I honestly was never one of the types to imagine being around for something historical. All of that seemed like science fiction from a novel. Even now the idea of space travel seems so far away. I’m the type that doesn’t really go out and seek adventure. Unless you count picking up a book as an adventure.
This was a problem during my first marriage. My ex-husband always wanted to go on spontaneous trips. Go explore strange places we’ve never been before. Which was honestly anxiety inducing. He was the type that was tight with money and would always hound me after we went out to eat or went to the movie theater, guilt tripping me that we spent far too much money.
With that sort of mindset, you’d obviously want to plan things out before hand, right? How far are we going? Where will we stay? What time of the year would it be cheaper to travel there? What’s the best way to plan our trip? These are matters that usually were handled by our friends during group vacations or myself if it was just us. Again, super anxiety inducing. So yeah, I’m not the adventuring type… Careful planning, packing, and preparing. That’s me!
Okay, so I went off on a tangent again. Sorry. Back to the topic at hand.
What have we as the current generation experienced that would be considered part of history?
9-11 – The September 11th attacks are probably the first thing that I can truly cite as a historical incident. Right after these events occurred, people found it taboo to hold celebrations on this day. No weddings. I always felt bad for anyone with a birthday on this date. Everyone always talks about where they were and what they were doing on that day. My step-daughter’s school used to do a project where the children asked their parents about this… but apparently they’ve gotten to the point where the parents of elementary school students are too young to remember. 😱
I was a Senior in high school. I remember being in Social Studies class. Right around the time it hit the news. We switched on the television and just watched as it all unfolded. It was unreal and even at the point when people started throwing themselves out of the skyscraper, we couldn’t look away. I can’t remember the teacher’s name or her face anymore, but I still remember being told, “Watch this. This is one for the history books.“
The biggest thing that I think about concerning this day is one girl in my class. Her dad was actually supposed to be traveling to New York that day. I remember her being really distraught, but it all ended up turning out all right. Her dad had gotten food poisoning while he was in Atlanta and never boarded his flight. Even if his flight hadn’t been at risk being involved, it was a huge relief that he wasn’t in the air when all of this was happening.
The First Black President – Barack Obama was the first African American and first biracial president of the United States, being elected in the 2008 election. I had actually just moved away from Atlanta, GA a few days before the election. I wasn’t able to vote due to the move. My ex-husband and I were in the middle of one of our major break ups. (He’d admitted cheating on me and at that point we’d been dating a few years.) I still remember calling one of my friends back in Atlanta the night the results were announced. They told me that people were so excited they were shooting off guns and fireworks in the streets. Oof.
Global Pandemic – And that brings us to the present! Oh no… I mean. Last year was insane. I still remember right when things started to shut down. March of 2020: I’d gone to the movie theater by myself to see Onward. That was the last time I’d be in a movie theater. Cases were starting to rise and suddenly everything was closing. My MIL was finally praised for being a prepper and a gardener. Both of my in-laws are autoimmune compromised, so we made a huge point to be careful.
Sadly, it didn’t really do much for us. We did – and still do – grocery pick-up from the stores so we don’t have to go inside. We isolated. My SO at the time, was interning. His very last task at that job was to prepare hundreds of laptops for the employees at his workplace. After that, there was no more work to be done. Everyone else was working from home and interns would have nothing to do. The kids stopped having school so step-daughter started floating between our house and her mom’s.
My dad’s health took a huge downturn in August 2020. Which was heart wrenching for me. I’d spent Christmas 2019 with him and he seemed to be all right then. His heart valve was leaking and there wasn’t anything the doctor’s could do for him. My family had a small reunion one weekend. We all drove down to see him. That’s when my dad and step-mom broke the news to us that doctor’s told them to prepare for the end. It was already rough enough traveling during the pandemic, but this news really broke me.
When my dad passed away the next month, it was rough. I got the phone call and then I was running out the door to travel back to my home state for the funeral. We didn’t want to wait too long for his burial. And I’ll say I feel extremely blessed and lucky to have been able to attend the funeral. There are so many people who lost loved ones during this pandemic who were unable to grieve properly. Right now I’m dreading the one year anniversary of his passing, but it was definitely an experience going to a funeral during COVID.
I will stress that I always worse a mask while I was traveling. The funeral home was amazing. They had tissues everywhere and bottles of sanitizer everywhere. There were extended rooms opened with video streaming of the funeral service played so that everyone wasn’t sitting on top of each other. There were a few people at the service who were on oxygen or couldn’t mask up, so it was extremely important to be cautious. Just so no one gets the wrong idea!
Despite our best efforts, we eventually caught COVID at the beginning of December 2020. It was tragically ironic how it was brought into our household. Despite the pandemic, my in-laws still needed to go to the doctor’s office. They weren’t able to have Zoom appointments due to the nature of their health. They started showing signs of having COVID late November right as the month flipped over.
We were so lucky. My step-daughter had been sitting in her Gran’s lap at one point. When my in-laws had gotten a positive result back for their test, we let step-daughter stay with her mom. All of us went to get COVID tests. My SO and I both got back a positive test while my step-daughter and her mom received a negative. She ended up spending the next 14 days with her mom while the rest of us soldiered our way through the illness. (I still don’t know how she managed to not catch it since she was in close proximity to all of us.)
Having COVID was hell. I don’t really remember much of the time since I slept my way through most of it. I was always tired, had no appetite, and felt like I was experiencing the worst flu of my life. It actually took my SO and I longer to bounce back from COVID than the in-laws. I lost about 15 pounds, which sadly did not stay off. The second I started eating again, it all came back.
For a moment there, that was the most extreme crash diet ever.
Now we’re nearly in the Fall of 2021 … and I’m not sure what is going on. Pandemic 2.0? Urgh. How is everyone else doing? Is your area still in lockdown? Have things opened up? Schools are open and running normally here. There have been some scares that things are starting back up. I’ve noticed a lack of toilet paper on the shelves. Not looking forward to seeing what happens next.
I’ll end things there. Looks like this one turned out really long. Haha. I am glad I ended up throwing the September 11th stuff the day after though. Hope everyone enjoyed all the mental health stuff this past week. I’m still going strong with my writing! Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow!