Out with the old and in with the new, or something like that

I’ve struggled to find words to process the last few years.

We’ve collectively lived through something hard.

Impossibly hard.

I can’t write about the enormity of the experience, so I’ll take it to the personal micro-level.

I lost my grandmother to Covid. I didn’t get to say goodbye and we didn’t have a funeral for her.

My son had two terrible accidents. They were scary. I relive them daily and I hold him too close.

My daughter didn’t react well to social distancing. Her light dimmed so much I felt I might lose her.

Our family was together all the time, but somehow things got messy and convoluted. The undercurrent of fear kept us on edge, too internal, and we became strange to each other.

I want to move forward and say 2022 is the year it all changes, but it feels like rebuilding a puzzle without knowing the picture, and some of the pieces could be missing. It’s an uneasy feeling.

Yet, I’m going to try anyway.

Trying for me looks like refocusing on daily journaling, the short story challenge, and recommitting to posting to this blog. I’m moving my body and cooking dinner. I’m taking vitamins and sticking to a budget. I cleaned my closets. I’m making plans with friends.

These are important steps forward, creating new focus and new habits.

But if I learned anything from watching the Muppet Christmas Carol on repeat all December, we have to live in the past, present, and the future.

Not everything during the last two years was awful.

The dark night sky had some glittery stars, and they were incredibly beautiful.

Can I show you?

There was time to watch the sunrise and the sunset.

We drew this chalk mural for our neighbors to see as they walked by our house. We also hung hearts and paper cranes in our front window. It gave us a purpose and made us feel more connected to the outside world.

There was more time to spend outdoors, and we hiked a lot.

My sweet nephew got in on the hiking, too. Silly faces were a requirement.

We did an online challenge of trying to copy famous paintings. I think we nailed it.

We snuck away to a beach house during the lockdown, and took a walk on the empty beach. It began to rain, and we saw starfish everywhere. We lost count at 100.

I grew my first ever pumpkin, and then…

I became queen of the pumpkins.

I did some of my daughter’s school work with her and drew this beauty.

We did numerous photo shoots with Puff the Magic Hamster, who was a wonderful sport about it.

We had our own May Day, and it’s my favorite picture of us.

My son got his first car,

and my daughter grew wings.

I got to take my nephew to his first rock concert and see him light up.

I got my first tattoo, a matching wave with my best friend.

I captured this moment at the aquarium.

When I could hug my mother again, it was everything.

And when it was safe, this group got together and my heart was full.


My kids tease me because I take a lot of pictures, but I’m grateful. Looking through these memories, and there were a lot more, it helps me remember the last two years have been hard, yes, but also filled with tiny moments of beauty and joy.

Can you tell me some of yours?