The Positives of the Pandemic: More...

Friday, November 26, 2021

Wow. It’s been awhile. I haven’t forgotten about this thing. Just busy doing life during a global pandemic! Reflecting on the time since I’ve been gone from this blog (sing that in a Kelly Clarkson voice), there have been highs and lows. Real lows. But I’ve decided I need to focus on the positives of this period of life. So let’s dig in on the positives of the pandemic. The things it’s brought more of.

More Time With Lennon - It’s easy to look at the last two years of my six-year-olds life and think about all of the things she might have missed out on, but I’ll likely look back on this time and cherish the amount of time we spent with her. The crafts, the games, the days watching new movies or shows from my childhood. We weren’t running from practices to games to dance to birthday parties. Yeah, there were some, but things just started to pick back up at the start of this school year and I think she will be just fine in the future socialization area. I tried to find small opportunities to teach her how to do things herself - to make her own peanut butter and jelly or clean (which some days she oddly loves). Yes, the days were long, but the last (almost) two years went fast!

More Time At Home - When I think back on the last 21 months, one thing that sticks out is small gatherings at home - either our house or friends. Yes, I miss restaurants. But no, I can’t even fathom the thought of going to a club. I think I was a bit over that before this pandemic, but I’ll take a night at home with good food (made at home or take out) and a fridge full of wine and beer over going out. I’ve found a new love for the New York Times Cooking (worth the subscription fee), Half Baked Harvest, and days watching and attempting cakes thanks to Nailed It. Oh and I was a fan of online grocery shopping before the pandemic and that’s one thing I’ll keep up!

More Screen Time - What!? More screen time!? Is she crazy? I mean, yes, I’m crazy, but bare with me on this one. We’ve had holiday video chats with my family from across the U.S., which has stuck with us! We’ve had happy hours with friends in other states. We’ve watched dance recitals at home vs. sitting through a whole show. The biggest one of them all is that we were able to Google video (through Duo) my grandfather into my cousin’s wedding when he was too weak to travel. I hope the availability to “video into” things stays with us so that we can watch special moments across states.

More Work - A few days after my last post I accepted my dream job - doing public relations for a school district. Yes, this is so random. From a young age, I knew I wanted a career in communications - thanks to that “talks excessively” marks for citizenship on my report cards. In my elementary years, I wanted to be a talk show host, but quickly realized I’m not great on camera during morning announcements. In high school, I thought our public relations specialist had the coolest job, so I decided to pursue PR. Upon graduation from WVU, I actually emailed every PR contact at every school District around Pittsburgh that I could find and asked them for some advice to break into the field. I actually saved a few responses! The next 17 years took me to a global PR firm, boutique PR firm, advertising agency, a media buying company, and some freelance consulting. Then, during a global pandemic my dream job popped up and the rest is history! There have been CHALLENGES, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world right now. So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, see this answer.

More Positive Perspective - This isn't a positive of the pandemic, but perhaps keeping a positive perspective on life and the time we spend with loved ones is. One of the biggest changes for my family this past year actually had nothing to do with the pandemic. My dad passed away this past summer (I feel like I need to mention that this was totally not COVID related). But speaking of COVID, thankfully the case counts were low in our county (a positive!) and we were able to celebrate his life with an amazing number of family and friends (another positive!). He passed away suddenly the day after Father's Day, so I was able to spend, what none of us knew would the be, the last day of his life with him. I gave him a hug and said goodbye. Some people aren't that fortunate. I had a close relationship with my dad and made sure he spent a lot of time with Lennon - which I took A LOT of photos of! Looking back, the volume of support that we received after his passing was truly remarkable. Big Joe was a Big Man with a Big Squad! Death is such a weird thing to deal with, but something that we all will face in our lives (in more than one way!). When we lose someone, it’s always confusing on how to offer your support. I might write more on what I appreciated later as it could help one of you!

There are some things I’m looking forward of doing LESS of, but one thing I’d like to do MORE of is share things here again! So next up, I’ll give you some good ole Shot of Brandi gift suggestions!