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Positively Moving Forward

The year is 2021.

I, as most others, have looked forward to 2021 after 2020 took a horrific turn last March, and changed our lives and lifestyles for what could be forever. Even with the emergence of the vaccine, and the much anticipated herd immunity our lives are forever changed.

We have lived through a pandemic.

Some have continued life with relative comfort, merely shifting a workplace, or shopping habits, while others have lived and lost - lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost hope. For the latter, I empathize with you. I’m saddened by your circumstances and what you’ve endured.

For me personally, 2020 was manageable. My three children and I have hunkered down in our lovely home, have plenty of food, have learned lots of new games, enjoyed too much screen time, and ok - we have an occasional masked up field trip to Target. I considered myself lucky - my parents, both immunocompromised and undergoing regular treatment (one dialysis and the other immunotherapy), have remained as healthy as can be, I have no close personal family or friends that have suffered at the hands of Covid. My ex who mainly lives on the opposite coast has been able to make a few trips East and has taken the kids for longer periods, giving me the reprieve I need to function as a good parent and give proper focus on my clients. While I would never consider the pandemic a positive in any way whatsoever, I am happy to say I was able to find silver linings in the midst of it.

It’s been two weeks into 2021. I never expected the ball to drop on New Years Eve and the world to magically rehabilitate to its former self, but I also never expected it to get worse. It has.

In the first week my brother-in-law has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer and has been admitted into the hospital to begin surgeries and treatment. My boyfriend contracted Covid. And my temperamental herniated disc has flared up, rendering me at times immobile and other times cursing aloud in pain as I try to move. This is not the utopian year I had hoped for after a pandemic swept the world. Heck, I would have been fine just maintaining the status quo of 2020.

In light of all of these scary and troubling things, I had two choices. I could sit paralyzed, fearing the worst, depressed and anxious and unable to be there for anyone. OR, I could project a future I wanted - break down each situation and do the work to get to the finish line. As the sage Oprah Winfrey once said, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” With that in mind I chose the latter.

While I can’t cure cancer or be there physically, I can be be a positive force for my sister and niece. By simply checking in, being there when she wants to talk and sending the weighted blanket she mentioned in passing might help her sleep, I was able to be there without being there. I couldn’t celebrate my boyfriends birthday, but I could still surprise him with dinner and gifts to brighten his day. And I could do everything possible to heal myself physically - rest, ice, heat, stretches, and lots of Advil - knowing with each component I’m getting closer to being back to myself. I also made it a point to ask for help when I need to as well- my kids have learned to do laundry this week, they learned to give a pretty good back rub as well!

So here we are, January 17th 2021. My brother-in-law is two surgeries down, and ready for the next phase of treatment (long way to go, but progress!), My boyfriend’s sense of taste is slowly coming back (yes, minor in comparison), and my back is almost back to normal. I’m feeling optimistic, and agree with Oprah that with a positive attitude comes positive things. Sometimes you have to work hard to conjure up the positivity, and sometimes, you will just get a sign that things are looking up.

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