Looking back on 2020- I have to say, I really didn’t want to look back on 2020. Even on the last day of the year, knowing I didn’t do all I could, I just didn’t want to do it.
But, to make 2021 better, a look back, I did.
The year 2020 was one of a few steps forward, stolen moments, milestones, loss, and deep gratitude.
Looking back at the steps forward in 2020-
My husband, youngest daughter, and I started the year at our cottage—a place we love but never seem to get enough time to enjoy. We didn’t know then that we would spend more time there this year than we had collectively spent there since we bought it.
It was a quiet start to a crazy year!
Shortly after that, I had a few trips planned to work on my company. I headed out for a conference for creatives out in Phoenix in mid-January. While I was out there, my husband joined me, and we ran a half marathon. We didn’t know this would be the only race we would run for the year. The weather in Phoenix is perfect in January for a run.
Next up, my husband, son, and I spent a week out in Breckenridge skiing. Well, they were skiing, and I was hanging out on the bunny hills. But it is gorgeous out there and I guess I did manage to make it down the mountain on skills, so I guess I was skiing too.
We got home from Colorado, and I headed to another conference in Chicago. As in, the day after a late flight in, I drove to Chicago. But it was worth the lack of sleep as I learned a ton and met some great people there.
A couple of weeks later I attended one last creative conference in Ohio. It was a great conference, and in the background of this conference were the rumblings of a virus. There were hundreds of people at this conference, but we didn’t know to not be there at this time.
Looking back at the losses of 2020 –
Two weeks after I returned from the conference, my state shutdown.
My son attended school on a Friday, it was his birthday, and the last day of school he would attend. Of course, we didn’t know this at the time. He turned 18 and he would not return to his high school again. There would be no final senior moments.
My daughter’s employment ended, my husband had to close his business, and my company, which helps people who work in the events industry, all came to a close. Just two weeks after, I had been in the middle of a big event, meeting people, had great hope, and then, nothing.
A few weeks later, my daughter rolled her car. We received a phone call in the early morning hours to get to the hospital right away. At this time, hospitals were closed to visitors because of COVID. We didn’t know anything. We drove two hours in almost complete silence. I have never been more scared in my life.
She would spend several days in the NICU before she was released. I was to watch her for issues related to a TMI. I didn’t sleep for months.
Looking back with deep gratitude in 2020 –
Slowly, my daughter recuperated. The doctors have not seen someone live through the injury she sustained. She was blessed with a second chance.
During all of this, with her having no way to visit an actual doctor, with our monitoring, we did have nurses come to visit – God bless them!
We decided to move to our cottage for our quarantine.
My oldest daughter and her boyfriend decided to move up there as well. Their small apartment was hard to live in full-time.
My oldest son and his girlfriend were both remote working at this time. They decided a few weeks of working at a lake sounded good, and they came to the cottage as well. They, like my daughter were living and working in a small apartment and thought additional space sounded good.
So, I had all four of my children living under the same roof for the first time in years! My heart was full, and so was our home!
Along with all of the kids came four cats to live together. Oddly, most of the drama was not in the people, but the cats!!
My son and his girlfriend thought they would be there for a few weeks. A bit of a reprieve from them both working side by side in a small space, they stayed for four months.
Looking back at the milestones of 2020-
My youngest son, graduated from high school without ever going back. They hosted drive-by graduation, and we sat in the back of a pickup truck, thanks to my nephew, to watch him receive his diploma!
One week after his graduation, he headed off to Bootcamp. He was so excited, but my heart broke watching him leave. Dang, might be crying again.
He graduated from basic this fall, and moved onto his training for the job he will be doing in the Army.
The interesting thing about having a child go into the military is you cannot visit, call or see them at all, like you may if your child goes to college. It is jarring to have no access to your child, but it also brought us all back to writing letters. And receiving a letter in the mail was the best part of any week. The letters were photographed and distributed, with all sorts of new army language, to the extended family. Letters were our lifeline.
My husband and daughters went back to work. My son was working remotely, another son was in training, and I was floundering with my company. I took up some gig work to make money and am still working hard, but it is slow.
Our losses have not been the kind, so many others are experiencing. Our personal experiences with COVID have been on the mild side, which makes me immensely grateful. We are taking this disease seriously and taken minimal risks. We do know people who have died and are rethinking each excursion out of the house.
Looking back on 2020 is painful, but it is also filled with deep gratitude.
I know I have been lucky, I was going to say blessed, but that seems like the wrong words to use. As though I was blessed and others weren’t. But maybe it is the right word.
See, this year has also brought with it the undeniable realizations that this world is both incredible and deeply divisive and hateful. And I was not aware that it was this bad until this year.
This brought about all sorts of crazy feelings of WTF and what I need to do to be a better person. I do not have the answers to this. This is part of the crazy part of 2020, the feelings of undone and wanting to be done simultaneously.
It is with these feelings of WTF, gratitude, sadness and hope that 2021 may bring more profound compassion, empathy, health, and healing to our world.
With all of that, my look back to 2020 comes to an end. Wishing more love to the world in the coming year.