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2020 Ramblings

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all are staying warm and most importantly, healthy. Can you believe we’re just a few short weeks away from Christmas? Is it just me or does it feel like 2020 flew by? I’m not mad about it, though. Bring on 2021. We’re all so ready for it.

The holidays are certainly looking different this year. We typically either travel up to Rhode Island and Massachusetts to see family or they come down here, but for obvious reasons our family get togethers are postponed for now. Better to be safe than sorry, right? Maybe that means we can have a Thanksgiving/Christmas 2.0 Celebration in July when the weather is nice and the vaccine is ready. That sounds ideal to me.

My friends and I have a similar mindset regarding our birthdays this year as well. We all turned 26 within the past few months, but have decided that 2020 doesn’t count. So really, we’re 25 pt. 2! Speaking of, having my old high school buddies around has been a silver lining of the pandemic. Some of them have moved back home for a while during COVID and it’s been nice all having the chance to slow down and reconnect — even if from six feet apart sometimes.

2020 has been a crazy, different, and scary year for everyone. For me, it’s felt very confusing and frustrating and I know I’m not alone in this. I felt as though my life was pretty much ‘on hold’ for half of 2017, and most of 2018 and 2019 as well as I rehabbed and recovered from multiple surgeries. Then, right when I was starting to feel strong and somewhat like myself again a pandemic hit … forcing me (and everyone else) to hit the pause button yet again. For the disability community and higher-risk individuals, it’s been an especially isolating year. I’m constantly asking myself: Am I being too cautious? Not cautious enough? Ugh.

Hopefully, things will start to turn around in the new year and the constant uncertainty and anxiety will go away. Obviously, things won’t miraculously go back to ‘normal’ when the ball drops to ring in 2021. There will still be dark months ahead and hard work to be done. We will have a vaccine soon, though, and a new leader soon as well. A leader that believes in science and doctors and cares about people of all races, sexualities, abilities (!!!), etc. There are things to look forward to on the horizon. I have to stop and remind myself of this often.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy holiday season and a great start to 2021! Thank you for reading.

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Another day in ‘the Q’

I can’t believe it’s almost officially Spring and we’re still in ‘the Q,’ as people are calling this strange time in history. Governor Wolf recently extended the stay-at-home order until June 4. That being said, I hope everyone is staying healthy and somewhat sane.

There’s officially another Temple grad in our home! Caroline graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in neuroscience last Thursday. Of course, her commencement ceremony couldn’t be held in-person with all the craziness of the pandemic right now. We made the best of it, though, and had a little at-home celebration instead. Her psychology professors held a nice virtual ceremony. We Zoomed with family and drank sangria while we listened to speeches and waited for her name to flash across the screen. The dogs loved being invited to graduation this year! They’re not minding this whole stay-at-home thing one bit.

It’s crazy to think that I graduated three years ago now! Time really does fly. Here’s a picture of Caroline and Willow having a graduation photoshoot and a throwback picture of my friends and me on the TU big chairs.

Last week was Mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day as well! It’s safe to say we had a busy week celebrating around the house. Birthdays and holidays seem a little anti-climactic in quarantine, but that just means we can redo them once it’s safe enough to venture out into public again. Two days out of the year isn’t enough time to show our love and appreciation for you, Mom. Thank you for supporting me every day and helping me put my life back together, piece by piece. You’re the best.

There’s certainly been a lot more downtime during quarantine. In some ways, it’s been nice, but I know I’m not the only one starting to go a little stir crazy. Reading has been one of the things getting me through the many weekends cooped up at home instead of seeing friends. I’ve never been big on fiction, but it’s kind of nice to sometimes escape reality for a little while. I’m about to finish Quarantine Book #7. Some of the books I’ve read and would recommend are Little Fires Everywhere, Nothing to See Here, Verity, and In Five Years. Give ’em a try!

Another new development: I applied to grad school! Ahhhh. Temple’s Master of Science in Communication Management program begins in the fall. Fingers crossed I get in! I’ll keep you posted.

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Quarantine vibes

Happy Quarantine, everyone! I hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and sane during this crazy/scary/boring time.

For me, quarantine ‘officially’ began a little over two weeks ago. With the rapidly spreading virus, we decided it would be best to take a break from PT and OT until things calm down. Due to my SCI, I’m considered a higher risk. I don’t necessarily have a higher chance of getting sick, but if I did it might be harder for me to recover.  My injury affected my core and chest muscles, so my little baby coughs are pretty weak. I haven’t been sick since my SCI (knock on wood) and I definitely don’t want to start with the coronavirus!

On a lighter note, the dogs are loving the quarantine. With everyone home, they’re definitely getting more treats, cuddles, and walks than they would on a normal day. They are totally unaware of the scary things going on in the world right now. It must be nice to be a dog. I was looking through old photos the other day and came across a picture of Hazel, our 12-year-old yellow lab, when she was just a puppy.  So cute!

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I look funny….but at least Hazel’s cute

Since this time of year is typically the start of the baseball season, I expected the house to be quiet with just my mom and me, but it’s nice to have everyone around. Caroline has been putting her ‘therapy aid skills’ to good use helping me do some PT at home. She’s also been baking a lot — rolls, gluten-free cornbread, cake, cookies, homemade dumplings– trying to make us all gain the coronavirus 15.

Of course, quarantine is the perfect time to chill and binge-watch Netflix. Some recent shows we’ve been loving are season three of Ozark (Netflix) and Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu). We’ve also been doing some painting to pass the time. I was never very artistic before my SCI (and I’m still not now) but here are some of my recent left-handed doodles.  Mom also single-handedly completed a 1,000-piece puzzle, which you can see in the background of this photo. Way to go, Mom!

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Hopefully, within the next few weeks or months, the coronavirus will subside and life will go back to normal. I’m definitely used to staying home and laying low more now than I was before my injury, so this whole social distancing thing isn’t super new to me. I’m still itching to go out and see friends, but I guess Zoom and FaceTime will do for now.

It’s important to stay informed about everything going on, but remember it’s OK to take a break from the news and social media as well. Stay safe, healthy and…home! We will get through this together.