I have a confession.
All around me this week people are sharing their posts from a year ago - posts from when our lives as we knew them came to screeching halt.
Although those 2020 feelings of dread, fear, and uncertainty are there beneath the surface and I can easily tap into them, those feelings are not how I define my memories of the past year.
I remember things a bit differently.
I remember my oldest son walking around in a bike helmet all day on a dare from his brother because what else was there to do? The photos from that day will forever make us chuckle.
I remember pulling out all our board games to pass the time, working our way through all the boxes that filled our hallway closet. Those games allowed us to share laughter and create memories.
I remember learning Tik Tok dances much to the embarrassment of my sons. Somehow those silly songs now hold a special place in my heart.
I remember group FaceTime calls with my friends as we showed our stashes of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Those calls brought us closer and provided me with a connection I desperately needed.
I remember creative date nights at home planned by my husband. His Dominican feast on the day we were supposed to be traveling alone to Punta Cana certainly did not replace our trip but it was a pretty good back up plan.
I remember sitting at our kitchen table every morning. That tiny table that somehow fit four humans, their four laptops, and mountains of paperwork became the center hub of our home as we all made the switch to remote learning and remote working.
I remember watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars catalog as a family - twice - once in the release order and once in chroniclogal order. Those films became the soundtrack of our year.
I remember crafting a new kitchen island as a family after on a whim I said we needed a bigger space to do our work. Now that Island anchors my family and serves as the gathering place in our home.
I remember building a new patio as a family, brick by brick, because our backyard would be where we would spend our entire spring and summer. Even now under cover of winter in New England, that patio makes me smile as it is a piece of my family’s heart.
I remember hugging my sister, brother in law, my nieces, and my nephew for the first time after the initial lockdown. In that moment, standing in my dining room with tears in our eyes, we all decided that we needed to be in each other’s bubble always.
I remember spending time with friends outdoors when at times it almost felt like normal life.
I remember how when we struggled we were there for each other.
I remember how we all adapted.
I remember how we learned important lessons about ourselves and our family.
I remember how we decided to make lasting changes to our lives.
I remember laughter.
I remember joy.
I remember love.
I remember hope.
I remember that the year we were forced inward and were forced to slow down was also the year when we learned how to stay connected and truly enjoy life.
I remember that we found out just how lucky and loved we truly are.