Last week marked one year of quarantine for me. My daughter and I were in LA for two weeks to visit colleges. We were a week into the trip, three colleges done, and were spending a couple of days in Disneyland before visiting the last two. You know what happens next …….everything starts shutting down, the colleges cancel the tours, and we’re told Disneyland is closing the next day. So I change our flights and we stay at Disneyland till they kick us out. Once home we settle in for a couple of weeks of quarantine.
As with everyone, this year has been tough on me. I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from being around people. Newly divorced, this was the first hard economic time I’d ever had to figure out alone. I also had a torn rotator cuff that was scheduled to be fixed when we returned from the trip. With all elective surgeries canceled, the constant pain on top of the isolation just about wrecked me. I had some dark days this winter.
This week there is a new feeling in the air. People are getting vaccinated. The weather is good enough for outdoor restaurant seating again. This weekend I saw friends for two lunch dates. Eating food and sharing conversation on those makeshift patios filled me with joy! Everything feels as if not only is there a light, but we’re well on our way through the tunnel.
As I look back on this year, with the feeling that the worst is behind us, I can see plenty to be grateful for. Starting back at those college visits – I’ll have an empty nest in September. This year, the last with her at home, I have spent so much concentrated time with my daughter. With the ability to choose friends over parents taken away, I got to reclaim my time. We watched movies, had spa days, cooked, talked, and laughed. When I’m missing her next year the memories of this year will sustain me.
Coincidentally, Pam and I were starting an intensive six week online business class just as lockdown began. With our time now free, we dove into the business. We upped our social media game, started creating weekly free content (this blog and our Weekend Wisdom newsletter) , launched an online book group, and pivoted to create two online offerings (Story of Your Life e-course and Discover Your SuperPower virtual retreat). And... we even have more in the works (spoiler alert) including a Costa Rica retreat in 2022! We would have gotten to this place with Perfect Avocado Retreats, I’m sure, but this year of concentrated effort speeded up our progress and necessitated those pivots that helped us grow our audience.
Single parenting through all this required me to get serious about my finances. I worked with a money coach the year my husband and I separated but this was the year I really had to put what I’d learned into practice. I created a routine of weekly money tracking, developed a budget and had time to do the work needed to promote myself. With no shoes to buy, vacations to take, meals to eat out - I quit discretionary spending cold turkey.
I’m coming out of the pandemic with new clients, and a financial plan that will provide for my dreams. Some of this new work will be to help an organization that has been on the front lines of COVID response with everyone working 500% over capacity. I’ll be helping them to turn down the temperature when the time comes. There is a fear among the leadership that people won’t even remember how to not work with this intensity.
That makes me think about the rest of us. Will we be able to re-emerge? The first step, I really believe, is to be grateful. I’m grateful for the time with Georgia, the time to focus on my businesses, and the opportunity to get my financial house in order.
I’m inviting you, Perfect Avocados, to catalogue what you are grateful for about this year. Even with all of the suffering and loss that occurred over the last year there is always something we can point to with gratitude.