We did it! We made it through this very interesting year of social distancing, sanitizing and face-mask wearing! We started out the year “sort of” hearing about COVID-19 being an issue in other countries, but then by March, it was declared a global pandemic. The last class that I taught in studio was on my birthday, March 18th. When I got home after teaching that evening, I was notified by all the studios that I taught at that all fitness and yoga studios (and other “non-essential businesses”) will be shut down until further notice. Just like it was for you, the rest of March and April were surreal. We were no longer able to worship as a congregation inside the church building, everybody and their mothers created a Zoom account, everything went virtual. Our lives, it seemed, were turned upside down. I think a lot of us were waiting and hoping that things would “go back to normal” within a few months, but when that didn’t happen, we either went into panic-mode, got depressed or just accepted it for what it was and tried to make the best of it.
We all have now been living with this pandemic for 10 months. I’ve seen many social media posts about how 2020 was horrible and that they’re eagerly waiting for 2021, but I think it’s important for us to check our hearts to make sure we don’t dismiss this year as a terrible year. Personally, this year has been filled with many blessings and accomplishments even in the midst of hardships.
March – April: I lost about 90% of my income (cancelled classes, workshops and book tour events)… but I started teaching classes virtually within days after the shut-down. This is something I dreaded doing for a very long time (even though there have been requests for it by my students for several years) because I don’t like to see myself in videos. It turns out that I’m pretty good at teaching virtually. 😃 Also, our dream of moving back to Texas happened sooner than expected because my husband received a job offer which allowed him to be based out of Texas OR North Carolina, and our house in Charlotte sold within days of putting it on the market!
May: Moving halfway across the United States (again) was no easy task. In an effort to live simpler, I said good-bye to many of my possessions… but we were able to buy a house in a great neighborhood right away!
June – August: I was missing my best friends in Charlotte, and the pandemic didn’t make it easy for me to meet my neighbors or make new friends… but I was able to reconnect with my besties here in Texas, and I was able to use my newly open schedule to enroll AND virtually complete a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training which upgraded my title to a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance! I also started teaching virtual classes through the studio that I used to teach at in North Carolina as well as the one I used to teach at in Texas years ago!
September – December: My daughter didn’t get to have that big Sweet Sixteen party that she had been wanting for YEARS… but we got to go on an amazingly memorable family trip while still observing social distancing guidelines. (According to her, this was her most favorite family trip!)
A handful of our friends got COVID this year, but thankfully, every single one of them made full recoveries! I’ve heard of several friends’ family members that are still struggling with the virus or have sadly passed away. This has put a sense of urgency in our hearts to hug our loved ones a little tighter, to speak kindly to strangers, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt because we don’t know what they might be going through.
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.”
That brings me to today. We now have just a few days left in this year. As we reflect on God’s blessings in the midst of this pandemic, I pray that you’re able to say good-bye to 2020 with a sense of peace and surrender as we get ready to say hello to 2021!
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.
Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now;
rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.
For the things we see now will soon be gone,
but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18