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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Friday

It Was a Quarantine Thing ... Now It's Just Called Life

At some point it became clear that we had to stop living as if quarantine living was a temporary lifestyle. Masks, social distancing, constant vigilance and sanitizing were all part of the new norm.

It turns out that so were all the other things I said yes to when I wasn't quite sure what tomorrow held (even though I loved to be the one to point out that tomorrow never became any more or less certain than it had ever been).

Things I said yes to that I then had to start dealing with late spring and early summer 2020...

Yes to trying my hand at sourdough (remember, it was a quarantine thing!) - nope, not suddenly a bread maker because of the extra time on my hands.

Yes to trying my hand at Amish friendship bread - see above and add in the fact that every time you make it, you get three extra starters and I learned that in most cases this actually deters people from wanting to befriend me.

Yes to opening a school - this one stuck. It didn't feel real until the day our doors actually opened in September. It wasn't a quarantine thing. It had been a dream in the making for years. A dream that I thought would always be just that - a dream. I'm grateful for friends who put the action to my passion. This is exactly what my good friend and genius educator Candis Ogilvie did with me and Blue Bridge School. It hasn't been easy but it has been right. From the moment I said yes, I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. More on that, plenty more, to come.

Yes to being part of the disruption to a system that has been designed to work only for an elite set of privileged people - this is something I consciously choose every single day. It doesn't just happen. It must be chosen over and over again. I'm not always the best at it but I'm learning and growing and using my voice and privilege to make our country a community that will care for each other regardless of the value and worth as decided by dollar signs.

Yes to myself - this took on a new level of essential with the start of the pandemic in my life. I have come to realize that I cannot teach; I cannot mother; I cannot partner; I cannot live out my purpose or passions without being my best self. This takes daily reflection and nearly constant augmentation. From one day to the next, my needs change but the importance of them doesn't. Finding how to meet my needs each day is as important as finding the ways to help my family meet their own needs too. This is a daily work in progress.

Yes to finding the ordinary to be enough - this took some work but has been another keeper. This means nature walks close to home. This means being excited by dandelions. This means dance parties in the kitchen are the most fun. This means that everything I am and everything I do is enough.

More has come out of this pandemic experience than a few weeks of school closures. These are only a few of the pieces of life that began in a pandemic and became the new normal. I have been fortunate in so many ways. I have grown. There were moments when it felt as though we were merely surviving and not thriving.

The pandemic isn't gone. Vaccines are going up, at this point so are cases of COVID-19. Who knows what tomorrow brings? None of us. And if that wasn't learned this year, then nothing was.

Today, I choose to find the beauty and the mystery in the ordinary and unremarkable.

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