First, the sad. I really can’t pinpoint why, but I’ve felt pretty down the last couple of days. I really haven’t been out much during the last year. I do go to the store or out to eat once in a while. I see my Mom at least once a week. I text with my friends to keep in touch. I am typically a homebody; I always have been. The complete lack of social life is tough though. I retired from teaching last fall right before school started. That took away my daily contact with friends. I am certainly glad I retired, as my stress level was intense, but I miss the social aspect.
Some of my co-workers became my best friends over the years. I worked on a team with the same people for twenty years. We helped each other through so many rough patches in our lives and were there for the good times as well. Although we have little in common, we are the best of friends. They all retired before I did. The last two from that group retired at the same time. I shed a lot of tears at that point. We try to get together for dinner, but Covid has stopped that for now. I miss that close relationship we shared for so long.
Life sometimes surprises you, and I became closer with two other co-workers and found a fantastic new teammate. The four of us became pretty close. I am extremely thankful for them. Now I am retired and my teammate has moved on to another school district. The four of us group chat often to keep up with each other’s lives. It doesn’t make up for our missed dinners, but at least we are still in contact. I miss our daily talks.
So, perhaps part of my sadness is loneliness at this point in my life. Covid brought on retirement; Covid also squashed my social life. I never thought I’d go to work one day, and go virtual, for the rest of the year, the next. I honestly didn’t think we would close at all. When we did, I thought we’d be back before the end of the school year. I certainly thought it would be safer by the time school started in the fall. It wasn’t. Adults were to wear masks, but students didn’t have to at that time. Classrooms are small with many students so there was no way to social distance. When teachers were told we had to teach in class and online, I decided I was done. I didn’t feel safe and I was already overworked. I couldn’t do it and stay sane. Thankfully I had enough years to retire.
Next comes the sappy. My youngest son graduated in 2020. Covid limited normal graduation activities. He didn’t mind much, but it was sad. He’s moving on with his career and doing well. My oldest had to move home from college in April. He went back in the fall of 2020 for his senior year. Now that he is a few days from the end of his college days, Covid is still here. His last year was online as was his job. It kept him safe but secluded. Yet he continued to excel. After all his hard work, graduation is virtual. Not ideal, but he is still being acknowledged and given his awards online. He was chosen as the speaker for the psychology department as well.
My oldest is moving out of state for his new job in May. I am so proud of his accomplishments and know he will continue to advance academically and socially. It is still hard to have your child move away. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it, yet know that is what is supposed to happen. Kids turn into adults.
I know life continually changes. Some of those changes are tough, even if they are good. I wrote most of this article a few days ago and am already feeling better. Life is good and forever changing, as it is supposed to. I just need to remember God is in charge, not me.