What a year….

At the beginning of 2019, I had begun having this nagging feeling that something big and destructive was going to happen soon. My boyfriend, Michael, was also feeling this way. We just didn’t know if it was going to happen to one of us or someone we knew. Sadly, months later he was diagnosed with late stage renal cancer. With his diagnosis, I had to come to terms with the reality that he could die even with the immunotherapy. I needed to find a place of acceptance and peace about it. Nonetheless, I was devastated when he transitioned. He fought such a courageous fight but he passed away five months later on June 17, 2019. I have been very blessed to have some wonderfully supportive friends and family but I needed to be alone to process my emotions. I have always been an odd mix of an introvert/extrovert. I was feeling lonely but I was not ready to be around people. Time does heal but not because you miss them any less. You just have more time to process all your feelings and life keeps moving forward.

I went through so many emotions while I grieved. Emotional numbness to waves of anger and then utter sadness. We all grieve differently. I would often bury myself into my work and endless home projects. Anything to keep me distracted from the pain I was feeling. I was determined to not numb my pain with unhealthy habits. So I increased my time in meditation and nature. I tried to eat healthier but I admit that I had a lot of comfort food too.

Yet that forbidding nagging feeling never left me. It was like a paper cut that would never heal. I began contacting people who I cared about to make sure they were OK. Even people I had not spoken to for years. Most of these reunions were positive while some closed doors.

As the first cases of the COVID-19 virus began to make news, I got to see my best friend who lives out of my state. I had not seen her in two years. We met at a nice restaurant and spent hours catching up. Reliving all the craziness and fun we had growing up together. Not knowing that our lives were about to change.

Being single has meant that I have had to navigate this COVID-19 pandemic shutdown alone with just my cats. Because my Father is considered high risk, I have only briefly seen my parents and Sister since February. I have only seen one friend. So the lack of personal interactions and connection has been one of the hardest parts of this pandemic for me.

After a time of feeling stressed out and a bit lost, I decided that I should take this time of isolation to work on my life. I am very thankful that I can still work remotely from home. I have been working on my finances and being more responsible. I have also been focusing on exercising and eating healthier. I have been hiking some new wooded trails. I am finally learning to cook healthier. I have been phasing out red meat. I am also cutting back on my caffeine intake which honestly has not been very easy for me.. The silver lining is that the lack of distractions has actually helped me focus better on making healthier habits. It’s helped me remain positive throughout these challenging times.

I hope that you and yours are doing well. My family and I have remained healthy.

Stay strong, stay healthy and stay kind.

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