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Journeys, Adventures and Vistas & COVID!!!?????

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Around December 15th, we started the beginning of the 2nd half of the last month of 2020. Are you happy to see 2020 go? Are you sad to see it end? Because of the pandemic, this year has undoubtedly been one of the most backwards and sideways years that ANY OF US can EVER remember! Our immediate reaction, ‘Can’t wait for this year to be over’ … ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out 2020’ … ‘Looking forward to January 1, 2021’ ~ ~ I could go on and on and on … simply put: 2020 has been really, REALLY tough.

Take a look back however, try to find a ‘highlight or several’ that defines the year as one worth remembering. The year began like any other ~ the promise of new beginnings and hope. Our family was busily planning not one, but two weddings, in two different parts of the country. My nephew was married in Michigan on 3/6/20; my daughter was busily planning a June 6th wedding on the east coast. At work, my boss was looking forward to her retirement, while my co-workers and I wondered what our office would look/feel like with someone new ‘at the helm’. Even though it would be tight, right after DD’s wedding, she and her new hubby along with ‘yours truly’ would be participating in our favorite summer pastime: the summer musical performed with a community theatre group that has been ‘our activity’ for about 8 years, for DD’s new husband ~ the group has been his summer ‘home’ for almost a decade. Whenever we had a moment to think about something other than the wedding, we tried to figure out what show we would be rehearsing/performing in a few short months. After that was over, DD and fiancé’ were trying to figure out where they would go on their honeymoon. We were/are fortunate to still have my parents with us, but my brother and I are keenly aware that they will not be around forever and 2020 is the year that we would probably have to take more of a role in ‘helping them out’. Dad had been in the hospital at the end of 2019, and was not able to drive anymore (although he was very stubborn about giving that up – so stubborn, in fact, that DH and I took his keys). Mom can still drive but prefers not to – especially if the distance is further than outside of their town; she also doesn’t like to drive at night.

Early in the year there were a lot of reports on the news about a ‘new’ disease … and within weeks of the new year starting – EVERYTHING. SUDDENLY. CHANGED. Once the pandemic began and it spread throughout the world, there was little else that any of us could focus on. COVID-19 became ‘the topic’ of conversation, ‘the topic on the news’ in the minds and heavy-hearts of all. Many, many families lost a loved one or loved ones to this terrible disease. Many, many families suddenly found themselves out of work. With an uncertain future and no end in sight, many had to, for perhaps the first time in their lives, search for assistance. Countless others may STILL be seeking help. Families suddenly found themselves ‘stuck’ at home together, interacting in a way that they never had and actually having to learn how to go about daily life – together yet separate; navigating virtual school and business meetings done via Zoom. Celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, typically celebrated with family and friends were either canceled all together or were ‘celebrated’ much like a meeting – on a computer screen – without hugs and kisses give to and received from loved ones.

How many times did you look for ‘normalcy’ and or structure in your day? How many times did you long to go to a restaurant; see a movie; go shopping in person, even go to a gym? I know I did! I was one of the lucky ones ~ I was fortunate that I was able to keep my job even though my work week became a blend of at remote work and going into the office roughly one day/week to process donations that were sent to our hospital; that was part of my ‘normal’. After I got done at the office, I would go and visit my elderly parents – Mom and I would sit outside in the cold (especially at the beginning of the lockdowns/social distancing) and chat – I would be careful about going into their house. I started to text close family and friends daily to check-in and say ‘hi’ and make sure that they were all well. DD and I would spend countless hours talking about her upcoming wedding. At the beginning we were hopeful that our ‘few weeks of lockdowns’ would allow us to proceed as planned, it was too big of an event to ignore – just in case it did happen. Wedding planning is a huge task in ‘normal times’ ~ try doing it with the uncertainty of a pandemic! I know that I’m not the only one who had to figure out what an ‘average day’ in 2020 would look like and then to make our days as ‘normal’ as possible.

