This year has, obviously, been a rollercoaster. While I felt like I had settled into somewhat of a routine and a “new normal,” summer has brought a new set of challenges. I feel like in a lot of ways, things are amazing personally and then in other ways, I’m really struggling. Often it’s two sides of the same coin… for example, spending time again with Mike’s family has been wonderful but it also makes me deeply miss my family even more than I already was. I feel like I’m constantly going up and down a rollercoaster at the same time.
One thing that has helped me the most throughout the entire pandemic has been to keep an eye towards gratefulness. Some days it’s easy and other days it’s more of a challenge– it’s been such a rewarding practice though.
I thought I’d share some of the things that I’m grateful for recently and maybe you can share some of your own things too!
First sleepover! We just had a sleepover with Mike’s sister, brother in law, and nieces. It was the first time his oldest niece got to use the trundle bed that I bought last year dreaming of the day we could do “sleepovers.” Seeing her fly onto the trundle bed and immediately start doing snow angels on it just about did me in it was so cute.
Volunteering! I signed up to volunteer at our local food bank (Interfaith Food Pantry if you’re in the area– they are amazing) back in the winter. I went through the training and got my weekly shift on the calendar… and then COVID hit. Since I was new and they changed the procedures for safety, I wasn’t able to actually volunteer until recently. Very grateful to be able to serve members of the community and give back in a meaningful way.
Backyard lights! Mike and I finally got around to hanging lights for our backyard and, wow, it really transformed the backyard. Well I guess it’s not super dramatic, but it does make it feel a bit more magical, especially now that the fireflies are back.
Safe getaways! We are being as careful as possible when it comes to travel. We did spend a week at Mike’s family’s lake house (safe driving distance + remote house!) and it felt so good to get out of our routine. (I will say I fully recognize this as a major privilege.) There was so much to celebrate (our engagement, anniversaries, birthdays) so it felt extra special in that way too.
All things crafting! Oh man have I been grateful for everything crafting related. It’s the very best distraction. A bit meditative and creative. Productive and satisfying.
Grocery shopping! I am so grateful that going to the grocery store is less “scary” now. I’ll never take going into a grocery store for granted ever again. I just did a trip this week where I wandered the aisles a little bit (we’re kind of forced to now that aisles are only one direction– so you have to weave through the store like a maze) and I was thinking how grateful I was that I wasn’t as anxious about being in the store as I had been a couple of months ago.
New Brothers & Sisters! While I’m first and foremost over the moon to marry Mike, getting more sisters and brothers out of the deal is a huge bonus. I’m thrilled and so, so excited. I know a lot of people who struggle with “in law” relationships, and Mike and I both feel so lucky that each other’s families feel like family. I can’t wait to make it official with marriage!