Van Life or Pandemic Life?

I don’t know if it’s my desire to find something, anything, that is familiar or the extra time that allows for some creativity, regardless I’m compelled to share the similarities between van life and pandemic life.  In a lot of ways, van life prepared us for days like these. 

Sure, in a million obvious ways these two experiences are extremely and apparently dissimilar but in a handful of ways, they are not.  We spent over a year planning for van life and securing our finances in order to set out and explore with nothing but wonderment + a sense of adventure.  Pandemic life, on the other hand, has rolled over us like a tsunami with very little warning and complete financial insecurity. So, how are they similar?  Let’s discuss this.  

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Year 15

The words are not really flowing this year and I feel like Nicholas has been living with a brain injury my entire life. It’s not that I forget the 27 years I knew my big brother as uninjured, it’s just that 15 years is a long time.  It’s most of my adult life to date. I don’t really have anything profound to say, but as I admitted years ago, acknowledging and writing on January 5th is part of my process, until it isn’t.  

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Whole 30 x infinity = Food Freedom Forever

Around this time last year, Jon and I decided to give Whole 30*  a whirl.  We had visited with friends over Thanksgiving who had shared their experience with us.  Personally, I was feeling a bit soft and blamed it on my then 41-year-old metabolism. I  was fearful that age had won and that, despite my 41 years of counting, judging and fretting, I was never going to shed a certain number of pounds. So, I wanted to see what this “reset” had to offer both of us. 

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Change of Heart

Apparently, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week (or it was last week when I wrote this). I know this because of social media. I am totally cool with normalizing fertility issues.  The miscarriages I have had are the result of conceiving via medical intervention.  Natural conception didn’t work for us. I’ll talk about this stuff openly + honestly all day long, but I can’t help but feel that there is a sector of people who fall under the category of “infertile” who don’t have a voice. 

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Year 14 || Watch Quarter + Station

The month’s leading up to the 14th anniversary’s of Nicholas’ fall from a tree has had me more involved in his care than I have been in close to 12 yrs…and it was about time.  I was in my second year of graduate school for physical therapy when Nicholas fell out of a tree and became the brain injured version of the person that he once was.  Prior to that, I had tried to move out west for grad school, but one of the top five Doctor of Physical Therapy programs was in Boston, so I stayed (zero regrets because the MGH Institute For Health Professions was the perfect place for me).  However, I was seriously considering doing my third year, my internship year, out west. This was a secret to no one and a goal I was set on achieving.  When Nicholas got hurt, my parents asked me to stay and, without hesitation, I stayed. 

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Buckets

buckets

You’ve heard the expressions of having several balls in the air, many irons in the fire or perhaps wearing many hats.  There are a million ways to explain that feeling when you simply have a lot going on all at once. For me I refer to various areas of my life as buckets and from Sept – April my buckets were overflowing, disorganized, tipped over and downright dysfunctional. I felt like raccoons had gotten into the garbage late at night and left the contents of my life scattered in extremely odd places.  

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