To our Herd,
I wish you and your families are safe and healthy during this crazy time we are living. This has truly been a trying time for all of us as we continue to navigate the waters of this global pandemic.
When we put together our editorial calendar at the end of 2019 for 2020, I never imagined how significantly important our decision was to make the September magazine the “wellness and mindfulness” issue. The AYA cancer community is already one all too familiar with social isolation but mixing in a novel virus just amplifies the stress and anxiety you all experience during treatments and before scans.
This magazine issue is one that focuses on all the struggle’s cancer patients face. It also focuses on ways the AYA cancer community can overcome those struggles. From taking a leap of faith, finding the strength from within, believing in who you are, and not letting cancer define you, I genuinely believe there is something for everyone in this issue.
Your own wellness and mindfulness are extremely important. Finding a way to discover the balance you need in your life is something we all need to do, and it comes in different aspects for all of us. Whether it is working out, doing yoga, joining a book club, finding inspiration quotes to remind you how awesome you are each day or finding a new group on Zoom to interact with, the answer is different for all of us.
For me during this pandemic, it was our new weekly happy hour group we started on Friday’s at 5:30pm Eastern.
It began with the intention to just check in on our readers and followers. It seemed liked a great way to just have a drink with some new faces while we all deal with COVID-19. I expected that this would not last more than a month or two and planned on closing it come end of June.
Boy, was I wrong…
Not only do we plan on continuing this happy hour for good, I have met so many people I now call good friends of mine. We all “signed on” really with little expectations and only a couple of people really “knew” each other before we started this happy hour. We now have 15-20 people on each week, laughing, crying, joking and just being friendly and happy together. It is truly amazing to watch firsthand new friendships form right before my eyes.
I get emotional just thinking about this next part and how important this group is to me and my wellness right now. This happy hour group (outside of the grandparents and Uncle Steve) is the only consistent group of people our 6-month-old daughter has interacted with since birth because of COVID-19. This new group of friends that for the most part I have never met before, has seen our daughter grow up from a peanut, barely moving on her own, to now squirming around in my arms trying to take a bite out of the computer screen.
Is the screen time the best thing for Tessie? No. But the social interaction and joy that she gets, and we get as parents to see this interaction has been one that we would never have had if not for this global pandemic. I thank this new group of friends from the bottom of my heart for being so amazing to each other and my family.
I hope you all find inspiration for your own wellness and mindfulness in this magazine issue.