A year ago we were being ushered out of offices, watching restaurants and schools shut down and watching upcoming events get cancelled. We were being told this would all end in a month. Exactly 12 months later, more than half a million people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19, not to mention the countless suicides and drug overdoses that affected thousands of people in response to the shutdown. Our normal changed.
And for those of you who aren’t sure, yes, our administration handled it poorly. VERY poorly.
Look, I’m not going to rehash the political firestorm related to this pandemic. We lived through it and it’s not pleasant to talk about when the topic was wrung dry on every current events show and news website. I’m here to talk about what WE did in the past 12 months. I went from doing a 100 mile commute every day to not as I was one of the lucky people to be able to work virtually (half of the team I work with is in another state anyway so I already had practice with online meetings). I was able to spend more time with my kids, get all of the household chores done, take walks around the neighborhood and just BE. I would be on calls with people who HATED being at home with their family and in my head was this chant: “Why the fuck are you there then?” Nobody wants to be quarantined with someone who doesn’t want to be there. I grew up with a father who made it wholly apparent that he didn’t want to be there and believe me, it doesn’t make for cozy family time.
If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that life is fleeting – why waste it doing something you don’t like or being with people you don’t like? Microscopic airborne particles ruled our lives for the past year and for the foreseeable future and some people JUST WEREN’T GETTING IT. Now was the time to take life by the balls and re-evaluate.
In the past year we pivoted our blog to be a jewelry business. We decided to have another baby. We took advantage of low interest rates and refinanced our mortgage, paying off our consumer debt and therefore giving ourselves a little bit of freedom. If you’ve read this before you know the baby thing didn’t work out as I had a miscarriage in December. We grieved, we re-evaluated, we considered what was best for us moving forward.
If I had to sum up this past year I would say our kids have flourished but I’m one of the lucky few who had a daycare that was open and both of my kids were young enough to still be going there. That all changed when Ruby-girl turned 5 but she’s been a trooper with the mixed virtual/in-person schooling she’s had since last August. Instead of feeling rushed ALL THE TIME we’ve enjoyed our house, we’ve enjoyed each other and we’ve tried to keep stress to a minimum.
NOTE: I am writing this from a position of middle-classdom. We’re not rich, we’re not poor but I’m aware that not everyone has been able to do the things we’ve done this past year.
Aaron read from someone (and no doubt he’ll tell me as soon as this post goes live) that “If you haven’t been hustling during this pandemic, you don’t have it in you.” And it’s fucking true. All of a sudden our life priorities were thrown out of whack and we all had to adjust. We’re about to pivot again with new stuff on the store which I have been working my ass off for the past couple of months on. I’m energized over it, I’m showing my daughter that you can do all of these things and not just be relegated to a person who lives for their kids. I fucking well do live for my kids, every hour of every day, but I also have dreams and aspirations and I’m going to run, not walk to my goal of getting shit done. Hopefully you will all be on board and not kill my dream. Don’t kill my dream.
I shall leave you with the words of my 99 year old Grandma which is basically our life motto around these parts:
“Life is not a dress rehearsal. You have one life so you better start living it because it will all be over in a blink of an eye.”
Better start livin’.
The Ghost Generation makes rad jewelry for equally rad people. Also, we write stuff occasionally. Est. August 2019.