Last Year vs This Year: Holiday Edition

My sister-in-law and I were talking last night about how everything seems so much bigger and busier this time of year. We lamented that it didn’t always feel this way. Or did it? Did we just forget what life was like before the pandemic?

This time last year, there wasn’t a life-saving vaccine available to all of us, making it impossible to celebrate the holidays together safely. Sports and school activities were canceled. The news was full of doom and gloom between the rising COVID-19 cases and the 2020 election fiasco. We were all still stuck at home, wondering when this all would end and what our post-pandemic lives would look like going forward.

Well, now we know. We are a combination of elated and exhausted with a side order of procrastination. I don’t know about you, but daylight savings time completely messed with my system and kicked my ass this year. Yes, we gained an hour, but I keep sleeping through it. It doesn’t help that Hanukkah starts this Sunday night, so I have one day to take advantage of the Black Friday deals. And right now, I’m feeling like all of the coffee in my house won’t prepare me for the massive crowds and long lines at the mall.

My brain also seems to be offline at the moment. I completely forgot to invite someone to help celebrate my mom’s 75th birthday, and I feel terrible. But, I have to let it go. She was incredibly sweet about it and knew I meant no harm. Still, it weighs on me because I am on top of these things most of the time. With so much to think about lately, it is possible that my mind went into survival mode. I rearranged my priorities as such:

  • Working during the day – i.e., lots of Zooming and emailing
  • Scheduling COVID-19 booster and flu shots on my lunch breaks
  • Reaching my new Goodreads goal (30 books) at night
  • Shopping for Hanukkah presents on the weekends.

Sometimes, my brain can’t handle more than this. Even my writing life has taken a backseat this season which is so unlike me. But, that will have to be okay too.

Here’s the silver lining about this year vs. last year. We are enjoying our lives again. We are seeing the people we love. We are catching up with old friends. We can hug our loved ones (if they let us). Some of us are eating indoors at restaurants. Others are traveling and planning vacations.

Although we may be exhausted, we can be happy that there is life past the pandemic. Thankfully, we are here for it.

From our family to yours, happy holidays!


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