This past week was very eventful for me to say the least!

I turned 50, celebrated Mother’s Day, and helped to start a 5-hour mini shift to try to keep up with demands for PPE. It has been almost exhausting!

I also find that I struggle staying focused with so many “new” things going on around me. That could be part of turning 50, but I also think it’s having to live and think differently.

I had mixed emotions about turning 50. Don’t get me wrong. I was very THANKFUL to do so. As a 13-year cancer survivor, I know very well that every birthday is a gift!

But I found it a little harder to "celebrate" this year.

I wasn’t able to see my Mom or Dad on my birthday. I couldn't go to the local restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo & my birthday. I didn’t get to hug my Mom on Mother’s Day or hand her our gift. I am working much longer hours, and feel more tired as each day progresses.

And then there is the PANDEMIC to worry about.

But instead of trying to dwell on the things I missed, I realized I was just celebrating differently.

I was able to FaceTime my Dad, and talk on the phone to my brother and Mom on my birthday. Thank goodness for all the technology we have to communicate! I participated in a drive thru Mother’s Day parade at the assisted living facility where my Mom lives. I was able to see and talk to her in person - the first time since early March. It was so exciting as we waited in line to be able to wave and talk to her from a distance. And seeing her big, bright smile made everything better.

I shared my 50th birthday with my co-workers this year. They had fun reminding me I am “Over the Hill.” They even displayed a photo of 3-year-old me for everyone to see, and drew in a mask for laughs.

My husband and children made me a supper at home for my birthday, and they prepared a feast of our favorite foods for Cinco de Mayo. They also prepared my Mother’s Day supper at home on a firepit they built because they have more time at home. I was also able to spend time with my grandchildren for the first time since all this “new” normal began.

It was very different, but at the same time, very memorable.

For those of you that are tiring of the day to day changes that Covid-19 has caused in our lives, you are definitely not alone! There is so much we all miss. There are new worries and different obstacles we face with everyday things that used to be simple. I still can't figure out where all the toilet paper went!

To help me cope with these new frustrations, I try to remind myself to think differently. I'm trying to look at all the good things that are happening around me, and the “new” memories I'm creating that I probably never would have if everything was normal. Our business has completely changed in seven weeks, and we are focusing on products that are really helping other people and possibly saving lives. My children have been helping at home more, at work more, and we've had lots of moments together - some good, some not so good, but at least we've been together. I've been able to "go" to church without leaving my home. I get to sit in my pjs, in my favorite chair with my best dog Rex and worship. 

I'll never forget these times where we all have been forced to “live” differently, but not stop living!