In March, when we suddenly found ourselves quarantining at home, for what turned into nearly six months, our daily lives and routines were turned upside down. Suddenly, we were cut off from friends, loved ones, and colleagues. Our routines of going to work, school, and regular activities were halted. Instead, we were forced to adjust. Learn to work from home, while simultaneously parenting and teaching our own kids. Learn to co-exist 24/7 with our families, balancing all of the new routines and challenges. We had to create new ways to stay busy, entertain, and at times-keep the peace.
Then, in August, when we were forced out of safe bubbles we had created, once again we found ourselves in a place of adjustment. In our house, I returned to work, while my husband continued to work from home. He assumed many of my daily routines, such as dropping the kids off at school and daycare, grocery shopping, and making dinner. At school, we’ve had to adapt to a hybrid schedule of teaching, welcoming two groups of kids to school each day-teaching kids in masks, while masked ourselves. All socially distanced, of course.
I can’t help but reflect on all of the adjustments…in ordinary times, we adjust to improve. Now, we find ourselves adjusting for safety. These adjustments feel less exciting and invigorating.
This past weekend, my brother-in-law and his fiance, Molly, got married. Just like our daily lives, their wedding plans went through many iterations and adjustments. A grand wedding was postponed for a small backyard celebration. Then, late last week when the weather forecasted blustery temperatures along with rain and snow, they once again reluctantly adjusted for a living room wedding.
As we drove to the wedding, my husband and I both commented that we didn’t really know what to expect. What would the feeling of the event be?
It turned out to be a feeling of immense joy.
After a beautiful ceremony, officiated by my husband, we sat down to dinner, surrounded by just our closest families. Molly’s uncle made a toast, commenting on the unprecedented and hard times we were in. He said that these moments of immense joy are somehow more powerful amidst all that the world is currently going through.
I’ve been thinking about those words ever since.
Somehow, this beautiful celebration of love suddenly felt even more joyful amidst the seven months that we have all endured. Despite all of the adjustments, it felt so good to celebrate something. We wore our nicest clothes and wore uncomfortable, yet pretty shoes, for a living room wedding and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
As we drove home, after the wedding celebration, my oldest daughter, Wren said, “That was a good day.”
“When was the last time she said that?” I found myself wondering. I couldn’t remember, but it used to be something she said often.
The day after the wedding, a friend texted to let a group of colleagues that she had become a grandmother. Again, I was overcome with that same immense feeling of joy from the day before…these reminders that there are still moments worth celebrating.
Joy that can carry us on.