Sunday, March 22, 2020

#sol20 Day 22 So Many Changes

I let my mind wander as I completed my 2020 Census form.  So much had changed in the past 10 years. I had lost my parents, my marriage, my home. I had moved to a new state, become a mother in law, gained grandchildren. I had "retired" and I was now teaching teachers rather than struggling readers.

In 2010, I remember we got the "long form" of the Census, a thick packet where you blackened out or wrote in answers with a #2 pencil. We sat together at the counter sharing a bottle of wine while we answered many questions about our parents, children, jobs, home. Dinner was late that night thanks to the long form.

In 2000, we were knee deep in college decision making, likely sitting around the table, in Friendly's, where we went to make big decisions. We would soon have three in college. I remember going to Friendly's to make the college decision but I can't remember doing the Census.

In 1990, we were likely overwhelmed with spring dance and baseball schedules as well as work, yard work, and the challenge to get through each week. I can't remember doing the Census, but I can remember getting notes in the front door asking about a convenient time for someone to come and collect the data! Family life was intense at that point.

In 1980, we were likely in survival mode balancing a newborn and careers. We were sleep deprived and stressed with mortgage payments! I can't even remember doing the Census, but I can remember getting notes in the front door.

In 1970, my parents filled out the Census on my behalf while our country, and much of the world, was in crisis. Meanwhile, I tried to make decisions about my future.  Colleges had closed early that year, like this year, as we dealt with the devastating effects of an unpopular war and college protests. Family members were pitted against each other as the impacts of questioning authority and loss of life filled the news. I know it was a very stressful spring but I don't remember anything about the Census.  I can remember I was feeling overwhelmed by the scary situation in our world.

So many changes; yet, scary times persist.


Adrienne G. said...

I love the backwards chronology of this post. Funny and sad how 2020 has much in common with 1970.

Pat Holloway said...

This is a great way to connect your life to a required census. It does give us something to measure the years. I enjoy viewing the census of my ancestors. It tells so much: who lived with them, who was in school, neighbors, occupations, etc.

Fran Haley said...

I am amazed by your census memories! It does serve as a fascinating way to take stock of one's life - such an interesting way to reflect, especially working backwards.

Glenda Funk said...

I haven't thought about how the census forces us to walk back through memories regardless of whether or not we want to. Our census form sits unopened. The envelope is thin, so it should be a quick and easy form to complete. I remember the long form from ten years ago. This year the world feels as though there are so many things to count. The census feels less monumental than it has in the past.