December 5, 2020
Like most this year, our anniversary fell amid the pandemic. We were excited about going to one of our “fancy” (read expensive) restaurants for a special meal. The date came as the cases soared and the Governor recommended restaurants drop to 25% capacity. We have tried to be diligent and avoid going out unless needed. This seemed like a bad time to go sit unmasked in an enclosed indoor space with other people. We were both disappointed but decided to do the right thing and stay at home.
When we married 11 years ago, I made plans to make the day special. Melissa was still in Arkansas, and said I could plan everything, as long as it was not a big deal Since Melissa was a runner, I thought it would be fun to have a family 5K followed by breakfast. This was the Saturday of the community Christmas parade that I helped plan and had participated in for five years, so that was next. Then we were to be married in the afternoon. That sounded like a lot to Melissa, but she agreed that would be fine. Several friends worked with local media and they got wind of what we planned for our special day. They ended up interviewing us for a local TV station and a spot in the newspaper. Melissa asked if I understood what “a big deal” meant.
When we talked about how to make the day special early in the week, Melissa told me she did not want to do a meal at home. This was too much like what we do every day. I was resigned to this as well. That is when I thought we should think outside the box. Even though it might be similar, how could we do something to make it feel different? It ended up we were both on the same wavelength. Melissa surprised me with an early gift, and I surprised her with flowers and a special meal. Then we did something we had never done before. We binge watched Star Trek Discovery. It was a special day.
Thoughts: One of the good things I found amid the pandemic is been being forced to think about what we have always done. So many things are done because we have always done them, and often without thinking about why. Like our special day, we are now pressed to do things differently. Sometimes we realize what we have always done is no longer important. Sometimes we create new ways to celebrate. And sometimes, we do the same thing in new ways to make it special. Regardless of which way we go, the day becomes special because we know why and what we are doing. That is what ultimately makes it special. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.