Friday, March 26, 2021

Three-sixty-five to thirty-one

Greetings, a check-in is long overdue!

It's been a full year since I celebrated my first birthday amidst a global pandemic and I just blew the candles out on my second. That's just wild to think as I begin the dawn of being 31. Hilariously, I woke up this morning and had an instantaneous thought conveying the message that "my youth is over." Let's hope not.

A lot has happened in the past several months. The COVID-19 pandemic has raged on, my job has been keeping me cheerfully busy, and the seasons have changed. Things don't seem as daunting as they did about a year ago when we all hunkered inside our homes in a state of lockdown as the virus took off and we waited to see its true impact. The rate ebbs and flows but last I checked some COVID-19 has robbed the lives of 550,000 Americans and infected tens of millions. Terrible. I've learned such a wide array of lessons at multiple ends of the spectrum over the course of these past twelve months like the importance of taking care of the people you love (whether in your immediate family or local community), being content with just sitting still and having no plans, and supporting your smaller local business in need rather than the choosing the easy way out and sending your cash elsewhere far away in the dark. I think the past year has really put forth the idea of "adaptation" into clearer focus. Giving up parts of our common go-to comforts, routines, and habits to lean into new ones that kept safety a top priority as we all rode the pandemic wave together. 

While it was a hard year, yes absolutely, I feel like it was filled with growth. I excelled greatly in my hobbies, dived passionately deeper into my job as an automotive industry analyst, pulled off a novel's worth of adventures locally here in my own backyard of Wisconsin rather than crossing state lines, connected more with my immediate family, plus ended 2020 by asking the love of my life and best friend, Brenna, to marry me at Kohler-Andrae State Park where we took our very first camping trip together in 2018. A lot of good surprisingly came out of a rather turbulent year and for that I am grateful.

And, as a bonus birthday gift you could call it...I finally had my knee surgery a few days ago! A matching donor was finally identified after what felt like an eternity of a waiting period because the pandemic put the kibosh on my March 2020 surgery, and I was able to have my much-needed bone transplant. This should help eliminate much if not all of the horrendous pain that stems from a prior injury. Let the recovery period begin. Right before the surgery itself, I took my last hike along the Polk Kames segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which winds its way through some four miles of rolling farmland and some of the steepest glacially carved kames in the state. Quite spectacular.

Cheers,
Robby