Now that we’ve made it to 2021, and so many people have proclaimed their gratitude that 2020 is over, I thought it would be good to look back on the good things that also happened.
First, I need to say quickly that for me, the hype of a “new year” means little. In my world, January 1st is simply the day that follows December 31st. I’ve never been one to think, “Wow, what a year it was in 2011…” or “1999 was a great year.”
But that’s just me. And since 2020 was a constant in the media, I likely will have memories attached to that number.
Still doesn’t change the fact that a certain combination of four digits cannot be held accountable for all the bad that happened… or get credit for the good.
Will I have sad memories to attach to the year? Sure. My beloved dog died. My very special cat died. And way too many people around the world died because of a pandemic.
My heart hurt.
But a friend of mine welcomed a new baby, a workaholic mom I know suddenly found joy in learning to cook, another friend learned to enjoy reading, and I discovered the joy of letting go.
Of much I thought I knew about myself.
I let go of the belief that I should keep writing novels.
I let go of the drive to be busy 24/7.
I let go of my need to micromanage my household.
I let go of the belief that online solitaire, online jigsaw puzzles, and devouring books were a waste of precious time.
And then I not only accepted some new things, but even embraced some.
I embraced a new practice of managing my social media accounts by unfollowing and unfriending those whose opinions I found unsettling.
I embraced the belief that every single day mattered, and was more than just something to step over to get where I wanted to go. I no longer wish days away so I can get to the weekend, or a special day.
I have embraced the joy of taking tiny steps and enjoying each one on the journey to fulfill my dreams.
I will never again wish for a day to be over.
I will never again take for granted an opportunity to walk beside the ocean.
I will never again pass up an opportunity to have coffee or conversation with a friend.
The events of the year of 2020 have taught me great patience, tolerance, and acceptance of that which is beyond my control.
The events of the last year also taught me my opinions are not in line with those of many others, and that’s okay.
The days will continue forward hopefully into even more years. But today, at this moment, I am glad I stopped to reflect on many months of change, of understanding, of growth, and of acceptance.
Because in fact, in 2020, there was much good in my life.
What about yours?
I’d love to hear some of your good memories, what you might have learned, or how the events of the last year had a positive effect on your life.
Kathryn Jane’s latest collection of short stories about cats (which reviewers liken to Chicken Soup For The Soul), can be found here.