word "lonely" to describe how they feel right now. Where they were once the brave heroes, now they are pleading to be heard about just how overrun the the healthcare system is right now.

This year, a year of tough decisions, both big and small. No matter the size, tough decisions have been made by all.

A year of triumph

This year, a year where animals are finding new homes and shelters have even been cleared

This year, a year where the power of community and friendships has been brought to light.

This year, a year where many have found out just how strong they are.

This year, a year where mental health awareness has risen.

This year, a year where race disparity is a common conversation.

This year, a year where many have tried to cut hair or groom their dog.

This year, a year where pretty much everything imaginable can be ordered online then picked up curbside.

This year, a year where the blessing of technology has been highlighted.

This year, a year where the struggle has highlighted who is truly willing to stand with us.

This year, where gardening was tried for the first time by many

This year, a year where baking has became a new hobby again

This year, where communities have rallied together to save small business and restaurants.

This year, a year of challenge, growth, and strengthening.

This year, a year of triumph for many as they have faced the unthinkable and continued on, despite the challenge.

This year, triumph can be seen in both big and small.

This year, triumph and bravery may come in the tiny whisper of "I'll continue on tomorrow"...

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