Dear 100 Hour Board,
With vaccines becoming more available I can start to see a light at the end of the tunnel! What are you most excited for, and what about this past year would you like to keep around?
Dear Social Butterfly,
Things I'm excited for:
- Carl Jr. meeting more family members. He hasn't met any of my aunts and uncles, and very few of Carl's aunts and uncles. He also hasn't met my sister who lives out of state.
- Finally going to my mission state as that was postponed from last year. I haven't gone back yet.
- Visiting my parents in California. We usually do this once a year but it didn't happen last year.
- Spending time with Carl's ex-step-mom and her side of the family (it's complicated). She's honestly one of the best and she's met Carl Jr. twice in 14 months.
- Doing more fun things with Carl without having the anxiety of taking care of my mental health by doing things outside. For example- going to the pool, park, zoo, library, and other things that I haven't even thought about yet.
- Going to my in-laws for dinner every Sunday. (This will most likely stay the same, it's always an open invitation.)
- Carl worked remote all year last year except maybe 2 weeks if that. (Hello 2 months paternity leave and me being high risk for quick labor so he worked remote the week before my induction.)
- Online church -nervously sweats- Sacrament meeting is the same time as lunch and Sunday School is the same time as his nap. NOT convenient. I never thought I'd say that I wish we had 9 a.m. church.
I'm most excited to hang out with more people, and take more vacations (cruises in particular). I've been feeling very burned out after a year of working from home and being alone most of the time, so I'm excited for chances to break up that monotony.
However, I would like to still have the option of working from home, at least part time. I have so much more time to myself without a commute, and I'm not sure I can give up napping during my lunch break. Plus I get to spend time at home with my dog, who is my primary source of joy.
I'm excited to be able to travel again. Pebble and I love to travel together and make a lot of memories, so it'll be fun to see where we go when the world opens up again.
I also can't wait to take in-person classes again. I hate learning online... and if I had to start a master's or PhD program online I would really struggle.
Of course, I think I'll miss parts of quarantining too. There are very few expectations. I went over 6 months without ever putting on a bra, and that was spectacular. I didn't feel the need to do my hair or makeup or pick outfits. I had enough free time to watch the movies and shows I'd been waiting to watch. Basically, it was nice to not have to meet a lot of social norms and just indulge myself for a while. But those were also coping mechanisms for a lot of stressful things happening!
Regardless, I hope that remote work is a bigger possibility going forward - I think that will provide a lot of opportunities for people. I also hope that we remember to give each other a break more often and let our less important expectations go. Most of all, I hope that we can return to a better version of normal where we actually trust medical professionals and vote for competent officials who don't dilly-dally when worldwide crises happen. That would be cool.
The last year has wreaked havoc on my mental health, and I've really felt the weight of not being able to do simple social things, like work on homework in a TA lab, plan in-person events for my clubs, or go for a normal night out with friends. I'm so, so excited to be able to have those opportunities back and start seeing more people, making new friends, and leaving my social comfort zone again. Also, it's been a year since I've been on a date, and as much as I never, ever thought I'd say this: I'd like that to change.
I will probably miss the higher level of accessibility that the pandemic has given me with school. Zoom and recorded lectures make it much more likely for me to attend class and do work when I'm having a really bad mental health day. Online testing is also really nice for me. Hopefully BYU decides to keep some of that stuff.
And I guess: I'd like to keep around the lessons that I've learned this year. The last 12 months have been absolutely the most painful year of my life to date, but I've also grown more than any other year of my life. I'm glad to have had so many really deep bonding experiences with friends, I'm grateful to be more educated about a lot of political and social topics, and I'm glad that I was finally compelled to find a therapist that works for me. Some good stuff happened here.