Our editor sends out a schedule well in advance to let everyone in the newsroom know when our Pioneer Perspectives columns will publish.
Mine has fallen on the Saturday, Oct. 3, Weekender edition. The first weekend in October.
Last year on this particular Saturday, I took photos at Bemidji State’s Homecoming Parade, then headed over to a Bemidji High School boys soccer game and then back for the BSU Homecoming football game. (It was a wild one if memory serves me right and the Beavers did indeed end up in the lake).
So in a normal year, I’d be all over town and chugging Red Bull in between. In years before the prior, there was maybe a hockey game at night or some other big news event to cover.
But this year will clearly be different. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and most of our lives have been turned upside down. It’s been almost a year since I’ve shot a football game and who knew I could miss such a thing.
The following weekend would be when the Blue Ox Marathon would be scheduled. Luckily, they’re able to hold the event virtually, but it’s another one of those October happenings I’ll be missing.
However, surprisingly in 2020, I have big plans for this day — Oct. 3.
Today, I’m getting married.
My fiancé proposed in February 2019 and at the time we thought, “Meh, this fall is too soon to plan a big wedding.”
That’s a thought we have a serious cackle about now. We couldn’t have seen the future, though, and no one could have predicted what was coming.
But with a global pandemic, comes the silver linings. I’d be foolish to focus on the fact that I won’t be having a big wedding and that we had to cancel our girls trip to Colorado in June.
Because when it comes down to it, those things are small. Keeping our family and friends healthy is what’s most important.
I’ll be married with just immediate family and a handful of others present and I am elated that I’ll be able to spend more time with those special people.
Our families are healthy and have taken the pandemic seriously, following all the precautions. Those are the things that we’ve focused on through the past few months.
And if you need a good test of your engagement, I’d recommend quarantining and working from home with your partner for half a year. Turns out, we were made for the quarantine life.
So today — Oct. 3 — I’m counting the blessings I do have.
I’m marrying my best friend — the person who I can cry with one minute and laugh to tears with the next — in front of the people who have shaped us into who we are.
This day isn’t what anyone would have expected but it’s still ours and with a little perspective, it’s better than what we could have imagined.
It’s easy to look at what we’re missing out on during these times but it’s important we look around and take stock of what we do have. Hold your loved ones close, and as my colleague Hannah Olson wrote in our last Pioneer Perspectives column — check on your neighbors.
Jillian Gandsey is the multimedia editor at the Pioneer. Readers can reach her at (218) 333-9786.