It’s Monday morning, July 5, 2021, and one of the first things I did this morning was go back to read the blog I published about the 4th of July from last year. It was a recap of the fun we had with friends. I shared a little about my brother’s accident, and I also wrote that I was legitimately happy. The blog was so positive, and as I read it, I wondered, “was I really that happy this time last year?”
I think the answer is yes.
This time last year, we had a false hope that the pandemic on the island of Okinawa would be coming to an end. The coronavirus numbers had been going down, and the virus was almost non-existent on the island. We were given some semblance of freedom, and that freedom felt fantastic.
That fantasy was also short lived.
Within a few days of the 4th of July holiday, our freedom to move about freely came to an end. The virus numbers shot up. We were unable to go outside. We couldn’t even walk our dogs. We could not grocery shop or take care of basic essentials in town. We were completely confined to our homes and to the military bases. We felt the tightest round of restrictions that we would have to date.
As I look back my memories from last year, and consider my day yesterday, they are so similar. Once again, we were able to get together with people from our community. Once again, we ate tons of food. Once again we played on the beautiful beaches of Okinawa. Once again, we found happiness with friends.
As I look upon the horizon, I once again feel hope that things will open up again, that we will find some semblance of normalcy again, and that we will move past this devastating pandemic. The optimistic side of my brain allows me to feel tremendous hope. The other side of my brain remembers how quickly we went from feeling optimistic to feeling utterly trapped in our homes. I just keep wondering if over time, the feelings of hope and optimism will become stronger than the feelings of isolation and loneliness. Who knows? Maybe this time next year, we will be traveling freely, gathering in groups, and living a life without fear. Until, then, I will embrace the good times, will smile often, and will feel the deepest gratitude for my blessings, for my health, and for the health & wellness of my family and friends.