2020 has been quite the year. I think we have all been personally challenged by it. From baking bread to painting, being stuck in our homes has given us the space to try new things. I asked my team to share their struggles and where they found inspiration amidst the adversity in 2019. When we welcomed in the new year, we didn’t expect it to turn out like this. As we leave 2020 behind, how do we now find hope for 2021?
Martha, a high school science teacher, shares her reasons for inspiration and hope:
How has this year inspired you?
Inspiration comes in many forms. I have two big inspirations that have come out of this year- one pandemic related and the other not. I was given the most wonderful opportunity to become an aunt. Charlie (Charlotte) was born on January 28th and I know it is cliched, but it has changed my whole world. I love her so much. It is very exciting to watch a human grow. Charlie is a curious and smart little girl and oh, she has my heart. She has inspired me to be better, to make sure I am in a good place, to be the best auntie I can be and when the time comes, to be the best mother.
My second inspiration, the one that is pandemic related, is creativity. I am so left brained oriented I often forget to take into consideration the right side of my brain. This pandemic forced my creative side to get a hold of me. I learned how to sew by making face masks, (#stillwearadamnmask) and was pretty good at it. I even had a successful side hustle. Eventually I had to step away from the mask making business because it was very time consuming and was not as enjoyable as it was in the beginning. However, this new skill has sparked other creative projects. I made blankets and burp cloths for several friends who had or were having children. My biggest (to me) project has been sewing a dress for Charlie. It was not straightforward and presented some frustrating moments, but it turned out great.
What has been a struggle for you in 2020?
During the pandemic, my anxiety has reared its ugly little head. Big time. I had to learn to manage it. This has taken some time with professional help. I used to think I should be able to control it on my own and when I couldn’t it felt like I had failed myself. That however is not the case. I feel mental health needs to be normalized, and the stigma has to go. It is okay to ask for support, and in fact it should be encouraged.
What are you hopeful for in 2021?
Professionally, I am hopeful for the second half of the school year. I know there will still be teaching challenges with the pandemic and the learning environment. But even after the hard times this fall semester presented, I am excited about moving into the next semester.