I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Bye Felicia. It’s been real, but we’re so done. Like a bad breakup, I’m ready for a clean break and a fresh start in 2021. I don’t know about you, but I’m done with the wild child of 2020 and ready to settle down for a good, boring, and ordinary year. Amiright?! Goodbye, 2020!
But like even the worst of breakups, when I look back in hindsight, I do see some good things in 2020, and I want to take a moment to notice them. Yes, there’s all the quality time with my family, which sometimes I love and sometimes makes me want to scream. But there are also a few other sweet things that have come out of this year. Call it my break-up box for 2020, but here are some of the good things I’m holding on to:
I want to remember the deep appreciation for the in-person “real life” connection we all gained.
If I never see another Zoom call in my life, I’ll be completely fine with it. But I don’t want to lose the gut-wrenching love for real connection that I gained this year. It was rare, it was regulated, and, as a result, it was extra special. I don’t want to ever take a hug, or a birthday party, or drinks with the girls for granted. I don’t want to forget the look in my kids’ eyes when they got to play with a “real life” friend for a playdate, even with masks. I want to remember to treasure my time with people in the way that 2020 has forced me to.
I want to remember that when we’re sick, we stay home.
Our culture has a nasty habit of rewarding “work-through-anything” individuals. The ones who show up to work with double pneumonia, a 105-degree-fever, and an asthmatic cough, and still work a 10 hour day — they’re the heroes. COVID-19 has taught (many of) us that our health decisions have real ramifications for others — and that maybe it’s OK to actually take a sick day. I hope that when 2020 has passed we remember to give our health and the health of others the time it deserves.
I want to remember the sense of shared experience and the loss of superiority.
If this year has taught us anything, it is that no one has it all together. No one has it figured out, and we’re all in this mess together. Sure, this has been arguably one of the most divisive and oppositional years on record. But the undertones I hear time and time again are that this is hard for all of us. That we’re just trying to survive this year. And that no one has it all together.
I cried when I watched the first nurse get her COVID vaccine, because this shared experience has shaped us all — and finally, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope we remember the desperation we all felt — the sense that we’re all in this muck together — and the sense that no one has it more figured out than someone else.
And finally, I want to remember the simplification — the deeper sense of what matters — that we all found.
Maybe it doesn’t matter that we climb the ladder or make more money — maybe we’re just grateful to have a job. Maybe losing a job isn’t the end of the world, because we still have people who love us. Maybe that conflict with my friend isn’t that big of a deal because of how deeply I miss being able to hug her. Maybe we don’t need all the social events and résumé builders because we have children who adore us and want to be with us ALWAYS — even when we’re using the bathroom.
So goodbye, 2020 — and good riddance. But like every good breakup, I’m holding on to the treasures I’ve gained through our time together — and hopefully, they’ll make me a wiser, better, woman.