Well its a New Year, New You? Or is it a New Year, New Variant?

The lines can get so easily blurred in a pandemic it can be hard to decipher where our goals start and at the same time, where reality settles.

We once again find ourselves at a cross roads during this seemingly never ending pandemic.

Toss in a new year, a time traditionally set for setting goals, plans, and resolutions for the year ahead and yet another lockdown in Ontario and the mere thought of planning anything for the future is exhausting.

We’ve been playing a game of hurry up and wait for almost two years.

A long way off from ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’.

Pandemic fatigue is real and has probably struck each and every one of us in some capacity.

A large percentage of the population has done their due diligence to science.

Read up on the subject, listened to the advice of professionals, got vaccinated, and got vaccinated again.

Yet we’re still locked down and out from the very things we’ve been working so hard to bring back some sense of normalcy.

At best, personally, I’d like to pretend as much as possible that things are ok.

Embracing a more sedentary lifestyle. Attempting to buy online, support local, and grab take out from local eateries in an effort to not just boost local economy – but to give myself a break from the monotony of cooking everything myself.

While kids are back to online learning, as hard and frustrating as it can be – I choose to find the silver lining.

If I can’t look at things from an optimistic angle then what even is the point?

Falling further down a well of darkness and despair doesn’t sound enticing so I reach for those little glimmers of hope and hold tight with all that I am.

So for online learning – I embrace that I am given the opportunity to have a glimpse into the educational lives of my children.

I get to actually see first hand how their teachers are and how fantastically they have adapted in the face of the struggles that this pandemic has thrown at us.

The unique and creative ways they’ve found to mitigate all of the negative factors that learning online can entail have been nothing short of amazing.

Perhaps I’ve been lucky over these past three school years to be blessed with teachers that have really found a new stride in all of this. Or maybe by taking things from a glass half full perspective has truly aided in my outlook on all of these things.

Yes my kids miss their friends – but they’ve found new ways to engage socially and have taken things outdoors more and even made more friendships by engaging with those that have embraced the outdoors more as well.

Yes my kids are tired of the pandemic and going virtual – but they’ve adapted my outlook and are thankful for the mornings which are a lot less rushed without having to catch a bus.

They’re thankful to be able to finish school and immediately already be at home.

They’re happy that they’re not eating a lunch packed away in little containers and instead embracing more options for food because they’re eating at home where variety exists more so than the confines of their lunch bag.

My daughter has never known what ‘normal’ school is like and is perhaps a bit more shy because of it. However instead of focusing on what could be or should be, we’ve discussed ways to push herself a little further in social situations.

She goes to the playground and introduces herself and asks those around her for their names – something she might not have done otherwise if she had a consistent small circle of friends to rely on.

Outside of kids and education, we have discovered the value of shopping for groceries online. As full time working parents, making time to go to the grocery store could be a half day affair and often happened weekly if not more.

The pandemic has forced businesses to adapt and find new ways to be accessible.

Now we can keep a grocery cart open, plan further ahead, budget better, and when it does come time to pick up the groceries, a half day excursion has dwindled to a mere half an hour as we drive to the store, pick up our order, and come home and pack it all away. Leaving us more time to spend time as a family, more time to work on projects in our house, and more time to just find some peace and quiet in a loud and crazy world.

By saving money doing our shopping online, we can better budget for doing more take out meals as well which has enabled us to help support some of our favourite local establishments. All of which are struggling tremendously with rules that constantly change and lockdowns that force them to pivot and pivot again.

A lot of them too however have found new and innovative ways to keep afloat.

Take out specials, family meals, and even making some of their meals as freezer packages so you can stock up and have something ready to go with little work another night.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for all restaurants, and admittedly this model doesn’t work for all of them – and we have lost some great places.

And maintaining a positive outlook is by no means easy either especially when it is much easier to go up in arms against everyone else’s choices and decisions.

Getting sucked into the darkness and negativity is incredibly easy and a very slippery slope.

Finding your stride during a pandemic is no easy task – especially when ever few weeks or months as soon as you think you are managing, the government changes things once again.

Our friends and family have lost businesses, jobs, even lives.

There has been so much lost in all of this that pandering to the negativity would be – and is – so easy to get wrapped up in.

Perhaps it’s being jaded and naive or maybe privilege or sheer luck that has landed upon myself or others where we can wake up each day, glass half full, and find the sparkle in each day, hold tight to the hope, and stride right through with a smile on our faces.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their choice to do what they will with their body.

Everyone has a different story.

Everyone is fighting a different battle.

How we choose to live our lives and engage with others, supporting ourselves and others not just because it’s the right thing to do – but even despite the challenges and choices we all make.

Trying to spread that little bit of sparkle and hope to those that are near and dear to us in the hopes that maybe it will help make what will hopefully be the final straw in this pandemic a little more tolerable.

While sickness and disease are here to stay and always did exist.

While government controversy and varying opinions will almost always be heated.

While you will never get everyone all in one room and have everyone agree with one side of the story.

Why not find the hope – hold onto the sparkle – and top that glass up a little bit more in an effort to even out our stride, settle the pace, and make it through this next year by making it not just a great year – but a great year despite the odds.

We can – and we will do this.





Guest Blogger Rayna Davies

Rayna is the Office Manager at Sentinel Security, as well as the main blog contributor.

With foundations firmly routed in Business administration, Customer Service, and Management, she brings years of experience to her roles both within the Sentinel office, and the blog.

Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details.  These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities.

Her passions include spending time with her husband and two young children, world travel, reading, writing, and pushing herself to always look for the silver lining.