I have never written a “year in review” post for this blog. So this seemed liked as good a year as any to do my first one. Here we go.
- I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Technically I was diagnosed at the end of 2019. But I spent a few months thinking the highly skilled doctor, bloodwork, and biopsies were all wrong. They weren’t. So I guess what I really did was accept I had an autoimmune disorder in 2020.
- I made some changes to my lifestyle this year and felt a heckuv a lot better.
- Our street flooded (twice). There was a lot of rain. The creek overflowed into the street with mud and water and debris. The neighbors said it only happens once every ten years. But this year it happened twice. Go figure.
- The only thing I successfully grew a lot of was lavendar (and grey hairs but who wants to count those?). We transplanted a few plants – the big ones died. We put in a garden and grew a lot (a LOT) of tomato leaves and zucchini leaves. Not so many tomatoes or zucchinis though. But lavendar produced like crazy. So I planted more and harvested all those lovely little purple petals. I am a lavendar farmer.
- I became a pager-less person a few weeks ago. For over one-third of my life I have carried a pager. I have worked in medicine or nursing for approximately half of my life. I am still a nurse, but I am no longer employed. I am pager-less. It’s a big change.
- For two months this year we had no range (stove/oven). It died on a Monday and could not be replaced for two months. For two months I used a slow cooker, griddle, and hot plate to make all our food. It totally worked. But I am really grateful to have a working range again.
- Our water main broke. On a Monday. It got fixed that Monday too. And we got to dig a really big, deep muddy hole in the front yard. Kind of a mess but kind of fun too.
- I got to know my neighbors. I learned who I can chat with while the kids ride on their bikes and play on their scooters. Who I can text for a bag of frozen peas when I realize I’m out and already cooking. Who will go for a walk with me early on a weekend morning. I started to feel like part of my community.
- I got sick and I got tested for COVID. I was negative both times but still quite ill. I learned about resting and listening to my body. I started to accept I cannot change time and that it takes as long as it takes.
- I faced anxiety every day I went to work. Every day I put on my mask and face shield. Every day I sat in the office and reviewed charts and saw patients and their caregivers and family. Every day I wondered if this would be the day I got sick. If this would be the day I brought something home to my family and got them sick.
- And I felt grateful I was in an office clinic and not working in the ICU right now. In the hospital. In the ER. I felt grateful and I felt guilty for feeling grateful.
- I sent and signed a lot of condolence or sympathy cards. About three times as many this year as I usually do. A former manager who is not much older than I am died of COVID this year. Life is short.
- I learned. I read books. Took classes. Listened to books. I explored social issues affecting me and my family and my nation. I voted. I learned about ways I can be a better human in this big world. I learned about ways I am privileged that I have not considered before. I learned I have more work to do. I continue to learn.
It has been a full year (with a few days remaining). It seems more was packed into this trip around the sun than previous years but perhaps I am slowing down and being more attentive. Perhaps I am more aware than I have been on previous trips. Perhaps I am more present now than I have been previously.
If I were my own best friend I would simply sit quietly and be grateful for what is. A lot of it is mess. A really big mess. But a lot of it, when I pause and sit in the present moment, is really beautiful too. I am grateful for all of it. The mess and the sadness and the pain. The love and the connection and the growth. The small moments of joy. I am grateful for what has been in 2020 and looking ahead to what comes next in 2021.