Goodness gracious. Can we say a collective hallelujah for this new normal?

For fresh air and maskless faces?

For seeing loved ones and finally going places?

Before I start singing along to my own post-quarantine country song, I need to express how thankful I am.

And can we please talk about hugs?

Who else missed hugs? I think I’ve hugged every person I know since I was vaccinated. And I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to all the acquaintances I hugged after the mask mandate was lifted. I know we may not be close and Lord knows it must have been awkward for you, but I needed it.

I consider myself a social butterfly by day (and sometimes an octogenarian by night) and being cooped up for a year was not easy. It was hard on so many and there’s so much to be grateful for, and so much to reflect upon.

Without getting all sappy, I have to admit, since the quarantine ended, there are days I think I may be turning into a human version of a Golden retriever. And we’ve always had Goldens, so I know these traits all too well.

Let’s see, I’m happy.

I always need to tinkle.

I’m grateful.

I like cute sweaters.

I’m loyal.


My hair is highlighted.

I’m overly excited about leaving the house to do anything. As long as it involves leaving the house.

In the car, I like having the window down to let the breeze blow past my crispy, quarantined hair, roots and all. I exercise in the morning so I can sneak in as many treats as possible throughout the day.

I’m also like a Golden mama to my kids, making sure their needs are met especially after this past year, which is one of the reasons this site collected so many dust bunnies. I couldn’t really talk about everything that was going on as a mom of teens because I wanted to respect their privacy. And God knows there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to parenting teenagers and college-age kids. But this is me NOT talking about them. And this is me venting about other things because it helps prevent me from wandering around my yard in foam rollers waiting for them to come home by curfew.

(Everyone is healthy and great btw, my husband included and I’m so grateful to have everyone home for the summer, except when it’s close to dinner time and everyone is suddenly hungry and I’ve totally forgotten to get anything except snack food at the grocery store. There is nothing exciting in the kitchen because I’ve been too busy doing other things because I don’t have to wear a mask any more. They will have to be happy with chicken parm for the upteenth time, thank you very much.)

And then there’s the flip side to my Golden behavior, when I crave quiet time from everyone and everything. Turning a milestone age combined with all the new post-quarantine commotion is a lot. I mean I love activity, but I’m exhausted from it too. Sometimes I need to find a quiet space and just be.

Sometimes I get tired from smiling and close my mouth. My Golden does this too. I keep checking to see if my mask is swinging from my face, but it’s gone. It’s just the skin under my chin. And that’s ok, because I’m thankful to feel my face again rather than fabric.

Golden-ness aside, cheers to no more mask-ne (Mask Acne). And washing and drying masks. Oh and cracked hands, dry from all the hand sanitizer. Palmolive would have been welcomed, but Instacart didn’t always have it in stock.

Have you noticed that hand sanitizer smells like liquor? Finding sanitizer that offers a pleasant aroma rather than one that smells like a shot of Smirnoff has been an art form in itself.

I have to admit, as I watched many people accomplish lifelong bucket lists during quarantine, I was just happy to get through each day with my sanity and health in tact. Crossing off my to do’s. Finishing a conference call. Catching up with friends on Zoom. And getting dinner ready by 6 pm. That was good enough for me.

There were days when I thought I’d never leave the house. The computer. The phone. Or the kitchen.

There were afternoons I thought I’d end up circling my yard in a shower cap.

But I didn’t.

I mean, I guess when I look back upon the past year, I didn’t really accomplish anything noteworthy. Some wrote novels. Some got in amazing shape.

Others threw out anything that didn’t spark joy a la Marie Kondo.

I ate enough tortilla chips to feed all of Texas. I did aerobics. (Yes I said aerobics). I got on my Peloton here and there. I met deadlines, I laughed and spent glorious quality time with my husband and kids. (We played a lot of poker.) I stayed in touch with friends, and I folded a $hit ton of laundry. Not necessarily in that order.

I also watched a lot of Hulu and HBO. And often pretended the characters (Carrie and Miranda especially) knew me.

It was awesome and at times, borderline pathetic. Yet weirdly cathartic.

Then again, I never wandered around my yard in foam rollers and slippers. And I tried my best to be positive (not Covid positive) despite it all. So maybe I accomplished something worthwhile after all…