There is no way to talk about 2020 without making it sound cliché or understated. While our family’s interaction with 2020 was not altogether unique, becoming house bound from the pandemic was not as much of an adjustment for us as it was for others. Our day to day life was not all that different than it was pre-pandemic. Having said that, being the active family, that we are, we did see our share of heart-breaking cancellations and postponements.
With that, let’s wake up this blog and talk about 2020.
A brief look back at 2020
Cancellations that made us sad
We were sad to have to cancel our sixth (~biennial) trip to Disney World. Very sad. We are currently discussing if we want to try again this year, even with many aspects of the parks having been removed.
We were all sad to have to postpone my work sabbatical. My employer gives a 2-3 month paid sabbatical after 5 years which I was to enjoy in 2020. We postponed it 1 year and subsequently postponed an East coast / New England road trip.
All company travel was cancelled which included a planned team meetup in Mexico and our third trip down to Orlando for the all-company meetup. Again, very sad.
Though we went virtual for a number of kid activities, (church, rehearsals, lessons) our kids also experienced the disappointment of cancelled actives. Youth retreats, camps, recitals, and competitions were cancelled.
The toughest, though, was the cancellation of our home school theater group performances. This would have been our kid’s 7th production with this group and it was a tough reality to face for all the families involved.
Unexpected mental and social toll of the pandemic
As shut-downs, restrictions, and mandates began to spread across the region, it became very apparent that not all families responded to the pandemic with the same level of caution and concern. While this topic could be easily discussed over a few dedicated blog posts, suffice it to say that the pandemic brought a whole new complicated layer for making decisions in regard to the family schedule.
Not to get ultra serious here, but it has been a very confusing time, being surrounded by contradictory opinions, points of view, and approaches to the pandemic. When well meaning families invite your kids to fun social activities, but you’re not quite comfortable with this, this puts us parents in a lose-lose situation. And this has occurred way more times than we care to count this year. This was perhaps the toughest thing for our family to navigate in 2020.
Ok, enough of that. Let’s move on to the fun stuff! 2020 wasn’t all sad and depressing…
We moved in 2020
As we sat around our 3 bedroom ranch, staring at the walls, we decided (after a few years of considering) to finally try to move. To make a long story short, while it took us only 5 hours to sell our house (on June 14), it took 135 days to close (yes, that’s more than 3 months). We then spent 6 weeks living with friends before finally moving in to our house on November 7. While the wait was worth it, it was quite the marathon that included moving our stuff 2 times in the process. Moving during a pandemic in a sellers market: not recommended.
While I’m sharing only the highlights for brevity, I don’t want to understate the emotional toll of leaving a home after 12 years. This home represents thousands of memories and our transition did require working through a grieving process. We are now feeling very grateful for the house God has provided for us!
We adopted more animals in 2020
As if trying to move during a pandemic was not enough, we decided to adopt a few kittens. Elliot’s friend’s grandparents, who we also know from church, had a “porch cat” who gave birth to a litter of kittens. After much deliberation, we agreed to adopt one of them. When we arrived to pick her up, her brother was unexpectedly available for adoption as well. So we drove home with 2 few-weeks-old kittens, who would join Olive, our older cat which we took in a few years back.
All in all, 2020 was tough, but we survived. We managed to squeeze in a few trips, and learned more about sharing space with one another.
Starting a new year
While we know that all the perils of 2020 did not magically disappear on January 1, there is a certain feeling of hope that accompanies any new year. We have a long list of goals for 2021 but know we can succeed only if we tackle a few at once. I hope to share some of these goals in upcoming posts.
As we look ahead with hope, our family is adopting a word for 2021: Adventure. Time marches on, and as we increase in age, it is marching faster and faster! We will enjoy my sabbatical this summer, more family trips, home-ownership perils and perks, and come fall, our oldest will begin her Senior year in high school. We have so much to be thankful for, always.