As we bid adieu to this wretched year, we find ourselves doing what we were doing just as the virus descended upon and around us and the world…. walking and hiking on snow covered trails and paths in the Colorado mountains. Granted, back then we had no idea what path lay ahead. I mean we hadn’t even experienced TP shortages yet. We still thought, just a few months and this thing will get under control and we can resume normalcy. Silly rabbit…
As the promising news of vaccines and treatments teases us with that eventual return to some kind of normal, or at least a different one resembling what we had before, it’s worth noting what was accomplished this year.
1. Off to a Great Start. We did start the process of getting settled in Portugal. We got moved in, started learning the language and started adjusting to post-career lives. That all came to a screaming halt, but it was fun while it lasted and waits for our return which seems to be relatively imminent, all things considered, once shots are in arms.
2. Fala português? We made huge advances in learning Portuguese. We’ve been taking lessons via Skype twice per week since early February. We love the school we used (the Portuguese connection in Lisbon) and have had three lovely and excellent teachers. We supplemented a bit with Rosetta Stone and Duolingo (290 days straight, as I write) which helps more than it hurts even though both are not European Portuguese.
3. Bring on the Zoom. We made do socializing via laptop and iPhone. One thing we were most worried about as we planned to leave our known lives behind was how we’d keep in touch with our families and friends. COVID regrettably taught us all how to do that, which should be helpful down the line as we find ourselves celebrating holidays or just being in geographically distant locales.
4. Together Again, and Again, and Again. We didn’t kill each other, or for that matter even drive each other crazy, too much. Neither of us really ever thought or worried about this as we planned to take off, but others would be somewhat concerned. “Just how much time can the two of you spend together, with just each other?” they’d ask. We didn’t think the answer was going to be circa 100% but that’s what it’s been with some rare exceptions of must-run errands outside the bubble or a few solo walks and hikes and it’s worked out just fine. Great, even.
So, as we anxiously await the vaccine and make tentative plans to head back across the pond for a while this summer, I guess 2020 brought us some upside and gifts and taught us some things the way only this despicable year could.
Bom ano and bring on 2021! Cheers.