We are all no doubt, very happy to see 2020 come to an end; goodbye, good riddance; this was not a tearful farewell. The year brought too many deaths, epic proportion job loss, business closures, and too much heartache. According to a Pew Charitable Trust survey, 9 in 10 people have experienced a change in their lives as a result of the pandemic. I grieve for all those who have experienced loss.
For theTravelsketcher and I, it was a disappointing year in that we had to postpone our retirement plans. Yes, I know, this is completely insignificant compared to the losses that others have experienced, but none the less, it has been difficult for us.
As I have written about before, we went to France in March to look at property. We found a great little ex-pat community in Normandy with a 230 year old cottage available. We met with the owner, and even met some of the neighbors while viewing the area. Our plan was to move there in July.
We arrived home on March 12th, so excited about our future and our upcoming move to France. We breezed through customs and immigration at JFK in record time. The next day the travel ban went into effect, and just over night, everything changed. Americans are now banned from entering EU countries, so who knows when we’ll be able to move; I miss seeing the world through my lens.
The next months brought social distancing, masks, remote work and learning, Zoom calls and being separated from family and friends. People hoarded toilet paper, stocked up on flour, canned beans and other dry goods in fear of food shortages. Restaurants began selling flour with take out orders due to the shortage. At one point I had to visit three different stores in order to find kitty litter. I am sure we all agree that we never believed we would be in this situation. Many of us now loath beans, are tired of cooking at home and are experiencing virus fatigue.
Our cat, Neville seems quite content to have us at home more often.
But there is hope, there is always hope. The vaccine will be available to most people who want it in the near future. In the meantime, we must stay vigilant by wearing our masks, socially distancing and staying home as much as possible.
Liz Gilbert said, “Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation.” If this was said to someone in the midst of a crisis, they would probably reply with sarcasm, doubt or even anger. However, once the crisis has settled, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, these words just might ring true.
In the words of Emily Dickinson:
Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
Here’s hoping that 2021 brings you hope, health and happiness.