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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest · #2241473
January Taboo words contest - sometimes you take a new path to reach your destination.
Entered in January's Taboo Words Contest
FRESH START taboo words: new, change, start over, resolution, promise or any derivatives of these words.

Every year she told herself the same thing, she would succeed this time. 'This year was going to be different', she would say; 'it would work', she vowed. Attitude, determination, teamwork; all the details down in writing and the goal of a dream vacation to a tropical destination in a bright two piece, the end result. Her bestie was ready to make it happen with her. But as the days started to be ticked off on the yoga kitty calendar, the rut just got bigger and bigger. Life, then, just took over. No goals met. Again.

Work. Visiting elderly parents. Weekly girls' night out for dinner and drinks. A few walks in the park with a water bottle in one hand and Fitbit on the other and the determination to start to her annual goals.

Every year it was the same. It would start out with hope but then dwindle into a bunch of flimsy excuses and the tropical dream was never realized. This year would be different. Or would it?

It began the same and then something happened; something that took the entire world by surprise - an unwelcomed surprise.
It was called - Covid19. And it was something that no one had prepared for, planned for, or wanted. It was all over the news, all encompassing, all consuming. And then, another surprise on one expected - the world shut down. Literally. For a few weeks in early spring, life ground to a literal halt.

She was told not to come to work until there was updated direction and a safety plan in place. She was told she couldn't see her friends; couldn't go out for dinner; couldn't go to the gym...couldn't...the list just grew.

"This is unbelievable," she offered a whispered groan as she sat in front of the TV watching the news with two eyes, while two thumbs frantically texted her group chat.

Are you out of work? Can you go shopping? Where can I buy a mask? Will I run out of toilet paper?

"Toilet paper? Are you kidding me? That's the least of my worries!" She exclaimed in frustration after the first dismal weeks had trudged by.

She stared at herself in the mirror and frowned. Hair was limp, clothes baggy and somewhat...boring and the look of defeat all over her face. She had the perfect excuse for letting another year go by with unfulfilled goals. Covid. It stifled everything that gave her inspiration.

A few more weeks passed by and she wondered if she'd ever get to go back to her front of the house manager job at a local eatery. She loved that place. It was family owned and operated, and like her second home. News finally came. They had to scale back. But she was valued so they made her a choice - be a delivery driver for them or help in the kitchen with take-out orders.

Both were almost foreign to her and something she never thought she'd do, but the neighborhood voiced their support; she needed some kind of income, and she felt loyal to them. Cook it would be. She didn't cook. She'd have to learn fast.

That was one of her goals - try something different. Check.

She was somewhat within walking distance, so she bought a pair of sneakers from the local cobbler and went to work.

Second goal started - get in shape. Check.

Then she heard of something called Zoom. She wasn't big with the online stuff, but she needed a way to keep connected to her friends and this seemed like a good alternative.

Soon Friday nights weren't so lonely or boring and it was their alternative hangout. A glass of wine, soft music, favorite comfy clothes, and a group of friends, all talking about their week and the changed situations in their lives.

Their first meeting, her eyes welled as she couldn't give anyone a physical hug, and she longed for that in-person company. But they all felt it, and she wasn't alone. They laughed, cried, told jokes, cursed, and drank away their sorrows.

Life had changed. Covid had forced an about face. It was bleak at first. But as the years' end neared, she had developed different skills; expanded her friend base and lost a few pounds. She was on track. It wasn't how she had planned to reach her future destination, but it was working. And it taught her to appreciate what she had when she had it, because life can change - just like that!

*Feedback would be most appreciated to help me grow. thanks!
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