The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

In late March 2020, I sat on our reclining chair in the living room and watched the United States shut down. Within 72 hours, my children were home 24/7, I had multiple anxiety attacks about my husband going into his office for work, and my hands were cracked and bloody from overusing hand sanitizer.

I couldn’t process any of it, so I cried. I grieved. I grieved over our business, an art gallery, temporarily shutting down at the state’s request. I grieved for my kindergartner who wouldn’t see her friends for a long time (because let’s be honest, any of us who had a basic biology class knew that “fourteen days to stop the spread” was complete bullshit). I grieved for myself because all of my childcare was gone, but the job was still there and needed tending to. I grieved for my college students who were suddenly online learners and probably never wanted it to be that way. I anxiously grieved for my parents, in their sixties, who may not be able to survive COVID-19 if they caught it.

This probably sounds familiar, eh? The sudden changes, twists, and turns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic brought most of us to tears and to our knees. Suddenly, life as we knew it was over.

Fast-forward a year, and cases are down significantly from April 2020. We know how the virus works. We know social distancing works. We know that masks work. At least 18% of the US population 18+ has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Schools are back in session, and according to the CDC, people who have been fully vaccinated are permitted to hang out mask-free with other vaccinated folks and to travel again.

It is, however, a change — and any change can cause grief. If you’re a little sad that this season of your life is ending, well sis — you are not alone.

There will likely never again be a time during our lives when we will have our children with us 24/7. I know; I know — “thank God,” right? Sure, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be “the person” for my children all day, every day. I remedied every cut, burn, or scratch. I dried every tear. I made the decision whether something was worth crying about. I resented the last parent-teacher conference where I was told my daughter is “too emotional over everything.” While the pandemic strapped me for any time whatsoever to myself, it allowed me to transfer that freedom to my children and give them the safe, comfy space that I know they deserve.

When our children are in school, we wonder. We worry. We overthink it. Despite the non-cholent way we brush our hair off our shoulders as we gossip over salads and lemonades with friends while our kids are in school, be honest: Deep down, we worry constantly.

Was that rambunctious kid mean to her again? Is the Spanish teacher snapping out on all of the kindergartners like she did last week? Did she It’s Tuesday — did I sent money for ice cream? For fuck’s sake, she better not solicit her friend for ice cream money if I forgot. Will she end up catching the stomach bug? Please God, no. Please. I can’t deal with puke.


The truth is that when something changes, we lose. We lose a routine; we lose our stability; we may even lose part of ourselves. And while “positive change” is the understatement of the past year from hell, it’s still a loss. It seemed unimaginable to us to settle into the “new normal” (can we cancel that phrase, please?) a year ago. We became grade school teachers, students of infectious diseases, and — albeit — zombies with hair that hadn’t been washed or died for quite some time. We became advocates for science. We stood up to friends and family members who wouldn’t take this horrific pandemic seriously. Those of us who were quiet spoke up, and those of us who spoke up learned to listen and to understand that we really are not in control of anything.

As we leave this phase of our lives as women, adult children, mothers, and employees, we will never forget where we came from over the past year. If you watch your partner leave for work after working at home for a year and sneak into the bathroom to cry afterwards, it’s okay. If you painfully watch your kids, donning a mask and a smile, hop onto the school bus and you feel a little bit angry inside, it’s okay.

If you’re grieving that this chapter is over, it’s okay.

A letter to my daughter: When you see me crying, it’s not you

A letter to my daughter: When you see me crying, it’s not you

My sweet girl,

We’ve discussed “the sickness.” We’ve played games of counting how many steps equates to standing six feet from the wall. We’ve had fun choosing fabric for your special masks that help you avoid passing “the sickness” to someone else.

I’ve lovingly looked you in the eyes and told you that “the sickness” is why we cannot see your best friends, hangout with your grandparents, climb and jump on the playground, or go to the store on a Sunday afternoon to get pink nail polish and a new LOL Doll.

We’ve been over singing fun songs that span at least 20 seconds and bought “cool soap” to help remind you to wash your hands.

We even joked about “the sickness” foolishly thinking that it’s only temporary. The joke is on us: it is a lot more permanent than we thought, and my soul is in mourning as I face the grief that comes with understanding that we need to settle in for the long haul.

Thrive Thirty! A Brief Introduction

Thrive Thirty! A Brief Introduction

Lately I have been thinking about how to bring more value to my audience. Most of my followers (over 2k on this blog and 9k on the Gram!) are moms who are athletic. I kept going through ideas in my head about what content I can produce that is easy to understand, implement, and share…

…and it hit me one night: Thrive Thirty.

Read more

Five Momisms I’m Totally Done With

Five Momisms I’m Totally Done With

I’ve been focused on contentment, giving, and self-care lately (you can see a glimpse of this in my last post). I’m working to find contentment in each stage of life and to be thankful that I am here another day. God didn’t create us to be miserable complainers, so I am working on finding joy vs. finding things to criticize.

Part of that journey means assessing some of the bickering and arguing that goes on in my house. In five years, is it going to matter that the cereal bag wasn’t closed correctly? Is it going to stick out in my head that my husband forgot to put a bag in the trash? Am I going to be scarred for life replaying all the times I picked up clutter that probably didn’t result from me…? No, not really.

So, I’ve decided to give up on a few arguments with my kids that seem pretty pointless. As a first time mom, I harped on these over and over. Now that I am on kid #3, I’ve become a lot more laid back.

Here are five arguments that, going forward, I refused to have with my kids.

Read more

Derailed And Pissed – Handling Unexpected Changes In Training

Derailed And Pissed – Handling Unexpected Changes In Training

We are in the heat of spring race training. Today is the last day of February (THANK GOD…also, Punxsutawney Phil, I want my money back), and most of us start ramping up our mileage in mid-march/early-april.

As a mom of three living in Northeast Ohio, I’m no stranger to germs and the frustration that comes with training through gross winters. I knew it was only a matter of time before everyone in my home got sick. It began with my 8 year old, moved to my 4 year old, then to the 11 month old, and now the 35 year old (my husband). I seem to have gotten a tad bit of this nasty cold, but I may just be fighting it off.

Still, I’m a type A personality who has serious anxiety when plans change. It’s frustrating to all of us when we don’t meet our mileage for the week. Whether we are sick ourselves or mopping up piles of snot and holding a baby upright in a rocker from the hours of 8-8, many of us will experience derailed training.

The good news is that you can use the downtime to complete some other very important running-related tasks! Keep reading.


Read more