No one could have ever imagined or predicted the events of this past year. We will be talking about it for years to come – grandchildren and great-grandchildren will ask “what did you do during the global pandemic of 2020?” or “what was it like?” Have you captured the stories that are hiding in your camera roll? As I looked back on the photos I took this last year and scrolled through the photos and stories in my Facebook feed, there are several themes that are become obvious. Do you have stories similar to these or are there different storylines in your photos?
Dog adoptions and sales soared during the pandemic.
Were you part of this trend?
I lost track of how many in my circle of friends got a new pet during 2020. We actually adopted our dog in the fall of 2019, so pre-pandemic, but she was one of my lifelines during the isolation of lockdown. Dixie was my reason to get outside every day and walk around the neighborhood – she got me out, moving and at least from across the street, interacting with my neighbors. She was and is a great source of companionship and entertainment in our lives and a big part of our Pandemic Story.
Reviving New Hobbies and Old Interests
Spending so much time at home, I found myself cooking a lot more…and taking pictures of some of the more creative meals I attempted. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but a busy schedule often meant meals on the go and quick, easy familiar dishes. With more time to search for recipes and prepare meals, I got a bit more adventurous in attempting new dishes. My daughter and I made Moscow Mule cupcakes and Cocktails to celebrate my 60th Birthday.
We also looked for new forms of entertainment and relaxation – things we could do together. It was difficult to find puzzles to buy and shipping delays stalled my first Diamond Art creation – a new activity that I tried, sort of a cross between paint by numbers and counted cross stitch, where you place small “diamonds” on a coded sticky canvas.
How many puzzles did you put together or did you start a new hobby? My camera roll has several photos of completed puzzles and colorful sparkly Diamond Art. I found both of these activities soothing and something I could do to take my mind off of the negativity in the news. My husband found his comfort and escape in the yard, planting and tending to dozens of flowing plants and feeding the birds. He also started an extension to our patio that will be finished this summer, giving us a backyard oasis!
Remote Learning and Home Schooling
I no longer have young children at home, but did have a daughter in college when lockdown began. The adjustment that students and families had to make was hard for many, but so many seized the opportunity to create amazing memories. I love seeing the photos and stories of how families turned the challenge of social distancing and spending a lot of time at home into new family adventures and experiences….like a neighbor who decided to home school her kindergartner and 3rd grader and turned a spare bedroom into an adorable classroom and learning space.
And another single mom with two kids along with her sister with two kids who turned an RV and road trips into learning lab adventures, giving their children a school year that they will never forget!
Staying connected with ZOOM
I wish I’d owned stock in ZOOM in 2019….it was trading between $50-75. Today, in March 2021 the price is $345 and at one point was selling for nearly $590 a share. Once a relatively unknown video chat program and now a tool that millions of people use daily or weekly to conduct business and stay connected. It certainly played a prominent role in my Pandemic Story! I have dozens of screenshots taken of group events and one-on-one connections. I felt like it was one of the most things I used to stay in touch with friends and clients. How about you – had you used ZOOM before lockdown? Did it become a frequent tool to engage with your friends, family, and community?
The last common theme I’ve seen in so many photos, and hands down my favorite of the past year is the creative way people have found to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and so much more. I mentioned that I had a daughter in college. Well, she graduated in May 2020…something that she had dreamed of and planned for at least the last four years! Despite the school not having an in-person ceremony, she and her best friend celebrated in ways that will be remembered and recounted for years to come. They included a clandestine jump in the river – a Texas State tradition that sympathetic security guards enabled and allowed despite the park being officially closed – a golf cart parade in their cap and gowns, and a 5-second march past the TV screen to Pomp and Circumstance as their names were called during the virtual ceremony.
So, what stories are on your Camera Roll for 2020? Have you written them down? If not, do it for yourself but more importantly for your children, grandchildren, and future generations. They are a priceless gift that you can share!