Good riddance, 2020

There’s not a whole lot that I can say about the year 2020 that hasn’t already been said; 2020 largely sucked.

As an American citizen, I watched a narcissistic man-child “lead” the country to the brink. The downplaying of the deadliest plague to hit the planet coupled with the politicization of personal protective equipment in contradiction with fucking SCIENCE, which I will never understand, proved disastrous. To date, 344,877 Americans alone, have died. 1.8 MILLION wiped out worldwide. In a perfect storm of massive unemployment and reaching the brink, citizens took to the streets to protest. Some protested wearing face masks because it infringed on their Constitutional rights, to seemingly do whatever they want, while others took up the deaths of black citizens who are disproportionately killed by law enforcement officers. In Michigan, a militia planned to kidnap their governor due to pandemic imposed distancing and closings. Here in Ohio, Republican members botched their own plan to veto Governor Mike DeWine (R) COVID-19 precautions because too many of them had COVID to show up and vote. Finally, people had to take to the streets to demand that every vote was counted in our Presidential election. We were subjected to countless hours of dangerous, self-serving press conferences that threatened everything about our democracy. As I sit here tonight, I do not have faith in a peaceful transfer of power. I thought we were better than this…

Personally, I lost jobS, plural. A situation of safety and convenience that started because of the pandemic became the catalyst through which my baby girl left home and I became an empty nester. It was quiet, too quiet. Depression set in. There was no where to go. We canceled our trip to Florida to visit family and go to Disney World, a few short days before Disney World would shut it down anyhow. There were no sports. That train wreck “Tiger King’ became a thing. I ended an intimate relationship after two years together and lost my best friend of two decades. I set about to focus on self-care. I found a safe way to do physical training and counseling, took a dialectical behavior course online. It really allowed me to discuss the crux of the problem with my ex over with him and we decided to apply more effort, communication and mend the relationship. I started hearing from my sister again. My Jedi returned from Army boot camp and tech school to go on to be accepted, start and leave university. His boot camp graduation was the last one held at Fort Jackson before the pandemic. All online college courses due to COVID was just not a successful learning environment. My oldest got engaged, lost his job of five years, due to CoVid, and so accelerated his moving out of town with his fiancé. I couldn’t work out anymore, as Covid cases rose after Thanksgiving. I dusted off my resume and in the end, just 3 weeks ago, I landed a job I wanted. I look forward to work and enjoy the people I work with.

We did not get together for Christmas or New Years Eve. I miss hugging my friends and family but especially my parents and kids. I miss hanging out with my nephews and niece. My Poppa Mark passed away a few days before Christmas. We could not grieve together. I guess in summary, it’s been bittersweet. I hope as we turn the page, that better days are coming. I have no doubt that my daughter will graduate high school with flying colors and college credits to boot this coming year. She deserves to celebrate, but deserve has nothing to do with it. We’re going to do what we need to do to get through this and maybe we’ll all be a little more grateful and present in the moment on the other side.

I hope … I hope.

The Changing Nest

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

As the nest empties, parents can alleviate the sadness by rediscovering themselves and honoring the strides their children have made.Once individuals become parents, they are parents forevermore. Their identities change perceptively the moment Mother Nature inaugurates them mom or dad. Yet the role they undertake when they welcome children into their lives is not a fixed one. As children move from one phase of their lives to the next, parental roles change. When these transitions involve a child gaining independence, many parents experience an empty nest feeling. Instead of feeling proud that their children have achieved so much — whether the flight from the nest refers to the first day of kindergarten or the start of college — parents feel they are losing a part of themselves. However, when approached thoughtfully, this new stage of parental life can be an exciting time in which mothers and fathers rediscover themselves and relate to their children in a new way. 

As children earn greater levels of independence, their parents often gain unanticipated freedom. Used to being depended upon by and subject to the demands of their children, parents sometimes forget that they are not only mom or dad but also individuals. As the nest empties, parents can alleviate the anxiety and sadness they feel by rediscovering themselves and honoring the immense strides their children have made in life. The simplest way to honor a child undergoing a transition is to allow that child to make decisions and mistakes appropriate to their level of maturity. Freed from the role of disciplinarian, parents of college-age children can befriend their offspring and undertake an advisory position. Those with younger children beginning school or teenagers taking a first job can plan a special day in which they express their pride and explain that they will always be there to offer love and support. 

An empty nest can touch other members of the family unit as well. Young people may feel isolated or abandoned when their siblings leave the nest. As this is normal, extra attention can help them feel more secure in their newly less populated home. Spouses with more leisure time on their hands may need to relearn how to be best friends and lovers. Other family members will likely grieve less when they understand the significance of the child’s new phase of life. The more parents both celebrate and honor their children’s life transitions, the less apprehension the children will feel. Parents who embrace their changing nest while still cherishing their offspring can look forward to developing deeper, more mature relationships with them in the future.

A series of unfortunate events

It started with what I thought was pink eye.

Then, it was a stomach virus.

What it ended up being was the thing that would take my job: vision loss … again.

So, I’ve been put back on all the medicines that I had weaned down because of the side effects, thus increasing my fatigue/nausea but also my chances at saving my sight.

The law firm I worked for couldn’t wait around indefinitely and now, here we are. Up at 3:30am turning over all the things that is my life again. I know I’ve survived worse and surviving is what I do, but I’m tired…in my soul.