Stumbling into 2021

I cannot believe that it tomorrow will be the beginning of 2021. It seems like the year has flown by but it was also the year of pure chaos. It was the year where I felt like I was stumbling and slipping the entire year.

I know that I had so many goals for 2020, but it feels like they just evaporated like mist. In reality I don’t think I did too bad. The difficulties of 2020 were minor compared to what some others have experienced, but they still weighed like an elephant on my chest.

I hated it that we couldn’t have a high school graduation party for Megan. This has hurt my heart more than anything. We could have had a driveway party, but the reality is that we don’t have that many friends here as we have only lived here three years. It would have been pointless.

I hated that Brennig couldn’t finish out his freshman year at college with his friends. Those friends were very important as he is not the most outgoing kid and so they were precious. I am so thankful he loves college as much as he does. With all that he has gone through, it has been such a huge blessing.

I hated that Brennig couldn’t find a job for the spring and summer. He floundered all summer praying for something and it was constantly just out of reach. Signs were posted saying they’re hiring but then when he asked for an application, they answered, “no we’re not hiring.” We’re still not quite sure what was up with that.

Finally at the end of summer, college was within sight and both Megan and Brennig left to be in community with their classmates, and life felt somewhat normal. Well, except for Megan’s weekly Covid tests and of course all the masks.

I wanted to see my extended family, but alas that was out of reach. The border to Canada closed and it seems like it will be closed permanently. Because of this, Instagram has been wonderful. Not a hug or a meal, but at least a glimpse into life, even if it has been “instagramized”.

The semester/school year started off okay. Stressful for Brennig with two sciences that were hard and doubly hard during Covid because of a lack of partnering. But he made it through and although his average wasn’t what he normally had, it was still a blessing to see him get the grades he did. Never mind that the classes were hard, he still loved learning and continues to love learning. Meg had a fantastic first semester, she made friends, which was her real goal anyway after a tough few years where friends were few and far between. She did really well in her classes. For that I’m so thankful.

And now we’re at the end of the semester, the end of 2020. I always get a bit down during this no-mans-land of the week between Christmas and New Years. I don’t know why, and may be “down” isn’t the right term. I get reflective. I want to somehow find significance in the previous year and maybe place significance onto the up-coming year. I don’t really know.

I am going to use this blog space to allow my mind to look back on 2020 in light of last years initial post.

Despite the just down right ridiculousness of 2020, I didn’t do too badly.

Exercise – Well from April 1 to September 10 (approximately) I walked 7 days week, four miles a day. It was over 600 miles. I did take off one week in June for Surgery #1 of 2020 – tennis elbow. I then started back up a week after surgery and walked every day until about September 10, when my ankle started hurting. Turns out I have a torn/frayed tendon in my ankle. Yay. No surgery for that just physical therapy. But since September 10, I have pretty much done no exercise. Surgery #2 was two weeks ago and that one was just age related and that’s all we’ll talk about that. I’m fine, healing well. I received permission from my doc to walk so I’ve been for a couple of 2 mile walks. Still trying to figure out how to do arm exercises with my elbow as I don’t want to re-injure it, but hopefully I’ll be back out there soon.

Morning prayer – I’ve done pretty good with that. At some point this year, my husband found an audio broadcast of Daily Prayer at Crossroads Abbey on the Podbean app. It’s been great. I’ve listened to it while walking and now I’ve even added evening prayer episodes to my routine.

Media – My goal to shut off media has been lost. I did really well until Mid March when I just needed something to keep my mind off the news. I quit watching the news and followed more farmers on Instagram. I know all sorts of useless (to me only, not to the farmers) facts about farming. I am still completely fascinated by their lives. The pandemic did not slow them down, they still had to work. They are some of the most essential workers during this time. Despite my increase in following farmers on instagram, I have also read lots of books compared to years past. I doubled my book reading goal for this year, but that was mainly to do with surgeries.

Blog – Well… this one I have not done well with. I don’t really know why. I just haven’t “felt” it. I am struggling with writing. I love it and I want to do it, but I truly feel that all I have to say has been said before. But I am working on it, trying to figure out what I want to say.

What have I done? In 2020 I’ve baked a lot. Baked things, I would never have thought I would have baked. A Yule log, churros, peach jam, pain au chocolat, bagels and many many loaves of sourdough all have been produced. I also have given two sourdough classes in person and I have my sourdough class in my highlights on instagram.

So now, we’re at 2021. Do I even want to have goals? Well I know that this year we will be moving. Where? That is to be determined. So right now my goals have to do with getting our lovely red house on the corner ready to rent out. I think that’s all I can even think about right now. The to-do list keeps growing and the prayer request list does as well.

In reality, despite the fact that 2020 has been hard on my mental health, I have so much to be thankful for. 2020 was the year of friends who have become family and for that I will be eternally grateful. The insanity of this year was softened by grace of God in knowing that this world is not our home. This is a blink of an eye, but it has made me yearn to be with Him in a place where chaos doesn’t exist. Christ is our anchor and our Hope.

I pray that we might all cling to Him a little tighter in 2021. As fearful as I am about 2021. I cannot help but wait to see what he has in store. Holding on for dear life as he walks with us.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. - Psalm 40:1-2

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Shelly Miller



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