One ‘constant’ for me was SparkPeople. Each morning, as I have done since 2008, I would get up and make my coffee and sign into SparkPeople. I would check in on my SparkFriends and send them a SparkMail or read their SparkBlogs. I CONTINUED to lead and participate in the seasonal 5% Challenges. I became a co-leader in a new group called ‘Go The Distance 2020’, the perfect ‘get moving compliment’ to my beloved 5% Challenges. I would get outside and walk - - - as much as I could. A bit of normalcy in an otherwise unusual world.

There are PLENTY of motivation inspiring challenges here are SparkPeople. Some are planned/led by the site, others are led by like-minded individuals who come together to create a safe place to meet and greet other SparkMembers and work together for a common goal: a healthier, happier, more confident version of ourselves. Are you interested? Are you ready to begin (or continue) your healthy lifestyle journey as we begin a bright, shiny New Year?

Are you looking for a way to get fit, lose weight, meet new friends (or reconnect with familiar SparkFaces) ~ and have some fun while you are at it? Please check out the 2021 Winter 5% Challenge, our very FIRST challenge of a bright and shiny New Year! The brainchild of our Overall Leader, Lynn (KALISWALKER), the idea behind the challenges is that team members work towards losing 5% of their starting weight in an eight (8) week timeframe. Participants work together in team challenges that focus on exercise and forming meaningful, healthy habits, basically you strive to incorporate these habits into your own healthy lifestyle. Our SparkFriends and SparkFamily members (many join the site with family members) who are maintaining but may be looking for continued motivation are also welcome! The 5% Challenges encourage fun, friendship and working toward YOUR fabulous frame! January 9, 2021 is the date that we plan to begin although the leadership reserves the right to adjust the start date if we feel the need to do so. I invite you to visit the ‘2021 Winter 5% Challenge Community’ and make a deal with yourself to make 2021 the year where you discover YOUR BEST SELF! Here is the link: www.sparkpeople.

You may also want to check out the SparkTeam ~ ‘Going the Distance: 2021’. Here is the link: teams.sparkpeopl
Emily (_WARRIOR4LIFE) had a wonderful idea to walk 2020 miles in 2020. She formed the team. Of course, not everyone can walk 2020 miles in a year ~ yet there are some people that probably walk more (most, like me will walk less); so – the team was formed to encourage members to make a contract with themselves to reach a walking goal in 2020. This team was the ‘social vehicle’ that some of us enjoy as well as ‘the place to log your progress’ and keep track of daily/weekly and monthly goals that you set for yourself. We are bringing the concept back for 2021. Start date is January 1, 2021. It is the PERFECT COMPLIMENT to the 2021 Seasonal 5% Challenges.

In 2021, why don’t you commit to virtually JOURNEY with me from one place to another experiencing ADVENTURES along the way? I hope that 2021 brings you beautiful VISTAS of hope for the future.

UPDATE ~ December 25, 2020: emoticon emoticon emoticon MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I wanted to take a moment to wish all of my readers the BEST Christmas (if you celebrate) and nothing but wonderful things for the New Year! You may be wondering what the '& COVID' means on the title of this ... DH and I had colds - decided to get tested and I got a call yesterday. My test came back positive; DH's test wasn't back yet - but we have to assume he is positive as well. So far so good ~ we both feel like we have a cold. I really haven't experienced the 'fever-thing' ... DH has but we are mostly fever free. Hopefully, this is a mild case. Haven't been doing much exercising - but will be checking in here often as I'm in quarantine. emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I could say a lot but others above have said 'it all' so well that I'll just add a 'ditto' to all of the above and save reading time for ';all'.

