2020 has been a year that all of us will never forget. A global pandemic sprinkled with a crazy presidential election, not to mention hurricanes, murder hornets, saharan dust cloud, RIP RBG, a much over-due lesson for many on systematic racism, homeschooling, no toilet paper, wildfires, and just think, the year isn’t even over yet!
For my family we also had an open heart surgery and some blood cancer thrown in. It wasn’t all horrible though because I think we have all learned a lot.
Let’s start with the fact that we have a better idea of who people are. I feel like this global pandemic and contentious election has really shown some of our “friends” cards. People thinking face masks are political, others hoarding toilet paper while some have none, viscous angry words spewed so easily out of some mouths, and some even showing they are flat out racist with no regard for others. I would like to say nothing will shock me anymore, but that isn’t true because I am still shocked by some behavior. I have a really hard time wrapping my head around how some people who can so easily dismiss others because of race, sex, or socioeconomic standing. However, 2020 has taught me to take a much deeper look at certain friendships and who some people truly are and what, if anything, they have ever given me in our friendship (and I don’t mean physical gifts, I mean have they returned help, favors, love and would they be there for me like I would be there for them?) If you would be one of their first phone calls when they need something, but they wouldn’t be one of yours because you know they wouldn’t drop everything to help, that is usually a sign of how good of a friend they are to you.
2020 has taught me who I want on my team, who is in the arena with me, who I want to fight on my side when the zombies show up. You know what I mean? I think we all have a way better idea of who is truly going to go to battle with and for us and who will help hold us up when we fall.
I have also learned that sometimes compassion, kindness, and love comes out of places where I least expect it. The world is not bad. People are generally good. While we hear of so much hurt, vengeance, and wrong doing, we can also see kindness, love, and compassion if we look.
A lesson I think we all learned is to not take ANYTHING for granted. I will never take toilet paper for granted, that’s for damn sure. I will also never take our health, our home, and family time for granted. While we have all been together FAR more than I ever imagined, it also gave us moments that I don’t think we would’ve otherwise had. Playing boardgames, crafting, sitting down together for a movie, and just being in the same room for longer than 10 minutes.
I will not take travel for granted. I use to fly several times a month and visit amazing places regularly. Travel feeds my soul and I miss it so much. I have always loved it, but I never imagined not being able to do it.
Another thing I learned is I will not take running all those large races for granted either. I have loved being able to work with so many races to write about them and share on social media. I never in my wildest dreams thought a global pandemic would take that away though. I think this actually speaks to all large gatherings. The theater, concerts, movies, dance competitions, marathons, weddings, and so much more.
2020 has also taught me that I can do hard things. For better and for worse, in sickness and in health, really has so much meaning. Administering shots, wound care, bathing assistance, special diet preparation, and so much more I think are things we all wonder if we can handle and help our spouses with if and when the time comes. 2020 taught me that yes, I can do those things because love is strong and so am I. Dropping my husband off for open heart surgery was hard. Not being able to be at the hospital or see him for 12 days was hard. Holding my daughter as she cries a gut wrenching cry when my husband took a turn for the worse and having her ask if her dad is going to die and not being able to assure her he isn’t, is HARD. But I did it and I will do it again if I need to and I will survive and carry my family with me. I can do hard things. We all can. You can do the hard things. Sometimes it takes digging deeper than you ever thought possible, but you can. We go this.
This year reminded me that even when things are hard, you don’t have to look too far to find someone who has it much harder. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t felt sad, depressed, worried, or filled with anxiety at some point during this pandemic, but there are others who have lost everything. Their businesses, their jobs, their homes, their health, and their loved ones. I know I am truly fortunate and for that I give thanks and pray for those who are suffering.
Probably the biggest thing I have learned this year though is that I have such an incredible tribe of people around who can love from afar. While I desperately miss dinner out with girlfriends, vacations with best friends, conferences with blogging friends, races with running friends, and family gatherings, I can feel loved even when apart. Text messages, FaceTime, Zooms, letters, DMs, and random packages showing up remind me that I am never alone. We are all still a tribe and are here to support each other.
This Thanksgiving I will be extra thankful. While it is so hard not having a huge table of people like I normally would, I will remember that we are being safe and not taking our health or the health of our loved ones for granted. I know there will be a time that we will all gather again and have a huge Thanksgiving. There will be a time when we can sit around and drink wine without the thought in the back of our minds of worry that we could be spreading a deadly virus. There will be day when we won’t have to worry whether everyone has a mask. There will be a day when we can all go see Hamilton in real life, run a marathon with our besties, wait in crowded lines at Disneyland, send our kids to school safely, fly to new destinations, eat at our favorite restaurants, make 3 pumpkin pies instead of 1, take pictures again with our kids sitting on Santa’s lap, and drink too many drinks in a real bar. For that I give thanks.
What has 2020 taught you? Drop a comment below.
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