FRIENDS BECAME STRANGERS

2020 – a pivotal year, one that tested us all well beyond our limits – a global pandemic, an unprecedented number of wildfires in California, continual poor air quality, shelter in place orders, facing racial injustices, wearing of masks, world leaders incapable of leadership, Saturn & Jupiter as close as they’ve been in 800 years, grocery store employees classified essential workers, no sporting events, hoarding, so.much.misinformation and the list continues…. This was the year we collectively lost our smile which was covered by masks the few times we actually ventured out. Everyone blended together into a non entity.

When I saw the initial horrific coverage of the deaths in Italy I began to mourn and knew my life would never be the same again. I felt I was reading a science fiction novel and viewed our world as an observer. The future seemed bleak and dystopian.

I realised I had to stop doing puzzles, staring at my plants & wishing the days away. I needed a plan. My life changed enormously and yet remained the same. I still wore hats and lipstick, asked tons of questions and continued to do ‘most’ of the activities I loved. I just did more of them and I did them solo. I learned to love and appreciate myself more – it was empowering. I lit a lot of candles! Deliveries were eclectic ranging from mezcal from Mexico to yarn from the Hebrides; if I couldn’t travel why not bring the world to my doorstep. I’ll try to do a followup post about the fun things that were purchased which may be of interest to some (the custom hats in this post are from Six Hand Hats).

I was heartened to see so many people turn to cooking as an stress reliever as I believe nourishing yourself is the pinnacle of self care.  I enthusiastically embraced cooking and baking  and ordered several new to me cookbooks which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Fresh spices were ordered – my go to source is Whole Spice. While y’all were stockpiling disinfectant I was quietly hoarding Rancho Gordo heirloom beans.

I read a lot of books – if you are on Goodreads let me know and I will follow you. I love book suggestions. Knitting is a source of calmness and meditation for me as well as a wonderful creative outlet. I seemed to concentrate on knitting sweaters using heavier weight yarn this year; did I foresee snow in my future?

Our county never left the bottom tier phase of reopening and a lot of businesses were required to open with limited services. Gyms were one of them. I found the one thing that kept me sane was getting outdoors every day to exercise. Nature truly does heal. If you cannot find a nearby trail perhaps there is a park or an aviary in close proximity. Take deep breaths of fresh air and just keep moving!

I feel very fortunate to have friends from all parts of my life even all the way back to childhood (that’s a looong way!) and I realised for the first time I was communicating with all of them the same way as I couldn’t see anyone in person. This was a moment when total strangers became friends; the spirit of community was immense. I fully realised the importance of connections and the conduit friends have to my history. I certainly don’t say it often enough but I appreciate all of you for just being present and hanging in there with me. I thank you for your continued support, thoughtfulness and humour. We will get through this and be with our families again soon. And, be able to HUG each other!

The good news: Humans are an adaptable and resilient species filled with lots of hope. How can 2021 not be fabulous when the fashion Pantone colours of the year are grey & YELLOW. I am beginning the new year with stillness and continuing to surround myself with the best. My thoughts – stay safe and indulge!

It’s been a long, long road this year!


3 thoughts on “FRIENDS BECAME STRANGERS

  1. Great blog Stephany. I enjoy reading it. So exactly to the point! Wish you had a drive by window for all that lovely cooking. F

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I appreciate your thoughts. Fresh air has always uplifted my spirit, even when it is only a walk in my neighborhood. It is even better if it is in a national park or mountains – maybe we will get back to that this year. I also went through a puzzle phase, but I am doing more diversified activities now. Please keep posting; I always enjoy your blog!

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