You didn’t go as planned.
I’m not naïve enough anymore to believe that when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2021 all the grief, worry, hardship, anger, and sadness will be gone, but I do see some hope for the new year. My hope comes from the lessons I have learned, from the things I was forced to experience and pay attention to, and from the new person 2020 has made me.
I realize I’m saying this with privilege, but 2020, you weren’t all bad.
We celebrated some beautiful milestones: a middle child who graduated preschool and started Kindergarten, a youngest child who is fully potty trained, and an oldest child learning to ride a bike without training wheels. We made memories on an awesome beach vacation, and I got to officiate my brother in-law’s wedding.
2020, you gave me the gift of time.
Yes, I worked from home, but all my kids were with me. I watched my youngest’s vocabulary explode, his face change, his personality show itself off. I have been able to watch my older two kids be students. I have seen them and my own students enter the unknown and do amazing things. My heart bursts with pride.
You, 2020, have given my family the unique, once in a lifetime experience of celebrating every holiday at home, just us. Through this, we learned to appreciate the crazy, the whirlwind, the laughs at large family gatherings. You have allowed us to discover more small businesses and to support local. You have taught me to appreciate my husband so much more than I already did.
2020, I come from a long line of powerful women. I’ve always known I could do hard things, but now, I know I can do things that seem impossible because of you.
When I look back at you, 2020, in years to come, my heart will ache. This was a year of suffering for far too many people. You brought to light so many of the problems we face in this world. When I do look back, even with the heartache, I hope that I will feel a glimmer of happiness in that we have worked together to tackle the problems head-on.
On December 31, you won’t catch me making grand predictions about how 2021 will be my best year yet. I will just be hoping for the best, not only for me but for everyone.
With bittersweet love,