OK, I know everyone is talking about “one year of Covid” in the world. But have you stopped to take time to think about one year of Covid in YOUR world? As a gift to yourself and future generations, take some time this week to write down how the pandemic has affected your family.

Think about it–what would be more interesting to you from the 1918 pandemic? Something from the newspaper? Or would you rather peek in your grandmother’s journal talking about sewing masks, their sweet neighbor Susan who was sick, canceling their trip to San Diego, how that was the year she started growing raspberries in the backyard.

Seriously, you’ve just navigated a year of uncertainty, disappointments, divisions, and losses. And it’s also been of year of creativity, connection, and more time with family.

Four questions I think you should ask yourself (and ask your kids):

  • How much has your daily life changed? 20%? 50%? 80%? And why? Because of where you live? Because of your family situation?
  • What are the losses of the pandemic for your family? I know you’ll include the big ones like deaths and jobs, but be sure so write down the smaller ones too. Missing the preschool Spring Sing is a real loss, if your son was the lead in a play that got canceled– that’s a loss. Write down the missed events, trips, opportunities.
  • List the blessings of the pandemic. Game nights, home church, picnics in the park, happier relationships, new recipes, new skills…
  • What are changes in your family and in the world you’d like to keep? More respect for grocery store workers, teachers, medical personnel. Talking openly about mental health; staying home when you’re sick. Holding meetings on Zoom, canceling meetings….

Maybe you didn’t learn Spanish this year, or write that Civil War novel, or place the 3,000th piece in the Hogwarts puzzle. Still, you learned and you grew and you made it through each and every day.

And you should write about it. You’ve done more than you think, you’re doing better than you think. Give yourself some credit, it’s been quite a year.