But What About The Good?

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.

A lot.

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 what?

Of much I thought I knew about myself.

Of expectations.

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.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicki Batman says:

    OMG, you hit the nail, Kathryn. You wrote all the things I’ve been feeling. The media rarely gave us good except for the closing story. That’s why SGN with John Krasinski was so wonderful-only good news. My good? I pubbed a book and finished editing a book. I embroidered nine sets of pillowcases for Christmas gifts. I baked-a little. I had amazing walks. My grandaughter turned one. My son has the nicest girlfriend. I’m healthy.

    Thank you for sharing. Hugs, vb

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, Kathryn, you are much deeper than I, but that’s okay. I’ve almost felt guilty for how we’ve managed to get through 2020. When so many have lost so much, we are blessed. I published my 8th book, and am already working on the ninth. (I’ll have to talk with you in private about this idea of yours not to write novels anymore.) So far are kids and grands have stayed well. Finally, at the end of December I started cleaning out the garage. It will take a long time, but so good to have begun. I’m learning to not be as busy as I used to be and to be okay with that. I too am learning to stop and enjoy our beautiful lake views when the weather is gorgeous instead of sitting inside in front of the computer. But I think I will always have to–do lists. 🙂 Thanks so much for this beautiful post. I’ve shared.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Should have checked spelling before hitting send. “Our” kids, not “are,” though that is the way most Texas pronounce the word. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    Kathryn Jane shares an inspirational post about the good in 2020- a must read (and yes, she does paint these beautiful cat prints!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post, Kat. 2020 was hard for many, but it also brought families together, slowed the frenetic pace most of us operate on, and showed the generosity of strangers. I class 2020 as the year of grace {{hugs}}

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jan Sikes says:

    A beautiful uplifting post! There was MUCH good for me in 2020 and I count my blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    One of the things we learn from a crisis is to not take things for granted. What I have missed the most is the simple pleasure of human interaction. We should embrace coffee (or any other beverage 😊) in socially distant situations.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jane Ellen Owen says:

    I LOVED your article Kathryn. Like a few others I know I too almost felt guilty to how good my life was in 2020 Probably the best year I have had in over a decade. In terms of growth anyway and acceptance. But I was unhappy for so long in my 25 year marriage and even when I left the family home in 2017, I had lost both parents within five years of each other, my health had taken a back seat and I had been so alone for such a long time that I didnt realise how broken I had become until I moved to a different town than my ex. I started meeting new people, I lost a lot of weight which I hadnt been able to do in decades. My health became my first priority and I joined a gym which I actually enjoyed goung too and I changed the way I lived my life on a daily basis. My whole routine changed and my health improved greatly. Even though I struggle from month to month financially Im happier than I was when I actually made a better living because I managed my finances much better, stuck to a budget and for the first time in a very long time I had peace of mind. I tryed not to focus on what I didnt have but focused more on the things I did have in my life. A roof over my head. My own vehicle which I had gone without during my marriage and my independance. I appreciate each day I get to wake up to a new Sunrise and I began to have hope and faith in my life once again.. All those difficult years I endured made me appreciate the little things in life. Thank you for your insight re 2020. Yes there were some not so great things that happened last year and my heart goes out to the many families whom lost loved ones due to Covid or anything else but I have become much more humble and not so quick to react negatively to the events that I have no control over.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wonderful post! I do feel that despite the heartache from loss in 2020, there was much to be thankful for.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What a wonderful post, I am glad I found the link on Jacquie Biggar’s site. I am pleased to meet another person who looks for the happiness in life.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I found this post to be refreshing! My 2020 was quite good, even to the point of not saying much about it because I almost feel guilty. Of course, it takes work to make it a good year, week, or day. It is also fortifying to be reminded that in our culture of gain, acquisition and competition that’ letting go” will go a long way toward true peace of mind.

    Like

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