A Year of Pandemic

Hello lovely humans,

Before we dive in today, I wanted to announce that I’m going to be starting to write a monthly email newsletter! Everything is still coming together, but I’ll be sharing the sign-up links very soon. The emails will include personal notes from me, recommendations, resources, and exclusive works of fiction by yours truly. I’m excited about this new project and hope you’ll join in! Thanks!

Looking Back

One year ago, I was trying to adjust to a new variant of life, a new normal, you could say. The Best Husband had just gone back to work after six weeks of furlough because of the pandemic. Texas was trying out its first reopening plan and we were still hopeful that by the time summer truly hit, we would be back to pre-pandemic life.

I laugh sadly now when I read the posts I wrote during those first few months. The first stages of the pandemic were hard for me. Shortly before things began closing down, I had finally made some steps with my social anxiety. I had started getting out of the house so I could be around people from church groups and whatnot. In the space of a week, all of that progress ground to a halt and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that my social anxiety is now worse than it’s ever been before. 

The Hard Parts

Now, over a year into this thing, I can hardly believe that so much time has passed. My baby had her first birthday. It’s also strange to think that I’ve had more Zoom therapy sessions than I ever had in-person before COVID. I love my therapist but I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about possibly going back to in-person this summer. 

There have been other struggles too. Differences of opinions, lifestyles, and beliefs have split so many people apart over the last year. I’m still dealing with and processing so many feelings and relationships, trying to figure out what I want for me and my family. As a people pleaser  who is finally understanding her own beliefs, it’s been tough for sure. I’ve distanced myself both knowingly and subconsciously. And yet, I’m learning to understand my limits and know my boundaries, and that’s great! I miss hugging people when we meet in public, but that’s not on my agenda of things to change just yet.

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

The Not-So-Bad Things

But the pandemic hasn’t been all bad, at least not in my life. Not being able to go out and do things really helped us save some money for a house (a post for another day). I also started taking online classes right before things shut down and now I’m less than six months away from my degree.

I can’t really claim that anything to do with The Tiny Princess is a result of the pandemic since she would have kept growing and learning regardless, but it has changed the experience. We’ve been “selfish” and keep her cuteness all to ourselves. I’m not complaining about it one bit, quite honestly. I have lots of questions though about how things would have been different with this stage of development in a pre-pandemic world. 

While I’m more than ready to go back to a life where I’m not worried about being out in public or remembering to have a clean mask in my purse, I’m also very grateful for the things that this past year has brought to light. I’ve learned so much, I’ve grown a lot, and maybe one day things we’ll settle into a new routine with less anxiety.

It doesn’t matter what your thoughts or beliefs are on the subject, the last year has affected everyone’s mental health in some way. So my question to you is: how are you taking care of yourself? Because you are worth the self-care. 

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by Katharine Espinosa

Katharine is a freelance writer, editor, and aspiring author. She loves coffee, chocolate, cats, and riding her horses on the weekends. She lives in rural Texas with her husband and daughter.

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