For most of you reading this, you likely know me, or have watched me over the past few years via social media. Or because this post went viral. JK! Nonetheless, I am grateful you found yourself here.

This past year is one that has changed the world, our perspectives, and our lives. I know for sure that my life looks very different from what I was doing one year ago. Last year, I was helping run the events department in my family’s restaurant, The Boathouse on the Bay. With Covid, that industry has obviously taken a hard hit, and my job was one of the first to go considering there could no longer be large gatherings like we were used to. When restaurants were able to re-open, I didn’t have the ability to jump right back in to the work force. I have two little ones who, while make me crazy, are my reasons for living. They have always been one of the reasons why I worked, and needed an income. We had a nice house to pay for, the kids had sports to play, and we sure loved our Disney days…a lot! I worked for them.

In March, 2020 I remember sitting with my Dad in the moment it was called to close restaurants. I remember the 20+ emails I received to refund thousands of dollars in event deposits for the months of March-May. I immediately filed for unemployment and weeks later discovered that I would only make 1/8th of what I did while working. It was a very scary, unsettling, and stressful time for me, and of course my husband who handled our finances. Needless to say, I knew I would have to get creative to supplement an income or finagle a way to make everything work while being locked down in a 3:1 Lakewood home with three children (yes I count my husband as a child sometimes **Stephen’s note: I know you are, but what am I!**) and a dog.

I started working for a good friend who took a risk and started a Fitness business/community for Mamas to come together just as the pandemic began. Immediately we had to go virtual and there fueled more of my passion for working with others and filling up my cup. It is amazing what being apart of a community can do for the soul when the world seems to be falling apart around you. I cannot thank my Fit4Mom community for being there for me more than they would even know. I truly don’t know where I would be if I didn’t commit to teaching Tabata classes a couple of days a week or attending other classes we offered. It saved my quarantine mornings since in the early days of all of this, you shouldn’t start Happy Hour until at least two….ish.

Fast forward a few months, we knew we would need to start making some moves or plan for how we were going to keep things afloat with so much unknown about what the future would hold in terms of employment and education for Brooks (our wild child 6 year old). It was very clear that I would not be going back to work any time soon. It was even more clear that we wouldn’t be able to rely on unemployment or stimulus checks to keep us afloat. So we did what all grown adults do with a family and a dog do…we moved in with my parents. That’s right, we moved in with my parents. No shame in our game.

We have been here for five months. I have focused on my kids, and much to my dismay, I have been having to do distance learning with my son who was not meant to be homeschooled. It has been some of the most challenging months of my life, emotionally. I have found that fitness is an outlet for me. 30-60 minutes of High Intensity Training really lets you get a lot out and boosts my energy to take on school mornings…along with a couple cups of coffee.

This past year has just shown me that we can’t go at life alone. We need to surround ourselves with positivity. We should have a sense of community so we know we are not going full speed all the time alone. Life really does move fast despite how slow things may have felt the past year. So I hope you will follow along here as I share my journey as I close the chapter on 2020 and start fresh this 2021. I am going to take everything I learned last year and channel it in to this new mental and physical (virtual) space. I want to share my story, I want to help others, and I want to support each and every person in my life in the best ways that I can. Whatever that may be.

Here is to you, 2021. May you show grace, empathy, and love.

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