Gain Some, Lose Some in One Year

One year hiding away from the world, and in some ways I’ve gained several years.

My entire adult life has been jam-packed with work, school, and for years both work and school at the same time. No complaints, as that’s what I wanted as a kid in Eastern Europe, when imagining my future. I wanted possibility.

As time went on, responsibilities piled on like plates juggled on a stick. Three plates, five plates, ten, twenty. We kept juggling, keep spinning. When the occasional plate hit the floor, we worked hard to clean up and get back to juggling.   

We learned to live with demands. For me, coming from a place of limited – or non-existent – possibilities, work demands were a blessing. We learned to tell ourselves: this is how it must be.   

It gets tiring though. Not only physically, but demand after demand can tire the soul.

Then, last year life came to a halt.

It felt jarring at first. Impossible to adjust after a lifetime of doing it all on the move – family, work, hobbies, a social existence.  

Working partially from home gave me time to discover parts of life I’d only glimpsed in passing. For a whole year, I no longer had to divide myself into pieces to reach every corner of my life. Pretty much everything was now happening between my living room, dining room, and kitchen – every family member in attendance.

Longer-than-ever walks helped me rediscover the neighborhood. Both pictures on this post are from my walks.

Like everyone the world over, we had to cancel everything.

We cancelled usually rushed trips to Eastern Europe — two weeks to adjust, see family who took us for rested party-ready tourists, fit in a trip to the Black Sea, maybe Transylvania, then fly home and get back into the routine. Sure, we had a blast when not overcome by fatigue delirium.  

For all the challenging moments this past year, I am grateful beyond reason for every second with my family. I’m grateful for every nanosecond, for every billionth of a second, for every moment that at times seemed longer than an hour.

I am grateful for the time sitting around debating the news, talking about work and school, about teachers and subjects, for lazing around with a book, for the quiet times. For the loud times. Occasionally, my tolerance level was shut. There were short moments of panic when I asked myself: would I ever exist outside my home?

I was forced to discover that even the obnoxious moments in a teen’s life are moments I want to experience because my baby – term he hates – will be an adult soon. Here we were – my husband and I – given a chance to slow down time during the last couple of years of our baby’s childhood. A chance to watch him drive for the first time. A chance to teach him things despite his protests.

We had nothing but time. Days upon days, every time of the day. In a year fraught with anxiety triggers, I am grateful for that time.

Next post in Gain Some, Lose Some: What Was Lost.

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Photos credit: @Silvia Villalobos

6 responses to “Gain Some, Lose Some in One Year

  1. The pandemic definitely provided you with many blessings as you had your family around you. Since my kids are grown and living further away from me, I MISSED my time with my family. Now that we have had our shots, I look forward to a reunion with my kids and grandkids. We have to appreciate what we have and you are doing a great job!

  2. I think the pandemic did one good thing – gave people time to reconnect with family, realize the importance of quiet time, and rediscover nature.
    I think you’ve done a good job focusing on the glass half full!

  3. Hi Silvia – being on my own without kids … I’m grateful I’m independent and I’ve had the blog … at least kept me sane. I’ve avoided zoom … but as you say had time to think. We’ve got lots of things that will get back to happening here in the town … so I’m fine – glad to see you are too … excellent your son has started driving … all the very best to you – cheers Hilary

  4. Pingback: Silvia Writes | Life is a story. Might as well write it. Gain Some, Lose Some in One Year | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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