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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

How do you celebrate an anniversary?

Many of my blog posts start with some entertaining ditty on my journey down the rabbit hole that is google. I started out googling new living room rugs, we got a puppy; birthday party ideas, COVID piñatas are a thing in 2020; one year anniversaries. I am not talking long stem roses and candlelight. I also decided not to google that last idea; COVID piñatas really can't be topped.

Two weeks from Thursday is ONE YEAR. An anniversary that will likely not come with balloons, cake, or piñatas. In therapy we have started talking out what I have accomplished the last year and what I want to accomplish moving forward. Do I still want to be in therapy, etc... In theory these are pretty straight forward asks. However, a pandemic makes things slightly move complicated. According to my therapist, folks who went through my experience should lay low for 4-6 months. I went with 7 weeks. I spent less than 48 hours inpatient; poor decision and few more days of bad decisions; followed by a 30 day inpatient treatment program 600 miles away. Three weeks after that, back to work. Three months later, COVID. Not mention all the other life things I am still working on relearning...…still. working. on. I am positive that the quickest way to test a person's crazy is by trying to relearn your footing while working in healthcare during a pandemic.

Many of the things I hoped to work on and grow with during 2020 were not really feasible due to COVID. That isn't a cop out. That is reality. Trying to build your community and establish deeper roots is hard enough. When you have to maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and literally avoid people like the plague; your village is pretty remote. Now that we are learning to "live" in this covid-world, society is "adjusting." We, however, have a child that isn't going to embrace the covid lifestyle. There is no sitting in church or outdoor eating. Socially distant playgroups not really an option either. We try but its a bit of a secret society we live in. Every other week bible study is hosted in our backyard, only my husband can attend. If someone is going to have to tackle our child to keep him indoors, it should really only be a parent. I promise if you are a special needs parents you will find the humor in that, I hope.

As there are no quantitative measurements on how well you are doing when navigating my illness; it is hard to provide a definite response on what next steps should be. Do we assign a Likert scale to all responses; I'm great is a (5), im fine (3), go to hell (1)….use mean or median to figure out where I am? I chuckle but perhaps I am onto something. I am sure there is already an app for that. Perhaps at the end of the day I am placing too much value into this whole thing. Many people let birthdays come and go. Some folks dread birthday's, some folks celebrate their entire birth month. Others simply eat a cupcake. Perhaps you have been embarrassed at dinner wearing a giant sombrero having an entire restaurant serenade you over fajitas. We all experience our moments differently. We all have different expectations on what a celebration should look like. We all have different ideas on what constitutes a celebration. Right now I throw a parade when the dog pees outside. However, my husband helping with the dishes no longer receives obnoxious praise. It is more of a pat on the back, you missed a spot, type of support. Nothing but the best for him,

349 days later I had hope to be able to share great epiphany's on what this journey can look like. However, if there is one thing I have learned, no matter how many blogs you read, your experience it ultimately going to be up to you. That is a heck of an exhausting thought. I have come to really hate the saying "push through it." I appreciate the gesture behind the saying. With that being said I am tired of pushing through it. My arms should be able to rival Michelle Obamas with the amount of pushing I have done. If you are close enough with someone to be able to tell to say "push through it," give them a hug a instead. Were tired. I have learned to be more open with how I am feeling about things. At times it is super clumsy. Which for the folks who are watching me work through this would rather see the clumsy and awkward than the opposite.

I had hoped for rainbows and unicorns by now. Weeks filled with cotton candy clouds and skittle trees. Perhaps that was naïve of me. To expect the pendulum to swing from one extreme to the other. In reality such a drastic change in momentum isn't healthy either. Perhaps if I calculate my moment of inertia I will be able to figure out the force need for my desired acceleration. Can I actually quantify that? How quickly I'd like all things to be tickity boo? I know that each year is going to come with change. Its how life works. You can't check all the boxes and expect your list to not replenish.

While I would like to think I will spend the next two weeks working towards greatness, I know this will not be the case. I know I will be distracted and preoccupied. I will be overthinking the past year, more than likely playing on a loop the actions of that last fall that earned me this anniversary. The good and bad which came from that whole experience. The things I had wanted to change but haven't yet. A weird version of groundhog day.

Im sure the next couple of weeks will be reflective posts. Posts that perhaps share untold stories. Or perhaps that great epiphany will hit as the sunsets on this first year. Who knows, I am sure there is some poetic justice in all of this. We all know day 349 and day 366 will be the same; there is no moment of magic when this will all go away.

My therapist did suggest a princess cupcake to celebrate, perhaps I'll follow her advice.

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