    173 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    emoticon emoticon Doing the 5% Winter Challenge.
    176 days ago
    Positive for COVID-19 - oh no! I know you will stay home and do the right things during quarantine. I hope your symptoms remain light and manageable. Honestly, I know more people recover than don’t, but I sure don’t want to test my odds. I’ll be thinking of you over the next two weeks. All the best!
    Great encouragement for SP 2021 initiatives!
    176 days ago
    I do all i can to minimize this yeat---a year to remember or forget? That depends. I could rant but instead i am grateful for on January 28, 2020, I made my debut as an author. It was wonderful. Once that was off and running, i retreated to my cozy little den and began writing my second book---finished in 2020. For me, i could complain, but i refuse to give more bad press to 2020. It did not get the best of me. Within a couple of weeks my second book will be published and now working on my third. So--as the saying goes: Making hay while the sun shines. No time to be negative.
    176 days ago
    I found it by searching teams using Go the Distance 2021(it was on the second page of teams)
    178 days ago
    For some reason the link to the Going the distance 2021 is not functioning properly. Is there another way to get to it other than the link you provided? Please and Thanks!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    178 days ago
    I have signed up for the 5% Winter Challenge would love to join the "Going the Distance 2021"
    (will do that after I finish my comment)
    It really has been a very challenging year - with illnesses and death running rampant. Having to arrange a Zoom funeral (not an in person one) seems so distant and cold, not a proper way to say good bye, but it is the only way at the moment...
    emoticon for a Healthy Happy New Year!
    178 days ago
    Wow! This was definitely a year that I am glad is almost over! Looking forward to a blessed New Year! Can't wait for the 5% challenge to get underway in January!!
    Great post!!
    181 days ago
    Great blog! This year has not been one that lends itself to many high points. Have lost many family and friends this year and yet there is something that deserves celebration. My case of Covid is a MILD one but has lingered for more than a month and continues to drag me down. It is definitely a blessing that it has only been mild because that has been bad enough.
    182 days ago
    184 days ago

    Yes, my constant through all of this has been Spark as well. Despite the fact that I am struggling on a daily basis, I have never fully quit or given up because I remain tied to this wonderful website. Leading challenges is a hobby for me; and I love helping others as they help me too. Look forward to everyone joining these two challenges, which are near and dear to my heart.

    Thanks for sharing emoticon
    184 days ago
    I am very grateful to have learned to live in the moment. 2020 was great one day at a time. I strive to make each day look a bit different, not to fall victim to routine, be ok with the unknown. These skills definitely have been put to use this year, emoticon to keep us positive about our days. We hadn't been sick in years and paid the price for gathering with family and friends late Summer. DH and I were down for a month. The flu. Just getting back to normal now, can u believe, 2 months later. Count me in for a super Winter challenge. Something we can all depend on to help us be strong and healthy in 2021! emoticon Heidi! emoticon
    184 days ago
    Nicely done! We do need to find some silver linings in the big dark cloud that is CoVid. emoticon
    184 days ago
    Wonderful post. Im a 5% member but like the looks of Going the distance as well. I will check it out
    184 days ago
    OH INDEED so many changes!! Today I had a ZOOM meeting with the Foster Grandparent Program ,, I MISS WORKING with the kiddo's in the classroom!! That was a HUGE CHANGE!!

    They asked us to look for the Silver Lining in this. Well, I got to take care of my GGS for a few months, until it wore me out, but oh I LOVED IT!! I wish it hadn't been so many hours. He's a precious little thing!! I also went back to work at the grocery store, which has been so MUCH FUN!! I want to do them both ,, both less hours, so it's manageable when I'm able to return back to the classroom.

    GREAT BLOG Heidi!! Your year has had its twists, but you've done so well!!
    184 days ago
    Wonderful post! You've given me lots to think about emoticon
    184 days ago
    My positive..my family is healthy
    184 days ago
    The best is yet to come...always my mantra.
    184 days ago
    Yes, 2020 has been a year. My counselor says people are experiencing Pandemic Depression. But I have had two great blessings this year. My son and daughter-in-law adopted little Samuel who is just as cute as can be. And my daughter gave birth to baby Roman, also very cute. I'm sad that we can't all be together this year for the holidays but I want us all to be safe so we can enjoy next year!
    184 days ago
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