also known as
THE 4-LETTER YEAR
Roller coasters are fun. All the tight turns, steep slopes, sudden drops, and sometimes being turned upside down. We PAY to get on them, get locked in, and throw our hands in the air like we don’t care. The world record-breaking “Steel Vengeance” just debuted at Cedar Point Amusement Park (Erie County, OH) in May 2018 as the world’s tallest and fastest hybrid coaster with the steepest drop (90 degrees), longest drop (200 feet), most inversions (four), and most airtime (27.2 seconds) on any hybrid coaster. At 5,740 feet, it’s also the world’s longest hybrid coaster. I’m starting a petition to change its name from “Steel Vengeance” to “2020”.
Yesterday I just needed a break from all-things-2020. Anyone else? My mind wondered waaayyyy back to June 2019 to (my baby) John’s high school graduation. I was sitting snuggly by my amazing husband, Jack, my brilliant college sophomore daughter Emily and our entire family. By entire, I’m talking 4 grandparents, 3 aunts, 1 uncle, and 4 (virtual) cousins. We all packed into our family’s 8 allotted seats. But no one really cared. It was a day of celebration, back when no one imagined a world with mandatory masks or being banned from squeezing 11 people into 8 chairs. John was heading out to stake his claim in the world with a new exciting chapter called College Life. AND he was heading to beautiful Stanford University (yes, on-campus). John turned his high school tassel, and we turned into empty nesters…for all of 187 days.
Then we all know what turned 2020 into a 4-letter word. I won’t say it, you know. Even if you live under a rock, you’re most likely wearing an animal-print mask to show your love for Tiger King. FUN FACT: 2020 also shares the same tagline as us Empty Nesters: “NOW WHAT?” or maybe “WHAT NEXT” or a crowd favorite “HOLD MY BEER.”
It’s pretty comical in September 2020 to reminisce on how lost I felt with all the change and uncertainty of that day in 2019. . .especially given all the uncertainties we’re currently facing. And who knows? In a year from now, we may be like, “Y’all, it wasn’t that big of a deal,” or “High Five all you Moms, we made it through.”
Let’s all throw our hands in the air like we don’t care! It’s time. I’m ready, and here’s my list of things to keep us from going crazy and taking this inversion like a champ:
- Try 5 New Lipsticks. If the colors are terrible, no one will see (thanks mask), you may strike gold and find a new fantastic shade, AND if enough of us do this, we could collectively save the suffering lipstick industry!
- Test 3 New Perfumes. If they’re bad, you won’t smell the stink nor will any other masked person.
- Eat at a New Restaurant. If it’s terrible, chalk it up to: “Well, we helped a small business survive another day!”
- If You’re Lazy, This Is Your Season! Enjoy not worrying about things like crazy chin hairs, teeth-whitening, or lip fillers. Yep, mask.
- Wear Something That Makes YOU Smile. Blue mascara, cowboy boots, your out-grown favorite graphic t-shirt, perhaps deodorant. Even if it’s only for the trip to the mailbox, rock that walk.
- Pass on The Dystopian Movies For Now. Take it from me, top of the don’t-watch-during-a-pandemic list: The Handmaid’s Tale and The Walking Dead.
- Think You Greet People With Minty-Fresh Breath? The 2020 Mask Mandates give us a great opportunity for a little self-check. *note to self: buy more Tic-Tacs.
- Set a Time to End the Day. Then relax. Ahhhh.
- Cut Back on: “I wish life was back to normal.“ Make normal like a roller coaster ride; sit down, strap in, throw them hands and in enjoy the ride! *screaming optional
Take It & Fly
I. Remember The 5-Minute Journal is amazing! https://amzn.to/35iv47p or go to our EMPTY NESTER ESSENTIALS page!
II. Join the Proverbs 31 Bible Study! It officially started September 14, but it’s never too late to start! It’s free and all online. https://proverbs31.org/study/online-bible-studies/40-days
III. Throw those arms up and remember how blessed we are: NO ZOMBIES!
P.S. I’m in one of my happy places in the photo below-South Africa, where both my babies were born. Also one of my happy songs: Africa, by Toto.
We’d LoVe to see a photo of you in YOUR HAPPY PLACE! Share with us and we’ll share with as many mask-wearing peeps we can find!