Farwell and Thank You 2020!

Well we made it to the end of 2020 and while it may be a dark year in our collective history and personal lives, I would like to thank 2020 for the amount of light it provided as well. I haven’t blogged this year, frankly I haven’t done much writing this year at all. Partly because trying to be a teacher during a pandemic and pivoting the methods of teaching sharply last spring. and partly because I found this year leading me down a path of discovery and growth which has led to great personal growth and I believe a productive writing year for 2021.

Very few people on our planet have lived through a pandemic before and so much has changed since the last one, we have had to write the playbook as we’ve gone along. I don’t want to dwell on the politics that have gone on, personally I don’t think politics should have played a role in life and death circumstances. But I do think the pandemic gave us the opportunity to see what might need to be fixed politically and policy-wise in our great democracy, still not a perfect union, but I have faith we are still striving for it.

We have had an uncomfortable but necessary light shone on long-festering societal issues, from racism, poverty, access to basic needs in various communities, and civil discourse, the pandemic heightened the issues and also gave many Americans the pause in their normally busy lives to stop, listen and observe, whereas pre-pandemic we might have given these issues a passing nod, but just got on with life rather than engaging in dialogue and thought that I hope will lead us to make leaps in improvements in all these areas.

Personally, I was gifted the time to correct my priorities for consistency in fitness and other self-health care practices. ( I lost 23 pounds this year). While I have practiced my faith and bible study for a long time, this year it became deeper and I found great solace in letting go of the worry and putting it in God’s hands. I can walk by faith and find the blessings amidst the pain and tribulations of the time we are in. I am much more appreciative of the people in my life, from family, old friends and new. From the sisterhood (with a few brothers thrown in) of educators who have marched on and encouraged each other in the most challenging year of my so far 28 year teaching career. I have also become more appreciative of every day, the sunshine, nature, my home, my fur babies, in other words I have increased my attitude of graditude.

I did help a fellow educator write a timely book for parents on learning at home, not just for virtual school, but summer enrichment etc. I definitely prefer fiction writing, but it was cathartic to have some writing to do. I am encouraged that with a little disipline and as long as I can continue to teach in person all spring semester as we did this fall, I can again develop the routine of regular writing sessions and finish up a book that has been lingering in my self-made purgatory for all of 2020.

Thank you 2020 for reminding me of all the blessings I have and how faith and gratitude can be a light in the darkest of days. I can’t say I’m sad to see you go. Right before the holiday break I was explaining to my students that when we came back it would be 2021 and one of them said, “Yea! No more COVID!” I had to explain that just because the year changed it would not magically go away, but that while last new year’s we had optimism and no idea what was coming and the year went downhill, this 2021 was starting down and we were on a steady climb back up to the top. The kids actually cheered, it was apparent we all need that vision of hope to hold on to.

Welcome 2021, I have high hopes for you and I also have faith that you will deliver.