And Just Like That My Calendar Feels Like 2019

The pandemic. Am I right? I lived the vast majority of my life never using that word. I vaguely remember reading that word in history books once or twice before I hit 20, but that was as much as my brain ever considered a pandemic an actual thing. In the past two years, however, I don’t think I’ve gone an entire day without mentioning it. Honestly, I am sick of the word. Sick. O. It. I am almost as sick of the word as I am of not having a day alone in our house, watching my hands bleed from relentless hand washing and sanitizing, running out to buy more hand lotion, wearing masks, hearing people complain about wearing masks, getting vaccines, hearing people complain about getting vaccines, taking Covid tests, hearing people complain about taking Covid tests, and trying to explain how science works to others and remind myself about it, as well.

I know. I know. We are not out of the pandemic. (There’s that word again). No one has any idea when we might be out of it. So we are in limbo. We’re going on a cruise next month. At least, we think we’re going on a cruise next month. It all depends on whether we can manage to stay Covid-free between now and then, even as cases are on the upswing again. Now, if this was 2021, I’d say that would be no problem. We’d just hole up at home and skate our way onto the cruise with a clean bill of health. But this isn’t 2021. It’s 2022, and 2022 is apparently 2019 again. No masks. No crowd size limits. No restrictions whatsoever. It’s a free-for-all. Everything is back up and running. Sold out playoff hockey games. Sold out concerts. Parties. Dining out. It’s all back, baby. And we are here for it. We are SO here for it, so ready to be here for it, that our May calendar is packed. No lie. Here is is.

Oh, wait. I have one free day on 5/23. Woot!

As you can see from the tiny dot underneath every date (save 5/23) between now and May 31st, we have something going on every day between now and the end of the month. I plan to keep the 23rd open for the nervous breakdown I will be having. Why is our calendar so full? Well, let’s see. There’s senior prom and all our usual appointments for therapy and haircuts and doctor’s appointments and the like. Then hubby and I are flying to Pasadena to see a concert, booked a million years ago before we had anything on our calendar. We get back late on Sunday night and then Monday I load a different, pre-packed suitcase in the car and drive to Washington to pick up oldest son from his sophomore year at college and then drive the 1,085 miles back home across five states. Then it’s our youngest’s 19th birthday. Then there are graduation parties for friends’ children and more events for our own son’s graduation. We are going to another sold out concert (in our city this time) on the 24th. The 27th is my damn birthday, but that should be low-key because hubby and I are in class that entire weekend trying for get scuba certified. Then it’s basically June, and we have graduation practice and will have family in town. Then it is graduation and woohoo! We’re almost done! But we aren’t because we are hosting a graduation party for Luke and his friends. Then on the 6th we have to clean the house for the house/dog sitter, buy dog food for our security beasts, shop for what we need for the trip, find our passports, pack, get Covid tests to prove we can take the trip, upload results of said Covid tests to the Celebrity Cruises web site so they will let us board, and get on a plane to Rome on June 8th. Did I mention we still have a puppy who is, well, a puppy and a senior dog who is, well, not exactly a puppy? What the hell was I thinking? Finish strong and you can collapse on a boat? They have limoncello and ouzo where you are going? Hold on, sister. You can make it. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

I realize this is a lot of sniveling from a white woman with an embarrassment of riches in the areas of wealth and good fortune, but it’s my full calendar and my introverted, whiny butt will complain about the lack of quiet, sit-in-bed-all-day time if it wants to.

Just please don’t remind me that in 2020 and 2021 I begged for my life to be, and I quote, “back to normal,” because of course I did. Who wasn’t wishing for that same thing after being stuck at home with spouses and children and pets for months on end? We all wanted out. Now we’re getting what we asked for. Don’t remind me I did this to myself. Of course I did. Be kind and please say a silent prayer to Jesus or Allah or Vishnu (or even the Flying Spaghetti Monster God of Pastafarianism) that my heart holds out, at least until we get to Santorini. Then I can die, exhausted, happy, and at peace at long last in an ouzo haze.

Puppy exhibiting how I can attempt to hide from those dirty obligations and celebrations

2021…Like 2020 But Somehow More Exhausting

Is it just me or has 2021 felt like the longest year ever? Maybe it’s just because I did a lot this year in comparison to 2020? Maybe it’s because it was only six days into 2021 that a bunch of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol while we all watched on television? Maybe it’s because my oldest started college in January after delaying for a semester and, consequently, I made that 2000-mile round-trip journey to his school three times this year? Maybe it’s because we’re still dealing with rising Covid-19 infections and news about another novel, more contagious variant? Maybe it’s because I’ve had so much going on that I can only handle one day at a time, and 365 days seem like a lot when each day is packed? Or maybe it’s because in the midst of all of this insanity, we thought it would be a great time to get a puppy?

We’re heading to Hawaii in six days. In between now and then, though, here is a partial list of what’s on our plates: Thing 1 comes home, puppy has playgroup, we have several social obligations, hubby has his 52nd birthday, Christmas shopping and wrapping needs to be completed, we need to finish our Hawaii pre-travel paperwork, and somehow we have to get our house cleaned up and our belongings packed up for our departure. I know I will get through the next six days in much the same way I have gotten through this year, one long, full day at a time. I know that a week from now I will be in Hawaii, exhausted and (hopefully) finally getting some rest. And I am going to need it because I’m not sure how much sleep I will be getting between now and the 23rd.

So, my wish for the New Year is a little more balance. After not going anywhere or doing anything in 2020, we, like many others, put a lot more on our calendars in 2021. We spent a lot more time with friends socializing. We traveled more. We did more of everything. And as nice as it has been after a year of quiet, I am tired. T.I.R.E.D. So my wish for 2022 is an activity level somewhere between those of 2020 and 2021. And maybe eventually a little less Covid. And maybe some air-tight voting rights. But that’s it.

Did anyone ever think they would look back and wish to return to 2019?