Rob Oxford returns

Sunday, January 3, 2021

By Rob Oxford

Where do I begin?

With a new year of course!

Call it writer’s block, procrastination, the effects of a pandemic or a lack of confidence, for the past 8 months I have been unable and quite frankly uninterested in writing.

Christmas cards included.

Perhaps I'd subconsciously been struggling with the realization that although I enjoy writing and reporting immensely, I have no professional training. My thoughts, words and opinions are my own exclusively and may not necessarily be shared or even appreciated by others?

I began to doubt my worth and was severely lacking motivation.

Thankfully the kick in the pants I needed came yesterday when I opened an email from a reader of SAN. Among other things they expressed “missing seeing your articles…”.

One person. One email. That’s all it took to get me back in the saddle? To this anonymous reader I am humbly grateful.

This "drought" appears to have started with the publishing of my piece last April (Shoreline Area News: Rob Oxford: Already Making Plans) in which I admitted for the first time to “feeling the (pandemic) funk.” Until that point, having been deemed an “essential worker,” I thought I would be immune to the ensuing “Covid Blues” and for a while I was.

Then came Summer and the closures. A rather uneventful summer. With a pending election, the continuous political bombardments alone were enough to drive anyone insane, but in addition we couldn’t do anything or go anywhere and had to deal with misinformation and in some cases concerning Covid-19, a total lack thereof. Understandably it was an extremely fluid, still developing situation, but we wanted answers and no one had any.

On top of it all I had just refinanced our home, was excited to begin a whole host of much need repairs and before I could begin was sidelined with Sciatica, a bad hip and back. This was shaping up to be a most memorable year indeed.

My wife and I were able to take a few camping trips, spent some time at my in-laws’ cabin, worked in the yard and tried to live a normal existence, but slowly everyone had started to realize this thing wasn’t going away soon and it just might affect the upcoming school year.

Restaurants were closed, city parks, public pools, beaches and movie theatres. Farmers markets stood in limbo. Festivals were being cancelled left and right as were vacations. The gravity of the situation was becoming more and more obvious. On top of that, we had to try and keep our children at home and away from their friends ... during the summer?

June quickly turned into July and July into August. Still hoping for an end to the pandemic, the high school football season started without high school football. A year that was guaranteed to produce big things for the Scots of 2021. Although the season has not been officially cancelled, the WIAA’s hope for an abridged spring season seems doubtful. Still, as the father of a high school senior football player and fan of the game, I remain optimistic.

For the time being online learning has become the norm. At first it presented many challenges and, in some cases, still does, but observing my wife and her fellow teachers and paraeducators connecting with and motivating their students via Zoom is a thing of beauty. It really should be observed. Adapting to difficult and unfamiliar situations, our teachers deserve our respect and admiration more now than ever before.

Thanks to the scientists, epidemiologists, doctors, nurses and countless volunteers, the vaccine has arrived, immunizations have started and the “healing” of a nation has begun. Whether you plan on being a part of the cure or not is your decision and perhaps a topic for my next column? We’ll see.

Meantime, last April's article referenced above contains a list of 29 things I plan on doing as soon as possible. You're welcome to join me or make a list of your own.

REMINDER: If you're coming to Regina, SK with me to see my Aunt Lois (#10), you'll need a Passport.

There is finally a little light at the end of the tunnel. For the Shorecrest Scots and Shorewood Thunderbirds of 2021 it may not be the "Friday Night Lights" they had hoped for, but this light will better illuminate their paths forward.


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