For our family, last year’s Mother’s Day manifested in the strangest way: a short, outdoor, socially-distant “brunch” of mimosas and donuts with the extended family, each in its own chalked-off portion of the driveway. Definitely not an experience I had ever put on my bucket list, although joyous in its own way. It felt surreal, but the pandemic was still kinda new(ish), and it seemed doubly-important in 2020 to celebrate the matriarch of our family, who REEEEALLLLY missed her grandkids.
I think I was still in the go-get-em, we-can-do-hard-things mindset of early COVID, semi-enthusiastically adapting to online school, loooooots of family time, and the complete upheaval of our lives due to the pandemic.
Fast-forward to a year later and here we are, still in it, but my can-do attitude has shifted to a feeling best summed up in the excellent NY Times article, “Languishing.” The feeling is described as follows:
It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing. Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
The previously-mentioned mindset of adapting and making the most of it all has given way to a washed-out fatigue that accompanies big to-dos. Finding a name for it has given me a strange sort of comfort, in knowing that it’s common and most of us are experiencing it to some degree this year.
In that vein, what I really want this year is both small and huge: a healthy dose of sunshine, a few hours of relaxation, and the ultimate wish that this be the last socially-distant Mother’s Day. I relish the thought! With hope on the horizon, as the adults in our family count down their final days before being fully inoculated, it feels like that is certainly something to celebrate.
I reached out to our contributors to ask what they would like to receive or plan to give this Mother’s Day. Here are a few of their responses:
“I would love a day that is planned with all the stuff I like. My favorite breakfast stuff, house cleaned, a nice long walk, maybe some time in the sun on the water, some time to myself to nap or read. A clean house and meals planned is really where it’s at for me.”
“I’m personally getting a mom themed tattoo with my sister this year. My own mom is asking for some home renovations(all the men in our families are basically contractors). From a few of my friends—they are asking for more experience-themed gifts this year.”
“Giving an Apple Card so my parents can get a new iPad to keep us connected. Wishing for a pedicure. It’s been too long! And roller skates because my kids have them and I want to roller skate through the house, too.”