Annie Mae Bohnsack (McEwen), Atascadero, CA USA

Personal trainer and future PE Instructor, Annie Mae

“It was as if God was removing all of the extravagancy and expectations that go into planning a big wedding (a wedding of 300 people) and honed my sight back into looking into the eyes of my future husband...Not all the details, and parties that go into the big day…it was still a day I will never forget.”

Annie Mae was raised in Templeton, California where she was was actively involved in sports growing up. She has always had a passion for fitness and health, earning her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly SLO, before beginning to work toward her teaching credential in three months to become a Middle School Physical Education Teacher.

Annie Mae was supposed to get married in April–but when the pandemic hit, it severely damaged the plans for her wedding. Instead of postponing, Annie Mae and her fiancee (now HUSBAND!) Josh decided to make the most of a difficult situation and instead became wed sooner, rather than later… the two fell back on their faith, and realized that the sacrament of marriage and their desire to become husband and wife was more important to them, than throwing a big party to celebrate.

Annie Mae has been quarantining with her new husband Josh in their home in Atascadero, California a cute little red cottage with a beautiful back yard she feels lucky to be able to enjoy. Annie Mae shares her thoughts on how COVID has impacted her community, her life, and her plans to get married with such short notice, below:

Just Married! (COVID style)

Where are you living, and who are you quarantining with?

“My husband and I are quarantining in Atascadero, California where will end up probably settling. We live in a cute little red cottage with a beautiful back yard. I really couldn’t be more blessed! Stores here have remained closed, unless it’s considered essential. Grocery stores in our area are being very cautious in only letting a certain amount of people go into the store at a time. I feel like our community has been doing a good job in handling the pandemic.” 

“We had a birthday parade where a lot of our friends and family drove by with decorated cars as we sat outside on our porch! We ended up with a lot of presents! I swear that wasn’t the reason why we did it! 😉 ” 

Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any important plans you had laid out for the near future?

“Oh yes, our wedding day! I never was that girl to really “dream” growing up, It never crossed my mind what my future college, future husband, future home would look like… It wasn’t until our wedding was postponed on April 18th of this year, that I realized for once I had actually been dreaming.

That excitement turned to defeat so quickly, as I sat in my room crying… my fiancé walked in and my exact words were “this is why I don’t dream… it sets me up for sadness and failure.” I was broken for weeks and the constant change in the news was a tiny jab and reminder each time that my big day wasn’t any where in sight…

It was however, the most incredible day was gonna be different, simple, beautiful, unexpected, and in Gods right time. It was as if God was removing all of the extravagancy and expectations that go into planning a big wedding (a wedding of 300 people) and honed my sight back into looking into the eyes of my future husband. And That’s the real covenant… the covenant between husband and wife.

Not even a global pandemic can ruin this love.

Not all the details, and parties that go into the big day. If anything, the coronavirus has really opened my eyes to this. Although my wedding wasn’t what I expected, everything fell into place… We did end up getting married, only a month earlier than originally planned–on March 21st, 2020. We will have a huge celebration when all of this clears up, but it was still a day I will never forget… here’s a link to our wedding video!

What’s the biggest challenge you think you’ve faced during this quarantine situation?

“I would say my biggest challenge has been learning how to slow down. I’ve always been a very busy person, caught up in school, work, activities with friends etc… But right now though I’ve been almost forced to slow down and sit still. At first, I didn’t really even know what to do with myself, but now I’ve been gaining a lot of appreciation for moving at a slower pace.

I try to wake up every morning and either read or write, or go to the beach from time to time, but most important I take priority in switching up my workouts every day and spending time with my husband.

I’ve been able to reflect upon myself and my actions, and also spend time making bracelets and giving them as fun gifts for people that are going through hard times. I feel actually more filled up now because I’m not so caught up in my busyness. Sometimes when you slow down you become more aware of the things you can often leave behind that could be of importance” (Annie’s self-written poem titled “Slowing Down” can be read at the end of this post).

Is there anything you feel that this experience has taught you that you’d like to share as inspiration for everyone going through this together?

“This may be the only time we will ever experience such a long period of stillness. Why not use this time to develop health habits that can carry into our lives when they Get all busy again? Find new hobbies you enjoy that you can incorporate later on that bring you joy!” 

—————–

Slow Motion by Annie Mae McEwen

Slow Motion 

But a whole lot of commotion

We are living in right now

A lot of us don’t know how

To raise up our brows 

Because of tears

That have us captivated by different fears 

It’s hard to adjust 

But we must trust 

That’s it’s all going to work out

And although there is sometimes doubts 

We can make it through this 

We may even miss

The elimination of Hurry 

We often can be caught up in a state of flurry 

In a society where there’s a press 

For certain measures of success 

Fill up our schedules even more 

And to ignore

Our inner discontentment

That may desire a life reassessment

As I’m writing this today I’m in that place

Coming to face 

That it’s time to slow down in a way

Adopt new hobbies in this Season of May

Sit outside, soak up the sun

Heck, go for a run

Sit by the ocean 

Slow down ones motion…. 

Slow Motion  

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