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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

This Time Last Year

This time last year, we were desperately trying to find toilet paper and Clorox wipes. I remember seeing the empty aisles at the grocery stores, and coming home with what I could get my hands on. We didn’t really understand what was going on but still figured we’d stock up on groceries for about two weeks and make sure the gas tank was full. This would soon past, right?

As the months went by, panic started to set in. We started realizing that normal was somewhere in the clouds and not coming back down anytime soon. Working from home, homeschooling our children, attending church on Zoom, and of course masking up. This was our "new normal."

Whew, yall! My anxiety was high - higher than usual - and there were no answers to my questions. But as a Black woman I knew all too well how to go into survival mode, so I focused on how to make it through. Truth is, we all did.

Any given day on social media, someone was telling us to hustle hard and never stop. Surely, it would be a shame to come out of this global pandemic and not have at least three businesses under your belt.

If you kept scrolling, there would be someone else reassuring you it was okay to cry and sleep and eat and binge Netflix. You were crazy not to take bubble baths, get your rest, and have another glass of wine… and another.

Many of us took the bait, bouncing from one extreme to another, desperately trying to find where we fit in. Instead of working on a business plan, I discovered new ways to manage my anxiety by walking two-miles every morning, drinking less coffee and staying connected to family. Focusing on my mental health was the key for me.

I took things a step further by ditching all my writing and book deadlines, and just focused on the writing. I started a Facebook group to encourage others to do the same. My blog took on a new voice and I continued to teach online.

During March, Women’s History Month, I found myself looking back on 2020 with a grateful heart as a woman, a Black woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and writer. I thought about what I managed to accomplish during a pandemic - maintaining my peace. I also thought about all that I have to be thankful for. This past year could have wiped me out physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. It tried but didn’t succeed. Nothing is perfect, including the quarantine weight I gained.

It has been a good year in that I was able to get in tune with myself, and find out what was truly important. Despite setbacks and sidesteps, I’m still here. And if you’re reading this so are you. We made it through.

2021 is going to be a good year, simply because you say so. It’s your decision whether to start a business, or binge Bridgerton for the third time. It's your decision whether to carry the baggage or let it go. You have control of this scenario. You can start, stop, pause, rewind, think about it, or do nothing at all. You're going to do your best, because you know exactly what you need. All you need is a moment, so take it. Take many if you have to. You won't be alone.


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