As the year 2021 rolls out, I’ve been thinking about change. After last year, I imagine I’m not the only one.

I wondered why was 2020 such a difficult year for me. I have so many things for which to be thankful. My cup runneth over with blessings. I had plenty of space in my house to move around. When I grew tired of looking at the backyard, I could switch to another room and gaze at the front yard, then later in the day I could view the side yard and the playground across the street. I had food to eat, of which I’m sure I gobbled up too much. Now, I have a newfound fondness for salty snacks. My hobbies are enough to keep me busy for hours. But since I wasn’t living my life on my terms, the way I know and love, I started feeling isolated and withdrawn.

I asked myself, what did I have to be melancholy about? Was I just feeling sorry for myself? Was I being a whiny adult who wanted things my way? No matter how I answered those questions, what I felt was real, and I struggled with the change.

I’ve contemplated the many events of last year and there are a few things I have identified that contributed to my swings in emotions. There are things I have to accept. I had no control over what’s happening in the world. I’m not sure I’ve totally accepted that realization yet. Who doesn’t want to think they have power and authority over their life? When I was young, I couldn’t wait to grow up and do all the wonderful things I envisioned adults did. I would decide what vegetables I wouldn’t eat, or the right bedtime for me, or when I’d clean my room or what time I need to leave the club, or how much to spend on a new pair of shoes. Yes, that’s what growing up was all about for me. And now, I couldn’t even go to the mall and buy a pair of shoes or order another glass of wine in a restaurant as I pushed the vegetables to the side of my plate.

In 2020, I lost something I valued…spontaneity. My extroverted self loves spontaneity. It’s built into my DNA. If there was somewhere to go, I packed my bags without asking questions, and I had my plane ticket in hand. Now there is nowhere to go. There is no excitement in going to the grocery store—which has been the only routine place I now visit. I value my relationships and now I’m stuck inside, not fully able to interact with family and friends the way I have my entire life.
These changes weren’t gradual enough to give me time to adjust. I didn’t get a chance to adapt a little overtime. One day I could, the next day I couldn’t. I couldn’t raise my hand for a time-out or ask for a do-over. I wish I could. Oh yeah, any kind of change is hard.

Change Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

So, as I face 2021, I’m taking a deep breath. I know some days, I’m going to be extra wary and some days all this change won’t bother me as much. But no matter what I’m feeling, those feelings are mine, and those feelings are real.

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