I don’t know about you, but as the season changes, the school year – this awful, stressful school year – finally starts drawing to a close (31 days to go here in NYC), and life once again begins to return to something resembling normal, I feel my mood lift and my energy shift. While some things continue to weigh on my mind, I’m actually looking forward to activities in the months ahead, and this newfound balance has been such a welcome relief. I imagine you might be feeling similar. Here are some things I’m excited about, something I’m worried about, something I miss, and something I’m enjoying (and I’d love to hear yours!).
Something I’m excited about
This weekend I’m taking my first post-vax solo trip to reunite with friends I haven’t seen in way too long. I’m really looking forward to seeing them and to visiting Louisville, Kentucky for the first time. I heard they have some good bourbon there. 🙂
Something I’m worried about
It’s not a major worry, but there is some concern I have about how much of a setback (mostly socially and emotionally, but academically too) all of this time doing remote school will have had on my kids. By the time their new school year starts (in 107 days, but who’s counting), it will have been 18 months – almost to the day – since they’ve stepped foot in a school building. That’s a really, really long time! Joanie was four years old and halfway through pre-k when her school closed last spring. She’ll be a 6-year-old first-grader in September. Jackson will be starting his final year of elementary school. Both will be at a new school. I hope it’s a smooth transition and that they can both pick up where they left off 18 months earlier – maybe with some new coping skills and some new appreciation for actually being inside a classroom, among their peers, and learning in person, finally. Finally.
Something I miss
I really, really miss having time to myself and some distance from my kids. I miss my daily routine after the kids would be dropped off at school. I miss sitting at my favorite neighborhood cafe just down the block and setting up my laptop and getting a few hours of work/writing done, while catching up with friends. I miss occasional lunch dates with Drew on days he’d work from home and the still-new thrill of getting alone time together without having to pay a babysitter. I miss time in the day for doctor appointments, haircuts, and running errands. I can make the time now, but it’s a constant negotiating of the minutes, making sure Drew can cover for me, that I’m not gone longer than I should be, and that I’m back in time to deal with whatever new need arises in my absence before all hell breaks loose. Basically, I miss my regular life. Fourteen months and counting is a long time to put it on hold. Fourteen months is a long time to be solely dedicated to just one thing (in this case, parenting through a pandemic).
Something new (to me) I’m doing, learning, or enjoying
In an effort to broaden my horizon beyond just parenting and to prioritize self-care a bit, I’m doing two things I really enjoy. I’m exercising nearly every day. Specifically, I’ve joined the Peloton cult and really enjoy it. We don’t have the bike. What we have is the app membership ($13 a month) that gets us access to tons of classes (available on Apple TV) that we can do from the comfort and convenience of our own home. With various hand weights and a couple yoga mats, we’re able to do all sorts of strength, core, and stretching exercises, and after 13 weeks of consistently showing up, I am feeling a difference – mentally and physically.
The other thing I’m doing, which seems completely unrelated but isn’t really, is the daily Spelling Bee puzzle in the New York Times. I had a great aunt who lived to be 101 and she swore by word puzzles to keep her mind sharp (which it was until the very end), so I am hoping that, by incorporating mental exercises with the physical ones I’m doing, I can stay healthy and strong for many years to come.
What are some things you’re excited about, you’re worried about, you miss, and you’re doing, learning, or enjoying?
Copa May 25, 2021, 12:47 pm
I’m excited for a short getaway with my boyfriend next week for my birthday. We’re going to a cute, artsy town on the western side of Michigan and will be staying right on the lake. Our resort offers free bike and kayak rentals, so I’m hoping for nice weather. We’ve experienced a bit of loss lately — first my grandma then two of his childhood best friends — so we’re both eager to hit pause and drink wine while watching the sun set on the lake.
I’m also excited to go back to my gym, which I plan to start doing next month. I haven’t been since last fall, around when they had to stop offering outdoor classes. Sincerely curious how much strength I’ve lost and hoping to improve my body composition once I have access to heavy weights again.
I’m hoping to try a new hobby this summer and have everything from sailing lessons to trapeze school to creative workshops as a nearby art center on my list of potential activities.
Hazel May 28, 2021, 7:38 am
Copa– totally recommend the trapeze.
Bittergaymark May 25, 2021, 1:55 pm
I am very excited about things opening up. And travel. And for an end to all the death and destruction on seemingly only liberal democrats. Nobody deserving died of this blasted virus and that… well, maddens and saddens me. Hopefully, the worst is truly over. And that is something to be genuinely excited about.
Alex May 27, 2021, 12:23 pm
I am excited to have a wedding. We booked our venue two weeks before things started shutting down due to COVID and if we had just waited a little longer to decide we would have avoided all of the “can we? can’t we? who do we cut? how do we explain it?” drama that literally has felt all-consuming and just eloped last summer. I am just so excited to be married.
Hazel May 28, 2021, 3:12 pm
mostly excited for my extremely sociable mother to be able to access the vast support network she has been missing since her partner died just before corona- for me, I’m looking forward to seeing performer friends getting to do their thing and will make the extra effort to attend when I can, as i know this has been really hard for them.
allathian May 31, 2021, 1:15 am
We had a great weekend, on Saturday we celebrated my son’s 12th birthday outdoors with my in-laws and on Sunday with his godmother (my BFF) and her family. I love it that it’s finally warm enough to drink coffee and eat apple pie outdoors and to sit and chat. My in-laws are fully vaxxed and everyone except our now 12-year-old has had at least one shot (and I’m hoping he’ll get his this summer), so we felt comfortable sitting outdoors and eating together. I’ve really missed that.
I love the fact that things are opening up a bit again. I’ve been pretty isolated, although that’s partly my own fault. I hate wearing masks, and while I will wear them when necessary to protect others as well as myself during essential trips, I’d rather stay at home if venturing out requires a mask. There’s not a single human being on earth I’m so keen to see in person that I would do it with a mask on. Phone calls and texting serve the purpose just as well for me, YMMV.
There’s never been a mandate or even strong recommendation to wear masks outdoors in my area, except when queuing up to get vaxxed, so I’m glad that it’s finally getting warm enough to see my friends outdoors. It’ll be a while before I’ll be willing to visit indoors, though.