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March 11, 2021

I took a serotonin walk this morning—one of those long late winter walks defined by continually criss-crossing streets to stay on the sunny side. The temperature has been climbing, thank goodness. Crocuses are popping up through leaf litter and in the parks the hellebores that were trampled by our last snowfall are stretching their necks back into shape. When I peer over the tops of wrought iron fences, I spot snow drops in postage stamp yards. They’re the same harbingers of spring that I breathe easier upon seeing every year, but this year they feel more poignant than ever, like little memory markers of a whole pandemic year passed.

Last night our back windows were open in the evening and at one point there was an extended ambulance wail coming from the highway nearby. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary really and certainly not the kind of thing that would normally cause me to pause. But the particular pitch of the siren combined with the lingering light in the March evening sky, transported me back in time 365 days and packed a wallop of grief and longing so strong it stopped me in my tracks.

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There’s a new season of The Double Shift podcast out this week and I listened to it as I chased sunlight around city blocks this morning. I love this podcast every season, but this first episode felt moving and affirming in a whole new way. We’re not real-life friends, but is sure is nice to have Katherine Goldstein and Angela Garbes around for company.

How about all of you? How are things feeling in your worlds, one year later?

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16 Comments

  • Reply Lauren March 11, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I left my job last June to care for my two children, and I have wanted to write a thank you note to a professional contact who meant a lot to me but I haven’t been able to do it for the past 9 months. Today I felt inspired and it took me 45 minutes to write and I cried the whole time. I couldn’t figure out why I was so emotional until I read this post.

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 11, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      There’s just so little room to really grieve or process. So glad you were able to write that note today.

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  • Reply Sara March 11, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I’m still so full of anxiety and also a smidge of hope. Every vaccination rallies me more, but it feels like such a long road up for me personally. I’m finally facing what seems to be post natal depletion after birthing three kids in five years (similar to you). My body is tired and weak, my mind is frantic and searching, my spirit lies just beneath the dirt aching to stretch toward the sun like the beloved crocuses you mention. Slowly but surely I’m coming back; we’re all coming back. My son heads to his first in person day of kindergarten here in the Philadelphia public schools on Monday. It feels like another milestone; it’s almost to the day that he left preschool. Thank you for the podcast rec — I just subscribed and it’s *exactly* the mom support and perspective I’ve been seeking. You are a wealth of goodness, Erin.

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 11, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      Ah! Is that what this is? We’re all coming back indeed. Beaming you love.

      1
  • Reply Joanie March 11, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve been super lucky to have kept my job and be able to work from home. But my mental health is absolute garbage. This lost year has changed my personal life and crushed hopes for a family in immeasurable ways.

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 11, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      I’m so sorry to read this Joanie. So much of this feels so impossible.

  • Reply Melina March 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    This time last year I was deciding whether to postpone the start of my forest school season. We ended up cancelling, of course. Today I was able to hire two new teachers to run classes in the park this Spring. It feels wonderful but has been such a heavy lift. I’m amazed at having pulled it off, and depleted from the effort. But it also kept me sane. Doing something that looked forward. Spring always has me hopeful and full of anticipation, but this year I’m also hit by waves of sorrow and fear. My children are now 4 years and almost 9 months old. How did that happen?

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  • Reply Stargirl March 11, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Today, one year ago, we had the same women’s church organization birthday party that is happening this evening. Last year, it was hastily moved from the church building to a member’s house. A few women came, but mostly we delivered cake on paper plates. Tonight we are delivering macarons to each woman. The feelings I had that Thursday one year ago are still strong in my memory. I’m having an almost deja vu moment. I’m remembering the adrenaline rush of all this new information and how everything would change, or not change (we didn’t know what it would be). It’s something I just want to keep talking about and thinking about, but there isn’t much to say.

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  • Reply Jessie March 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    This day has been remarkably strange. I feel adrift in my feelings. By chance I spent 2 hours on the phone getting vaccine appointments for myself and my 17 year old (we are both eligible in our state.) I am very, very grateful for the appointments but it is such an emotional bookend to close this past year with. The last 365 days have crawled, moved at lightspeed, broke my heart, brought me infinite gratitude and so much more- simultaneously.

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 11, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      so much, all at the same time.

  • Reply Taylor March 11, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    I’m slightly hopeful that things will improve this year. But I’m also afraid of taking those first few steps, even as/if things are deemed safer. How much longer will we be wearing masks to the grocery store, and when will I sit on a friend’s couch to drink coffee? Those are the major moments I await.

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    • Reply Lindy March 12, 2021 at 9:12 am

      I echo your sentiments. After a year of everybody in my family trying to pull me ( or condemning) me for being too safe and they getting together in groups of 12 indoors— I finally excitedly said — in a few weeks we’ll be able to get together again— only to be met with yaaaahhhh— as if this was the most nothing thing to her. At this time not many I know are vaccinated so this burst my fragile bubble.of limited hope.

      • Reply Elizabeth March 12, 2021 at 11:06 am

        I would wear a mask to the grocery store for the rest of my life if I could only hug my parents and sister.

  • Reply A March 11, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve been teaching (remotely from March-May and in person from August to present). I have been so emotionally and physically tired. But also grateful. Grateful for my health, the ability to keep my job (despite an overall lack of choice in many ways), and for the vaccine that I will receive next week. It’s a little bit of everything. Just trying to keep going—one hour, one day, one week at a time.

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  • Reply Emily March 11, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    There’s so much I find myself wondering about. Will we have learned any lessons about equity , health care, environmental care, care of persons? Or will everything go back to the unsustainable breakneck speed it ran at before? Will my city rush by like it used to before the pandemic, when no one seemed to have any time? What will our neighbourhood look like and what businesses will have survived? We met and befriended many neighbours this year and it is hard to believe that a year ago we didn’t know any of them – we’ve seen them more than family or friends.

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  • Reply Lindy March 12, 2021 at 9:03 am

    I feel in limbo.. senior home yoga business.. how will that play out?
    Want to go out and play— lovely weather.. feel traumatized about the what if’s..
    My friend and co-yoga teacher passed away at a young vibrant 74 last Friday.
    I’m all over the place emotionally

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