Thursday, December 31, 2020

We survived 2020!

Wowza. It has been a long time since I have posted. Here it is, the last day of the strangest day of our lifetime, and I couldn't miss the chance to make an update. 

What did 2020 look like for the de Jong family?

Like most people, our year started with optimism. We were settling into the Lake House. D was loving his new school. Mom was recovering from her double knee replacement surgery and was looking forward to travelling.


Mom's travel plans now involved trips up and down the stairs. Back and forth along our street. And occasionally, a trip to ALDI. 

The first weekend in March, we cleaned out Niels' cloffice (closet office). Since he drove D to school every day, he didn't have a work at home day, so it had been a low priority project. It was great timing because he has been working from home since March 13 with no plans to return to the corporate office in the foreseeable future.

After leaving the Dream House and moving into the Lake House so D would be closer to his new school, it's ironic that he has also been doing school remotely since March 13. He will be home for his entire 6th grade year. We are beyond thankful that he is thriving with his arrangement. With his ADHD, the freedom to fidget and belt out songs from Hamilton while on mute has been a blessing all around. Google Classroom makes it easy for him to see the status of his work and he has been able to keep up. Over the summer, he work on 6th grade math on Khan Academy and did so well that he was put in 7th grade math this year will a plan to start algebra in the fall. 

As for me, COVID hasn't changed my day to day life very much. I like to stay home anyway. The only difference is that I'm not alone. I'm never alone!! :-) I had high hopes to do a lot of quilting this year, but spending time with my family was more important. I see this year as a gift. The whole world was forced to slow down the way I was forced to slow down after my brain injury. It has been interesting, and often disheartening, to see how some have responded to this gift of time. When else in our lifetime will we be able to save lives by staying home? I realize that I speak from a position of privilege. Our home is secure and our income hasn't changed. So many do not have ability. We are happy to stay home to make the world safer for those who must be out.

The big challenge for me this year has been my vision. In September of 2019, I hit my head--again--on the door to our dryer. I thought I was fine after a few days, but my vision was more wonky than usual. I had a harder time keeping things in focus and vertigo has been a real challenge. I wasn't able to see my computer screen clearly, or subtitles on the TV so my world got pretty small. I could only keep in focus things that were an arm length or less away. I have an extra large iPad that I used almost exclusively. Of course, trying to see made my brain tired. So I slept, a lot. I usually slept until about 10 and went to bed after dinner. I went to the doctor...a lot. We tried different prescriptions, which is a challenge because my vision changes from day to day and varies depending on how tired my brain is. Finally, in late October, we got it right. When I am rested and my brain isn't stressed, I see better than I have in over a decade. (In fact, it was ten years ago today that I sustained my last bad TBI, the one that messed up my vision and metabolism). I still struggle with brain fog when it comes to writing, which is why I am woefully behind on my blogs. 

For the last few weeks, I have been learning to see beyond my arms. It sounds odd, I'm sure, but it's overwhelming at times. There is so much more to see, particularly when in the car or looking out my window. Sometimes it triggers vertigo. I'm still pretty tired. I am able to stay awake longer, but need to lay down. I have played a lot of Fishdom. 

I'll make a separate post with my goals for next year. I'm not sure that I made a list of goals for 2020, but here is a little recap of what I was able to do. 

* I (only) made nine quilts this year. Hopefully as get used to using my laptop again, I will share posts on each of them.

* I'm still working on learning to use my longarm. I don't know what my mental block is, but I have a bunch of panels and it will be my #1 goal for 2021.

* My studio is slowly getting organized. It will continue to be a process because I was gifted several totes of scraps that I am slowly working through sorting.

* The highlight of my quilting year was seeing one of my quilts displayed at my show for the first time. The fact that it was my TBI quilt was even more special.

I'm wrapping up this post as I wrap up this year. Here's to a happier, healthier 2021!

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