At the end of 2020, I decided that I wanted to become a blogger in 2021. At the time, I had just created and launched this NEW website and added the "Blog" section to the toolbar. I was excited! I was focused! I was determined! But...
The beginning of 2021 didn't start off super smooth because, well, Covid-19. Don't you just love how we blame Covid for everything?! The truth is, my salon work schedule was hard - at the beginning of the year I was still working in complete isolation from the rest of the salon trying to keep the six feet rule, mask mandate, and sanitation guidelines until Governor Kemp lifted all the restrictions. I also started a new podcasting adventure with my friend Debbs. Unfortunately though, I completely underestimated how much time planning, organizing, recording, and editing a podcast would take! Nonetheless, it has been a really fun experience. Have you heard it yet? It's called First and Main. I'll write more on that later because it has been a really great and humbling experience that I want to tell you all about.
But back to the beginning of the year... If that wasn't enough for the month of January then contracting covid at the end of it sure felt like enough. Both my husband and I (Thank God) both had very mild symptoms and by February 12th we were back to work! I, however, (again) underestimated how much energy covid would actually take from me. Going back to work after missing two weeks from the salon was tough but going back with much less energy than before was even harder! Several nights I would just cry driving home from work and I would dread almost every morning that I had to go into work. It was awful because not only was I lacking energy, I was also trying to heal from the covid symptom, brain fog! It was so bad that I actually cut back my work schedule from four days to three and on some weeks down to even two days. I couldn't keep up and the days that I had off I stayed busy working on the podcast. I felt like I just couldn't get a break and then March happened.
In March, my sweet mother-in-law, Ginger, passed away very quickly from leukemia. We had a planned family vacation to Biloxi (one of our favorite family spots) and the Thursday before we were going to leave, my mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital where she eventually passed away Sunday morning. The grief I felt was unbearable and the sadness and hurt I felt for my husband and his family was even worse. I'll never forget that phone call my husband answered at 5:26am Sunday March 21st - just 10 days before Ginger's birthday and the week that we all were supposed to be in Biloxi, Mississippi celebrating.
I took the next 10 days off from work and even had one of Debb's friends cover for me on the podcast. I was still fighting fatigue from covid and began fighting a new type of fatigue emotionally. Loss is hard and it was really important to me that my husband felt both loved and supported by me as he mourned his mom. What I didn't realize is how much pain I would feel as it would bring up emotions and memories of my own dad passing away six years prior.
Those ten days and thereafter were not easy. In the midst of everything, I found it within me to style my mother-in-law's hair one last time for her viewing. I cannot even begin to explain the type of emotions that came along with that. That same week I helped my father-in-law clean up and remove some of her toiletries, jewelry, and personal items from the bathroom, bedroom and closet. We arranged food to be delivered, wrote out thank you cards, and basically hosted family and friends almost every night including the day of her memorial service. I was absolutely worn out but I kept going.
I returned back to work and my podcast in April and just continued to struggle emotionally, physically, and even mentally. The back and forth opinions about covid such as masks, vaccines, and all the political jargon was excruciating. Witnessing the daily judgment, harsh words, thoughts and opinions both verbally and socially on the internet was too much. I felt myself slipping away. I was constantly tired and irritable and I wanted to quit my job for the very first time EVER in my career. But, I kept going.
During the summer I started to experience some health issues and began bloodwork. I was anemic and low on all my B vitamins except B7 (biotin). The process of getting to the doctor, getting results, and then getting a solution actually lasted about four months! Everything was backed up from covid! I had to wait almost two months just to get an appointment and begin the process to getting well.
Let's fast forward to now - October 4, 2021. Currently, as I type this blog - my first blog of 2021, I am healing from some minor female surgery... the surgery I needed to heal my anemia, level out my blood and its vitamins and put me on the path to a healthy 2022. I'm out of work again for two weeks and as I recover I pray that this is the last time I will have to be away from the salon unexpectant. I've been taking iron now for about two months and WOW, that has made a huge difference in my energy, attitude, and brain fog! I'm experiencing some pain from my surgery but overall, I am already feeling so much better. My husband has been a great caregiver and I have had great support from family and friends. I feel blessed and so today I wanted to pay forward the blessing and reach someone, anyone that needs to hear "keep going."
Keep going even when you feel like you are ready to quit. Keep going when you feel tired and keep going when you feel overwhelmed and "done!" Just keep going and trust that God has a plan for you and everything will soon be ok.