Happy Alpacas

When businesses began to re-open in the middle of May 2020, I was still licking my wounds from “missing out” on New Year’s Eve, Spring Break, and several kids and adults birthday parties that fell during the stay-at-home order. The kids’ parties had morphed into suburban drive-bys, and the adult parties shifted from party buses to Zoom calls (I also learned you could, in fact, “Irish Goodbye” from a Zoom call). All these missed events hit me hard in May. They were annoyances I told myself would be “over soon.

I now realize that “over soon” is just a stage of denial. 

Since quarantine began, we missed the 4th of July fireworks, a momcation to Miami, countless kids’ summer camp field trips, some Fall youth sports, and attending live sporting events. 

For my readers not familiar with FOMO’s acronym (probably just my parents), it stands for: Fear of Missing Out. FOMO was a common 2020 theme for me. I feared missing all the things. I now realize my real fear was eliminating all the distractions that kept me busy enough not to be alone with my thoughts. The busyness kept me out of a home full of people that hadn’t been together for more than 48-hours straight in a very long time and weren’t the best at communicating with each other. 

Unlearn old truths.

I thought nights out and more adults-only time was the answer to my loneliness and isolation. It wasn’t. Why wasn’t it?

Blogging has helped me reflect inward to understand myself better. Each story I write is the emotional equivalent to crossing terrain on a mountain—rocky, foggy at times, and exhausting. It’s been crucial I keep looking upward to reach the euphoric Summit (something I learned the hard way when I was climbing the Manitou Incline in Colorado Springs). 

Since the pandemic started, I’ve had to relearn how to appreciate the little things. I’ve had to unlearn to rely on manufactured happiness, orchestrated activities, and overstimulation. 

Enjoy the ride.

Somehow along the way, I became willing to embrace my new quieter life whole-heartedly. About a month ago, we chose to spend more time together in even smaller confinement. We traveled to Deer Creek Lodge, one of Ohio’s state parks, to enjoy one of the last beautiful fall weekends with the foliage still on the trees. 

What I realize about journeys is “the ride” is just as beautiful as the destination. Through Ohio, the southwest drive lent itself to spectacular views of the gorgeous deciduous trees in all their autumnal glory. The kids were excited to take pics through their windows, and I even let my son open an Instagram account to post his favorites.

Our Mini Journey Guide

Our daughter loved being our journey guide on our family hikes. She resembled an adorable baby Yoda dressed in a colorful puffer jacket and sporting rainbow-colored streaks in her hair from the leftover hair chalk from her birthday party—which has turned out to be entirely portable and an excellent investment!

I fell in love with baby alpacas at an alpaca farm (as shown in featured image), proclaimed them my new spirit animal, and we all got to experience alpaca flatulence. 

We drove aimlessly and pulled over to play at a random park. My husband and son “had a catch,” and my daughter enjoyed old-school playground equipment (and yes, metal teeter-totters are still scary AF).  

Both kids loved the throwback arcade games and swimming in the indoor pool at the lodge. We went to a restaurant for the first time as a family since the pre-pandemic. 

Let it Go.

It was a perfect Fall weekend, and I happened to have “missed out” on an enjoyable Oktoberfest party…but it hit different this time. I realize I’m now a recovering FOMOholic. 

I no longer daydream about the global pandemic being “over soon” because it cramps my style. I realize my style might be a little more avant-garde than it used to be. Here’s to living my best life amid all the uncertainty. 

How has your opinion changed over the months? Are you living your best life? I am sending you all my peace and love. Stay avant-garde!