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:
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.