When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel any different. I don’t know what I was expecting – new year, new me? I guess some tiny part of my brain vainly hoped that the new year would be different than the last. Ultimately it will be (each year is different than the last), but I guess I hoped that things would magically start to get better.
So far, no luck.
I know we’re not even through with the first day, so I guess that I was hoping that the change would be in me; more energy, a clear view of my life’s purpose, laser focus on my goals and projects, yada yada yada… Obviously that didn’t happen, but what did happen was a quiet desire to make plans for this coming year, despite no evidence that this coming year will be any better than the last. My brain has been trying to tell me that it won’t be much use to make grand plans, since we have no guarantee that things will improve. But God tells me that only He knows the future, and that I should hope in Him, not the world.
I’m sure everyone and their sister is currently saying that “2020 was nothing like I had imagined!”, and as cliche as it sounds, they’re right. I don’t need to tell you why last year was so different, but there were many things that happened last year which still amaze me.
At the beginning of the year, the theater group I’ve been with for years had started production on a great show, only to then be forced to cancel production due to virus lockdown. That show was likely the last theater project I’ll do, unless a miracle happens and lockdown is lifted. I love theater and have been involved in it for years, and being forced to stop production on this show broke my heart.
The stress on health care workers has been overwhelming due to the virus, and I haven’t even been in the thick of it. It’s been hard to walk the line between compliance and standing up against unreasonable restrictions. I’ve had to stand by and watch how the lockdown orders have adversely affected my precious babies’ development and well-being – strict visitor restrictions, masks covering faces and preventing babies from seeing facial expressions, less contact with the nurses, and much more (but that’s a topic for another day). I pray that God would bring an end to this madness sooner rather than later, though God’s timeline rarely matches up with what I envision.
In early June I was granted the rare chance to donate bone marrow / stem cells to an anonymous someone with cancer. I had signed up with the bone marrow donor registry back in college, but didn’t think anyone would come of it. But wouldn’t you know it, late last year I got a call saying that I was a match to a recipient, and thus began the many health screens and such to ensure that it was a good enough match. By God’s grace everything worked out well, and I pray that the person who received the donation will recover and go on to live a wonderful life. (I have another post in the works regarding the whole donation process. I should probably get around to posting it…)
In September myself and my family traveled to the southern region of the US to scout out places to live and possible work places for my father and I. For years we’d been talking hypothetically about moving across the country, but with the current state of Washington (pun intended?), we began to make plans in earnest. I hadn’t been on a cross country road trip with my family since I was eleven years old, and we were all happy to be on the road again!
In October my dad and I returned to Tennessee for more in-depth job hunting and interviews. This was the first time that either myself or my dad had ever flown before, and we had a blast! I got to (briefly) visit Alabama for the first time, learned how to navigate airport terminals, and got an unexpected and amazing opportunity to speak with someone connected with the job I was wanting! God has always – and will forever continue to – work in the best ways possible, and this trip was no exception! While the travel was fun, it felt so good to arrive home!
In November I resigned from my position in the NICU. Obviously, moving across the country would make for an impossible commute. That last day was hard, because I was going to miss my coworkers, and also, I knew that it was going to be a little while before I got to hold sweet babies again. On my last day of work one of my coworker friends handed me a package of cupcakes and a goodbye card, which was signed by a lot of my coworkers. Yeah, that didn’t help with the keep-it-together-and-not-cry act I was attempting!
End of November saw myself and my family leaving Washington and moving to Tennessee. Would not recommend moving cross country during the holiday season! Despite the festive delays, we got an apartment, searched for a house for my family, and continued to get things in order so that my dad and I could start our jobs. Christmas celebrations were obviously scaled back and quiet, but at least for me, this provided a good opportunity to appreciate the small joys of the holiday.
So where does that leave me at the start of 2021? Currently I am procrastinating on cleaning my apartment by writing this post, but ultimately I am trying to figure out ways of eating and exercise that will heal my gut and give me more energy. I am also setting up my apartment and preparing to start my new NICU job (more to come on that!)
When a new year rolls around, I usually try to make a list of resolutions and goals for the coming year, but I’m not sure what to do this time around. I still want to make goals and all that, but I think my mindset has changed. While I still want to have control over my life (yes, I am a bit of an anxious control freak), this past year God has been showing me that I really don’t have much control, and that’s okay. God knows, and God care for His children.
Slowly, and with God’s help, I am learning to be at peace during the chaos.