It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since our world turned upside down. That’s over 365 days and counting of living a life where the COVID pandemic is constantly on our minds and part of our daily routines. Masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing, all things reserved for particular circumstances in the past, are now commonplace necessities. It has been a crazy year, an emotional roller coaster ride. As I look back at what the world has been through during this challenging time, I can’t help but acknowledge how grateful I am. Thankful for the aspects of my life that have helped me cope with the emotional turmoil the pandemic has thrust us into. Family, friends, nature, my garden, and writing and sharing my thoughts with all of you are the things that have been invaluable to me this past year.
I have loved writing since I was a child, always putting my thoughts on paper and creating stories and poems. Writing, for me, has consistently been therapeutic-a means to express emotions, ideas, and reflections. My writing has grown alongside me, from my childhood diary to letters to loved ones to my published children’s books. In high school, when I was dealing with anxiety, writing helped me cope with the stresses and pressures of teenage life. After having my son, writing became a new career path when I wanted to stay home with him. In short, writing has always been there for me as both a comfort and a release.
In April of 2020, amid the fear and anxiety of a global pandemic crisis, I had this crazy idea to start a blog. I had wanted to do it for many years but always found several excuses to sideline the concept. It was hard for me to imagine people wanting to read about my thoughts and musings. But, if this pandemic had taught me anything, it was that life was unpredictable and that you should seize opportunities to do what you love—no more sidelining.
Besides, with the stay-at-home order and the calendar being wiped clean of all activities, I certainly couldn’t say that I didn’t have the time. I hoped that a blog would allow me to combine many of my interests: gardening, photography, and a love of nature and writing. And so, I stepped out of my comfort zone, decided to go for it, and shouted, “This will be the day!” And my garden blog, Thistle Be the Day, began.
Over the past year, my weekly posts have done what I had hoped they would. As expected, they have allowed me to combine many of my interests, but unexpectedly, they have done so much more. During this time of uncertainty, fear, and isolation, my sitting down to write subconsciously once again turned into therapy. Jotting my thoughts down each week provided a wonderful distraction, even if for a few hours, from the pandemic world around me. Writing about topics that inspired or interested me brought me joy when that emotion was scarce.
And most importantly, during a time when we were so isolated, this blog provided a connection. A link to the people who read my posts, whom I may not have been able to see, but whose presence I felt. I can’t tell you how valuable that was.
And so, as I celebrate the first anniversary of starting Thistle Be the Day, I wanted to reach out to all of you and say thank you. I appreciate that you take time out of your busy lives to read the thoughts and musings of a regular person just hoping to do something she loves. In 57 posts and over 40,000 words, I have found joy, connection, and, yes, therapy in a chaotic world. Thank you for taking the ride on my blogging journey with me.