Let’s Make Lemonade

Written by Trisha Ries

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade; and 2020 was the biggest lemon of them all. I will be brutally honest and fully admit that it has been a real struggle for me. I work at Whole Foods Market, and have been working from the beginning of the Covid outbreak. My time off is few and far between due to team members who have been out on Covid leave, left the company all together, and the demand of product. I am beyond thankful to have my job, and I do count my lucky stars everyday. The struggle is I found that I have made very little “me time” during the pandemic, and I found myself recently at my breaking point. I requested a week off to reflect and catch a break, and I am so glad that I did. The entire week was spent doing things that I have been putting off for an entire year; I put myself first for once, and it was a real eye opener.

I have been trying my best to live in the moment, and to enjoy new activities as well as some old ones. One of my favorite activities was creating a stained glass mozaic on my best friend’s stoop with sidewalk chalk and masking tape. We spent the afternoon just enjoying the warm weather and each other’s company.

When my husband Jack and I actually have off from work together, we have been enjoying playing board games. I forgot how much I love playing board games! Our current collection consists of Catan, Stupid Deaths, Phase 10, and 13 Deadend Drive. We’re constantly on the lookout for new games to play. We’ll sit and listen to our favorite playlist on spotify, and just enjoy each other’s company.

I even did something new this year, I got my fishing license! The last time I fished I was knee high to a pig’s eye, and threatening to kick my sisters butt for catching more fish than me. There’s something special about spending the morning on the river that I think city folk often miss out on. My husband Jack and I also went camping this year at Happy Acres, and it was gorgeous! I think I was 13 the last time I went camping.

I asked some of my friends what they have been doing to keep themselves busy, and I love the feedback that I received. My sister Rachel (the same one that caught one too many fish for my liking) took up diamond painting. Diamond painting is almost like a paint by number, but with little beads that you glue to the picture. My sister recently finished a Minnie Mouse picture to hang in my niece’s room.

One of my coworkers started a friendly baking battle over Zoom with her other siblings. They will select a new recipe to try, and present each dish over Zoom. The best looking dish wins bragging rights and gets to pick the next recipe. Another fun activity for the adults who don’t want to adult for a night is to play a friendly game of beer pong via Zoom (I can’t wait to try this). Zoom can also be a fun resource for playing other games with friends like Dungeons and Dragons, Code Names, and Pictionary. There are so many things that you can do, and still be safe. Socially distanced bon fires, puzzles, learning to play a new instrument, or even home decorating. Let your imagination run free.

Every morning I’m reminded of how quickly we adapt to change. It was a year ago that everyone’s world seemed to have crashed and burned right before our eyes. Health care workers were the first to experience the wrath of Covid 19, first responders were second, then came the essential grocery store employees, warehouse employees, daily service employees, the list goes on. Then came the layoffs; one by one people were flooding the unemployment website and phone line. All of this seemed far too much to take on; some people faced it head on, some chose to ignore it, some embraced it, and others are barely hanging on by a thread. What helps me get through my day to day is knowing that I am not alone. We are all in this together.