2021 Greetings from Abby and Darcy

Happy 2021!

I hope that you and yours had a wonderful, if different, holiday season full of joy, health, and relaxation. I know that I did not get near as much accomplished as I had planned during the last two weeks of the year, but just hanging out without a schedule for two weeks was glorious! Abby was also happy for all the extra cuddle time and developed a habit of riding on my shoulder. She will now sit and look up at you, waiting for you to squat down so she can jump up there. Then once you’re upright again, she lays down holding on to one shoulder with her paws.

It’s super cute, though a little painful for 9 pounds to be awkwardly placed on your neck.

At the end of 2020, I asked KASFAA members to share at least one positive experience they had during 2020. There were so many things that people were grateful for.

  • New babies and grandbabies
    • There were at least three new KASFAA babies and at least two new KASFAA grandbabies arrive in 2020
    • A new grandchild was acquired after the fun of COVID wedding planning
  • Family
    • More time for family
    • One parent with a college freshman and high school senior really appreciated the opportunity to have more (unexpected) time to spend with them at home
    • Forced stepping down from outside responsibilities that opened up a lot of time with their family that they’d been wishing for
    • Working from home allows people to see what their retired spouse does all day long
    • Children getting engaged
    • Children finishing degrees
    • Having parents move closer, as in next door
    • Cherished moments when there was an opportunity to see a friend or family member
  • Travel
    • Nature vacation with spouse
    • First vacation in 20 years of marriage!
    • Visiting grandbabies
    • Rediscovering nature
  • Health and Lifestyle
    • There have been several members who have had COVID in varying degrees of severity. All of them expressed gratitude that they survived it
    • Children (especially high-risk ones) avoiding COVID even when parents had it
    • Thankful that their lifestyle didn’t experience extreme changes due to pandemic living
    • Several members were thankful that they and their loved ones have remained healthy throughout the duration
    • Slowed down lifestyle
    • Opportunity to focus on healthy behaviors (yay for running again!)
    • Better hygiene habits
    • Forced rest periods
  • Work
    • Opportunity to move 1000 miles to take a new job that they love (welcome to KS!)
    • Getting to see people’s faces in virtual meetings instead of just having conference calls of old
    • Working from home provided insight that upcoming retirement won’t be so bad
    • Encouraged by the ingenuity, creativity, and versatility witness by so many in our community
  • Pets
    • Provided humorous moments during virtual meetings that was much needed
    • The pupper who was adopted at the end of 2019 that provided a reason to get up and moving and get outside, as well as lots of snuggles and mental/emotional support
    • Opportunity to spend more time at home with my aging cat (Would you believe Abby is almost 16?)

2020 was not a year full of rainbows and kittens. I know that many suffered losses, had family emergencies, and had to navigate working through those with new rules and safety guidelines to abide by. For some it was just a crap year (even disregarding the toilet paper shortage). For all of you, I’m wrapping you in extra (long-distance) hugs. However, one thing I know about FAAs, and Kansans, in particular, is that we’re a resilient bunch. I know that we will continue to bounce back, move forward, and lean on each other when we need support.

I was just getting ready to wish everyone a refreshed and positive 2021, and started getting texts from my friends about what is going on at the US Capitol (It’s January 6th that I’m writing this). So I’m just going to say this: now, more than ever we need to continue to work together, support each other, and love each other, no matter what.

I love my KASFAA family and I hope these positive outlooks can bring some hope to you. HUGS!

Darcy Johnson
KASFAA President

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