Defining moments make us stronger

By Tammara Fogle | October 1, 2020

Julie Schaar

By Julie Schaar
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, I reflected on all the reasons fall is my favorite time of year. Pumpkin patches, football, fall festivals, cooler weather and the anticipation of special holidays to come. All things that bring us together as community and family.
Jump ahead a year. Who would have ever thought we would be in the midst of a global pandemic? This was certainly not a blip on my radar.
As we enter the fall season, there is anxiety, frustration, fear and masks. So many masks. What everyone hoped would be over by now is still ever-present. When will this go away? When we will get back to normal? What if we never return to our old normal? What will be our new normal? This is not how anyone wanted to spend summer and certainly not how I wanted to spend my fall.
According to a survey by A&E Network’s HISTORY, every generation has moments that define them. Millennials through the Silent Generation all share and list the top defining moment of their generation as September 11th. Other moments through time are shared, some are not, but every generation has been defined by some truly difficult and life-altering moments. As I read through the list, I am reminded of the fear and uncertainty experienced by those who were in those moments. I am also reminded that we came out on the other side, and a new normal emerged. For those moments, we are stronger and better.
I wonder how this pandemic will fit in the list of defining moments. What achievements will mankind see come out of this dark time in our history? While we do not yet know, I have hope. The beginnings of a light at the end of tunnel are emerging. What other breakthroughs will we have as result? I do not know, but I am excited to see. I am hopeful that we can get to our new normal sooner than later. That families and communities can come together again, and enjoy our human experience—without masks.
To those on the frontlines, you are seen and appreciated. Thank you.
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Julie Schaar is a member of The Active Age’s board of directors. She can be contacted at