High Hopes

I had high hopes for my 40th year on the planet.

Back in December 2019, I was excited about 2020’s potential. I was about to take my FIRST EVER airplane trip to my FIRST TIME at Disney World. Exciting, right? Plus, I actually couldn’t wait to turn 40 in April, because I’d be running my third marathon on my birthday.

But then, over Christmas vacation, I acquired a sinus infection that held me captive for an entire month. I was supposed to be actively training and trying to lose a few pounds in January. Instead, I was forced to rest, and resigned to my bad bingeing habits.

Once my body healed in February, I was able to do the four SRRC races in Selinsgrove, which led up to the big Disney trip, where I did the Disney Princess 5K. My hope finally gained some momentum, and as I inched closer to the April 26th marathon, I thought I might have a chance at finishing, despite my horrendous lack of training.

I came back from Disney, and two weeks later, while indulging in some Caramel Creams, one of my molars (complete with porcelain crown and post) decided it couldn’t tolerate my terrible diet choices any more. I felt it break, so I reached in and pulled it out. Don’t worry, I’m not in pain, but I’ll probably eventually have to get the rest of it removed. I just had to relearn how to chew.

Despite that, I was thankful for my health. When I went to Disney, there was talk of COVID-19. There was some, but not a lot of concern. We all knew about China, but the threat wasn’t real in the US. Yet.

Exactly a month later, I am isolated in my apartment, thanks to COVID-19. I am working from home, but I get to see my colleagues on Skype every day. I have plenty of healthy food, fresh water, and a tank of guppies to keep me company. Fortunately, I can still get out for a run and enjoy some of that March sunshine. So yeah, I have a lot to be thankful for…

But I’m still a little resentful.

A few days before the quarantine started, I learned that the New Jersey Marathon had been postponed until November. I was sad, but grateful that I’d have more time to train.

Despite the cancellation, I still had high hopes that the West Branch Chorale concert would be happening (which I would have been missing due to the race). Then, I got the word that there would be no more Chorale this season (our 50th Anniversary season too)! The concerts were cancelled altogether. We were working on some absolutely beautiful music and rehearsals were going very well. Plus, singing with the Chorale was about the only musical thing I had left besides my floundering solo career. Okay, practically nonexistent solo career.

So much for my epic 40th birthday.

Now, I could be sitting here wallowing in self-pity, as I’m sure a lot of you may be tempted to do. After all, it seems our lives have been put on hold. Some, like me, are blessed to be able to work from home. Others have lost their jobs entirely and don’t know how they’re going to face the future. Those of us who can still work should count ourselves fortunate, even if we can’t do the social activities that keep us all sane. Or even if we can’t find bananas at the local supermarket.

Amidst the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19, I have peace and hope. I know that God is still in control of all of this chaos. Even if I never get to run another race or perform another concert, or even celebrate turning 40 with family and friends, I can rest assured that He will make something good out of this situation.

Keep jogging!

Jackie Joy










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s