One year ago, I woke up and the day started out somewhat normal. Morning school drop-off, a few errands for PTO to set up a teacher/staff appreciation event, an hour or two of consulting work, school pick-up… then things started changing. My dad called to tell me that one of my very favorite people had passed away after a long health battle. Friends began texting me about toilet paper and extended spring break. The memes with giant wine glasses started… within days, the world was a different place.
As the year anniversary of COVID approached, I polled my fellow Kansas City Mom Collective contributors to collect their thoughts on the past year. The comments gravitate toward one of three buckets —
1. Remember going places? That was fun.
2. Things got weird fast.
3. This has sucked, but we found joy.
Remember going places? That was fun.
“On March 7th, I was in Austin, Texas, for a bachelorette party. We walked out of a bar and heard all the bartenders talking about how SXSW was being cancelled due to COVID. The flight home was typical, but a few random flyers were wearing masks.”
“Last year at this time, we were enjoying a magical trip in Disney. Just a few short weeks later the world stopped. Months into the pandemic and staying home I realized how very lucky we were to have gotten that trip in with so many memories made.”
“My two best friends and I went out to dinner because we had heard restaurants were shutting down. I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now — who knows when I’ll be in a restaurant again.“
“On Sunday, March 15, 2020, we went to our best friends’ house to celebrate our boys’ birthdays which are a day apart. I haven’t been inside their house since that day.”
“I went out on a girls dinner and most of our conversation was wondering if this would be the last time we’d be eating out in a restaurant for a while and all the other things that could be happening soon. Turns out, that was the last time in a year. Good thing I ordered the extra margarita.”
“On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, I attended a luncheon about women in leadership. A crowded room where we all ate, chatted, and listened. Then, the world stopped.“
Things got weird fast.
“Last March I went to Arizona for a family funeral and the world was normal. Just 4 days later, I came home to stores with no toilet paper.”
“A year ago, I wondered aloud on Facebook about stocking up on a few things just in case what was happening in Washington state would spread to Kansas. Friends were incredulous and laughed at my concern but I bought TP at Costco in February just in case and it lasted 6 months!“
“The weeks leading up to our March 21 wedding were filled with increasingly shocking headlines. Every day, I made more changes: Canceled the reception, the meal, the cake. Figured out how to stream close family and friends online. We officially became a blended family with only my mom, a minister, and a photographer in attendance and we came home to the Governor’s announcement that our world was shutting down.”
This has sucked, but we found joy.
“I long for the normalcy… but I am so grateful for the forced slowdown. While the last year has been one of tragedy and loss on many levels, I will hold close to my heart the memories our family made.”
“This last year has been a blur of crisis, hard decisions, an incredible amount of bike riding, and the Quarantine 15 and then some. We are surviving, maybe not thriving, but we are okay. And I’ve never been so happy to be just OK.”
“We navigated our way through the challenges of joining two households with five kids while under quarantine, and I truly believe we are closer because of it.“
“I don’t want to say there has been an ‘upside’ to a year where nearly half a million Americans died and countless more globally. But I will say I found the pockets of joy more meaningful and felt them more deeply. Kid riding a bike without training wheels, lots more family hikes, two straight weeks at my mom’s over the summer, kid learning to fully read, developing a strong friendship with our neighbors. I cherish those things and realize how lucky we are in our family.“
“While the world has been on fire, I have been able to slow down, enjoy my family, and save money. Thankful to still have our jobs and earning a steady income.”
As another March slides by, I am so grateful for the increasing vaccination statistics, the return of gorgeous weather, daydreams of returning to some kind of normal…
What are your feelings after this, the longest of years?