2020 look back… The Great Pause

I’m typically more of a forward thinker so I really have to slow myself down to stop and reflect. But it is so necessary and always good. It’s one of the reasons I write our Christmas message each year. It’s always a project that gets pushed to the last minute, but I’m so thankful I get to look back on them later.

I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place. – Maya Angelou

I’ve heard so many words describing 2020, I’m sure you have too. One of my favorites has been “The Great Pause”. While I don’t want to minimize the pain and loss 2020 has brought to so many, I believe there is always good that can be found. And while, most of us are eager to put 2020 behind us and quickly move forward to 2021, I bet if we stop and think long enough… there actually has been a lot of yes’ that have come out of a year with a ton of no’s.

Here are just a few thoughts about 2020! 🙂

1. We are truly more alike than we are different. In a year filled with loss, uncertainty and life hurtling out of our control, I actually feel like we are more united globally more than ever. Collectively, we were scared. Collectively, we grieved. Collectively, we tried to make sense of a scary and crazy world. Covid took away the facades of vanity, money, influence, and status and forced us to be raw, naked and vulnerable. Hello… no haircuts for months?! 🙂 Seeing the ”stripped down, unplugged” version of tv and media was really refreshing. The basements, home offices and make-shift studios brought relatability to everyone we see in the media. It really felt like we were all in this together.

2. Clarity on Needs and Wants. Didn’t 2020 open our eyes to how much we take for granted and what are really wants versus needs? Did anyone give any thought to our toilet paper stock before?! Remember when we sent only one person to the store and only for necessities? Everything was so uncertain. It really is a privilege to go wherever, whenever and with whoever.

3. Family Matters. We were all stuck with each other whether we liked it or not. Everyone had to make sacrifices and adjust to make this all work. I’m pretty confident many of us came out of this “great pause” with a renewed purpose, passion and vision for family. It forced us to re-evaluate what popular culture has told us what we “should” be doing and gave us the time to realize what we “want” to be doing. Sports, activities, work… so many things pulled us into a million different directions. We were suddenly stripped of those things and now what? We were given a pause to decide!

4. Time to Adventure and Be. Less time rushing, has meant more time being. We spent more time at the beach this past year, than in the previous 5! HA! For real! Since the pandemic, we have planned more meals together, cooked together and really do life together, not just pass each other on our way in and out. My husband has gotten a chance to see our day to day, our kids have a better understanding of what exactly dad does all day and what it takes for mom to run the house. I’m happy to say… we still like each other. Our definition of normal has changed through all this. Changed for the better.

5. Who are Heroes? I’ve shared before that I was a public school teacher for 10 years and I’ve always felt that the true pillars and backbones of our community don’t get the appreciation and recognition they deserve. I’m thankful that through this challenging year, our everyday heroes have been celebrated! These are the unsung members of society, that sacrifice and serve day after day without fanfare and accolades. Scientists working tirelessly to study this new disease. Health Care Providers with the overwhelming task of caring for the many, many sick. Community leaders charged with making incredibly difficult decisions. First Responders charged with the task of responding to the unknown and uncertain everyday. Teachers navigating unchartered territory and leading a whole generation of learners. Essential workers of all industries that we would have never realized were so essential to our day to day lives. I THANK ALL OF YOU. Our communities owe you so much!

6. The Human Spirit is Strong. Don’t you love seeing how innovative and creative people have become? The human spirit is strong and amazing. The world is harsh, unjust and unpredictable. But we continually rise up. There is a lot more in us than we realized. Graduations… Birthdays… Holidays… Jobs… Career Changes… Remote working… Remote Learning… Changing the way to do business and life and in so many cases, for the better!!

7. HOME. Lastly, this one is dear to my heart. The whole idea of home has taken on a new meaning for many of us and I love it. It’s not just a place where we pass each other to eat and sleep, but life happens here. We’ve all needed to get creative with how we use our homes, big or small, fancy or simple. Our homes have become a refuge… a place that takes care of us and each member of the family, with all our differing needs. Now, it’s become a place for working, learning, dreaming, teaching, playing, recharging and much more. I may be biased, but I love it this way. 🙂


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