2020: A Reflection and Hope for the Future
2020 has been…interesting to say the least. For many, 2020 seemed like a fresh start: a new year and a new decade. Many were making New Year’s resolutions and getting ready to dive into 2020 with a whole new perspective.
But almost as soon as the cheerful cries of a unified “Happy New Year” swept across the world a devastating reality hit; 2020 was not going to be all it was cracked up to be.
January started off with devastating wildfires in Australia where more than 47 million acres were destroyed. We were soon faced with a mysterious illness appearing in China and by the end of January we were facing a full-fledged global health emergency.
The US had her first reports of COVID-19 infected persons in February and by March, all 50 states had reported COVID-19 infections. Social distancing, isolation, and wearing masks would quickly become a part of normal everyday life. Hollywood and All-Star legends tragically passed. A President was impeached and our stock market crashed.
Unprecedented civil unrest swept over the nation and deeper divides seemed to tear our nation in two. The passing of loved ones. Murder hornets, livelihoods lost, the Beirut explosion, west coast wild fires, the election, and a new mutated strand of COVID-19 sweeping over the UK topped off an unimaginable 2020.
It really is an understatement to call this past year anything short of a disaster.
However, if we leave it at that, if we all decide to wash our hands of 2020 with nothing of merit coming out of it, then we lose. But if we perhaps learned something new, grew closer to loved ones in their absence, slowed down a bit, or showed love to a stranger, then we WIN.
Yes, 2020 has been littered with devastation at every turn, but 2020 is full of stories of love, compassion, and moments of hope. Just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, we have learned to adapt and make the best out of our situations.
Medical clinics have been adapting to new ways to treat patients. Business and schools have moved to online meeting platforms. Locals have helped smaller businesses succeed by online shopping and curbside pick-up. Quarantine has helped us reconnect with old hobbies and learn new ones. Social distancing has made us reevaluate those who are important to us and connect with them on a deeper level.
Then there are the stories of hope and unity like the 103-year-old grandma who beat COVID-19 and celebrated by having a Bud. Beloved restaurants shared their recipes so we could make them at home. People helped people by making masks for friends, family, and community members. There was an influx of pet adoptions during the pandemic. We discovered new ways of celebrating milestones like zoom parties and drive-by birthdays. And so much more.
So yes, 2020 was hard and devastating at times, but 2020 also helped us see the beauty in small things and delight in the every day.
So what now? 2020 is gone and 2021 has officially arrived. Once that glittery ball dropped and the year officially became 2021, a collective sigh of relief could be heard from every direction.
There is a lot of hope riding on this New Year.
We have a vaccine that has been developed in record time and has been distributed all over the world. Hope.
A newfound appreciation and realization of the importance of our healthcare workers. The need for well operating healthcare systems has been pushed to the forefront of decision-makers minds as they realize no society can properly function without it. Hope.
Humanity has shown us great strengths though these times of difficulties. Dancing and singing from balconies. Messages of peace, love, and support for our wonderful medical personnel. Neighbors helping neighbors. Hope.
There are many more reasons to hope in the New Year. Sometimes reflecting on what was and what is to come helps bring in some perspective. If you wish, here are some prompts to help you reflect on the goings of 2020 and the comings of 2021.
- What is the most important lesson(s) you learned?
- What is the best thing that happened to you?
- What did you overcome?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- How did you fail?
- What would you do differently if you could?
- How will you make this year matter?
- How will you help others?
- What do you want to change? About yourself? About life in general?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What is your overall intention for this New Year?
- If you need help, will you ask for help? From who?