A few thoughts popped into my head this weekend while I was going back in time to scrapbook pictures from 2020.

First, and most importantly, kittens are the absolute cutest things. Of course I knew this already, but I still can’t help being overcome with the adorableness of photo after photo of their sweet little faces. Welcoming kittens into our family was the undisputed highlight of 2020.

The rest of this blog is a bit heavier than that observation, so if you’re not up for deep contemplation today, just stop here and enjoy thinking about kittens.

When I hit March 2020, scrapbooking photos of zoom calls and mask-wearing and game playing and puzzles and gardening and cooking and gathering outside spread far apart, I was reminded of my word for this year, surrender. Those early months of COVID sheltering-in-place were a practice in surrender, even if I wasn’t thinking about that word then.

I said I would never do virtual therapy, but I surrendered to that because I had to. My adult children didn’t want to live at home just then, but they surrendered to that because there was no choice. I hated not traveling or seeing my extended family (other than on a screen) but… surrender. You get what I’m saying here.

And then my reflections extended to a bit of rose-colored thinking as I initially thought about how everyone around the world was actually joined as one during this time. Nobody knew what was happening or what would happen. Everyone was scared. Everyone’s lives were changed. We were in it together. This was back before there was a vaccine to be for or against, before mask mandates to fight over. At the beginning, everyone was hunkering down and trying to stay safe.

But then I realized that this perceived solidarity was a privileged view of that time. Yes, I had to change how I worked, and so did my teacher husband, and that sucked; but we both still had jobs. Our income didn’t significantly change. We never worried about losing our house or paying our bills or buying food. It was upsetting when the store shelves were empty of vanilla or yeast for all the baking we did but that is not the same as actual food scarcity. And, most importantly, we never got scary sick. None of my important people were hospitalized or died. So I wasn’t actually going through the same thing that everyone else was going through. COVID has certainly been hard for all of us, but for some it has been absolutely devastating, and it’s important to remember that.

This blog is a little all over the place, huh? Starting with scrapbooking and kittens and ending with a reflection on social inequity. Yeah, that’s how my brain works sometimes. I am surrendering to it!