2020: A Love/Hate Relationship
I think we all head into a new year with a sense of having a fresh slate. There is something about that ball dropping and ushering in a new year that shifts our focus to improvement, change, commitment. The start of 2020 was no different than any other year; people all focusing on these very things. We ended 2019 with talk of the new virus that was in China, something brand new and incredibly unknown. None of us saw what was coming.
As the year progressed, so did the virus. It hit the US like a ton of bricks and steamrolled the entire country, state after state, big cities and small towns. We experienced a level of fear and selfishness that I hope we never have to live through again. There was a shortage of anything that disinfected, all paper products, and both frozen and non-perishable food. We spent the better part of this year with half of our faces covered, unable to feel the touch of family and friends or to see genuine human emotion. The news was bombarded with coverage of Covid and the havoc it was reeking. But that wasn't all...
This year brought an unprecedented number of hurricanes, devastating tornadoes, and terrible wildfires each taking it's toll on a different part of the country. Our country became divided in the BLM movement and the riots that ensued as a result of blue vs. black destroyed cities and businesses coast to coast. Child and sex trafficking were topics in everyone's social media news feed. The turmoil and hate that the 2020 presidential campaign brought about was just about the worst display of patriotism in the history of this country. Just when we all thought things couldn't get any worse, 2020 went ahead and threw another log on the fire. What a year!
While all of this chaos was making national headlines and plaguing us all with devastation after devastation, we were all driven indoors with mandated shut-downs, school closures, and social distancing guidelines. While it all seemed overwhelming at first, I think people generally appreciated the slow down, heck, many embraced it. Families found themselves spending more time outdoors, being creative to keep busy, taking time to really embrace the little things in life that truly matter. We were forced to groom our dogs and husbands, finding new life skills at every turn! Babies were born, people found ways to still get married, and life was viewed through a different lens, one less clouded with our fast paced lifestyle. It was really quite beautiful.
Stores were sold out of art supplies, puzzles, bikes, pools, canoes, and freezers (all you people buying whole cows). Life returned to some of the simplicities of generations past, generations that many of us find ourselves longing for deep down. The times when you could linger over a hot cup of coffee, play a board game with your family, plan a camping trip, or sit down and read a book. I mean, sure, 2020 came in like a lamb and quickly progressed to a "grade A" shit storm but dang, it brought a simplistic life that I think many of us really needed.
So for all of the blogs and articles, posts and tweets that I've read that tell me that I should be angry about what 2020 brought or that I should be grateful for what 2020 brought, I say no thank you. I refuse to take a side of the fence. I won't be forced to love it or hate it. No relationship is perfect, no house is perfect, and I have yet to experience a year that was perfect. There was a whole crap ton that I would have changed about this year, absolutely! There was also so much wonder that I would go back and re-live a thousand times over. Just like any other year, I am packing away lots of memory morsels to some day revisit and I am praying for many things to improve or change in the new year. I am allowed to feel a love/hate about 2020...and you are too.
As we usher in a new year and look forward to what is to come, let us not forget to reflect on what we endured and our many blessings over the last year. May we all have more deep conversations, do more kind deeds for others, grow in understanding and patience, and give everyone we encounter a whole ton of grace. My hope for all of you in the New Year is that you find something new that you love, that you grow in something you already love, and that you allow yourself to close a chapter in which you are done loving. Here's to 2021; more God and more grace!