Social Distancing Weeks 41 & 42…Heaviness & Hopefulness

Thursday, December 31, 2020…1:06pm

I took an intentional break from my computer on December 24th – a much needed intentional break for both my weary eyes and my weary soul. Week 41 of life in the time of COVID-19 ended on Christmas Day and week 42 will come to end on the first day of 2021. Easy math shows we are terribly close to reaching the unwanted milestone of having lived inside this reality for an entire year. I thank God everyday that all of the people closest to my heart are still alive, for hundreds of thousands of people that is not the case.

On this final day of 2020, I wish some magic at the stroke of midnight could wipe away all of the loss and heartbreak the world has endured this year. I wish, but I know that isn’t possible. We will wake up tomorrow in a world where the current reality includes the frightening realty that every 10 minutes in Los Angeles County (where I live) somebody dies from complications of COVID-19.

Every. 10. Minutes. People. Are. Dying.

It did not have to be this way. If that doesn’t get attention and change selfish behaviors into selfless care for the greater good…then I don’t know what will.

I find myself living in a thin space lately. My heart is both increasingly heavy as we are once again retreating into the safety of our home, and my heart is increasingly hope-filled as vaccines are being administered. Holding both things – heaviness and hopefulness – fuels both my desire to do all I can to move us all to the other side of pandemic (stay home, wear the damn mask, forgo traditional holiday activities) and allows me to begin to dream about what the other side of this pandemic life might look like for me and for my family.

Tonight we will mark (not celebrate – mark, acknowledge, commemorate) the end of 2020 in our cozy home, with an amazing home cooked meal, excellent wine and bubbly (or SodaStream and sparkling cider for the teens), games and a movie. If not for the purposeful choice of a fancy dish to cook (chicken with 40 cloves of garlic), it could really be just any other night in the past 42 weeks. We will mark the end of this year with hearts that are heavy for all that has been lost and also hopeful for all that still can be and look forward to a future where celebration once again feels possible.

The stroke of midnight will not magically mean all is well. We have miles yet to go on this pandemic journey, but crossing the mile marker that is the calendar turning from 2020 to 2021 does feel like progress. I pray we can all find ways to both hold and honor the heaviness and the hopefulness as we continue to move toward a post-pandemic life. We’re not there yet. We’ll get there quicker if everybody does their part (stay home and wear the damn mask) with a loving heart for the greater good. If you’re the type who makes resolutions, resolving to double down on being part of the solution as a way of honoring all of the lives already lost to the pandemic might be the best possible resolution.

Wishing us all health, love and as much joy as each day can hold as we enter the new year. Be well my friends.

Ready to usher out 2020 in the way I spent much of this year…hair in need of a cut & color pulled back in a ponytail, no makeup, leggings, “Namaste 6 feet away” T-shirt & comfy cardigan…in the corner of the living room that has most often been seen on Zoom meetings.

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