Welcome 2021!

By Shellie Miller-Farrugia

All I can think about lately are my baseboards. If that sounds crazy to you, please know that I agree. If I have learned anything in the last year, it’s that whatever wacky thought you have, life can be even wackier.

There were some pretty unpredictable things that shaped our lives in 2020. Many children, tired of the long school days pre-pandemic, got impatient with online learning after a few short weeks. Traffic was down, but standing 6 feet apart at the grocery store felt like gridlock in a war zone. Sitting in your car and waiting for your turn in the doctor’s office was also an interesting way to live. After our family fell into the routine of barely ever leaving home, we were dutifully trying to keep our business alive, while also doing some “fixing up“ around the homestead.

It surprised me very much when, in 2020, many of my friends and I concentrated our efforts (and the portions of our budgets that we could manage) at making things nicer at home. Of course we would! We were spending so much more time there. Luxuries like home offices, a special nook for the kids to study in, garage organization, and kitchen remodels were big ticket items for those of us who were a little overwhelmed by the confines of quarantine at home. And this is when baseboards got pretty important to me. Each and every home improvement I was part of seemed to have some very fancy special baseboards to accentuate it.

With a career in the home-improvement sector, I was surprised at the amount of people desperate to make changes during a time that was both financially and socially challenging. One of my clients said, “We’ve been carefully saving our money for decades, and we are spending much more time at home, so it needs to be exactly the way we’d like it.“ And so it went… fun remodels with every detail taken into consideration. For me, the sole downside was arriving home at the end of each day to my pitiful, 45-year-old, 3 1/4 inch baseboards. Despite my efforts to love my home, I couldn’t stop focusing on them.

Those of us who dared to go outside of our digs, donned our masks, washed and sanitized our hands rigorously, kept our distance from older, infirm relatives, and became much more familiar with FaceTime and Zoom. One thing I am grateful for is that, despite being empty nesters, Scott and I probably spent more time with our children in “virtual“ happy hours, dinners, and family chats than we had in all of 2019. We did the same with many of our closest buddies, making those valued friendships a priority. Running errands for elderly folks, bringing meals to those who were “locked in,“ and sharing ridiculous memes were all done in an effort to bring cheer, hope, and preserve our sanity. As a “healing“ gift to myself, I finally did something about the baseboard debacle, and had them all replaced with bright, beautiful, 5 1/2 inch trim!

Welcome to 2021! Throughout the craziness, unpredictability, and tragedy of last year, we’ve all been looking forward to the single added digit of this new year, as if this magic number will make the negativity go away. So now we have new jobs! Not jobs we go to every day and collect a paycheck for, but a duty to ourselves and others! We need to step into Positivity Positions! It’s time to spread good cheer, great news, and help those who need it. Are you excited? Your perspective will always improve when you are helping someone else.

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