Endings and Beginnings

Last Friday was the last day of school, AKA my last day of work for the summer. I’ve been chewing on this post since before then, but because remote teaching has made me loathe my computer, it took this long to actually get the words down.

I’m not saying my feelings are like that. But I’m not not saying it either.

We’ll make up someday. Probably.

First, the endings

Now that the school year has ended and the pandemic is winding down (my state is one of the highest in vaccination rates), I feel it’s time for a long, mask-free breath. The last year and a few months have been beyond hard logistically and emotionally, and we’ve all had to reorient. People we’ve known and respected for years may have shown themselves to be incredibly ignorant and/or selfish, or others we thought would be that way turned out to be refreshingly selfless. Relationships changed or ended. Many lost loved ones in the most literal sense. While we argued over the scientists begging us to listen to them, lives were forever altered.

Back in March, as I inched my car through the line at the vaccine drive, I felt hope for the first time in recent memory. I’ve never been so happy to be in a two-hour line. All of these people were getting us back to normal, and this was just one afternoon. A crowd like this occurred for many days before and after. The demand has waned since then, but shots are still going into arms. Last week, the CDC advised that The Vaccinated could interact in society without a mask, as in the before times.

These vaccine drive workers were the real MVP.

While we have a ways to go, especially with other countries having more limited access to the vaccine, the end is in sight. And it’s a most welcome one indeed.

No Matter How Hard the Past Is, You Can Always Begin Again -Buddha

I think the best way to communicate my sense of optimism for the future is by showing you this:

Meet Brin

If you follow me on Insta, you’ve likely seen these pics and others like them. Brin, our now 11-week-old pug mix puppy, joined our family three weeks ago. She’s smart, playful, and has brought us so much joy. She’s “supposed” to be my younger son’s dog, a long-desired companion for him. But she has melted all of our hearts. Even the cats (two of them, anyway) are okay with her, as long as she remembers they’re the boss.

I think my favorite thing about the new puppy is that she has no idea what we’ve all been through. She’s entirely in the present. She excitedly greets us after we step out for a few minutes and plays with all her might until she crashes wherever she happens to be. Snuggling with her relieves stress and eases anxiety. And if we need a space for coping or grief, she helps fill it without needing all the details. She’ll even get into a bit of trouble so we have something else to do than wallow.

She’s so thoughtful that way.

I like to think she’s helping me with my computer hatred here. That’s the case for it.

So as the summer begins and I look forward to starting a “normal” school year in August, I plan to live in the moment with Brin as much as possible. I hope to get back to more regular writing as the pandemic dust continues to settle. For now, I need to put the computer away, or I may have to go all Moss on it.

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