Today is the most anticipated day of 2020…the last!
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “This year can’t be over soon enough,” I could retire.
But as I lay awake, unable to sleep, I find myself reminiscing of the past year. Call me crazy, but I believe we have a lot to be grateful for this year and in many ways, I will be sad to see it go.
Why? 2020 is the year when all Americans had an extraordinary experience, the Coronavirus Pandemic. Research tells us that as humans, we bond more when we have something in common with someone else or a shared experience. It allows us to relate to one another better and develop camaraderie.
So here are the five reasons why 2020 was the best year of your life…
- Family Bonding: We are closer. My husband, two adult children and I spent countless hours in each other’s company. Of course, some of it was bickering, but most of it was quality time conversing with each other, playing a game or simply watching TV. With my extended family, we generated experiences from Zoom gatherings to tailgate celebrations. During this time, we made the best of it, created memories and built stronger relationships, ones that will carry us well into the next phase of our lives.
2. Tech Gurus: We are smarter. While initially, many of us had no choice, we have gone outside of our comfort zone in order to connect with others personally and professionally through technology. From kindergarten students learning on iPads, to retirees connecting to loved ones using FaceTime, we have all learned something new. I was even brave enough to post one of my technological teaching creations on a Facebook group. Unfortunately, I did not share it correctly and had to personally respond to hundreds emails requesting access. Oops! Chalk that up to a another learning experience.
3. Healthy Habits: We are healthier. Many of us have been the healthiest we have been in a while, thanks to good luck, social distancing, masks, frequent hand washing and “hanitizer” (the adorable term my students call hand sanitizer). I haven’t even had a sniffle in almost a year.
4. Grit: We are resilient. We have been faced with challenge after challenge in both our work and personal lives and we have persevered. Yes, we may have been discouraged from time to time, but it only made us stronger. Alcohol has also helped us face these challenges, and fortunately we learned when to open a bottle of red and when to go straight to tequila.
5. Compassion: We are kinder. From families decorating their yards for the enjoyment of others, to running errands for those who are ill or at risk, to volunteering to help at a local food bank, to supporting a local business, people are going out of their way to show compassion towards others. I even noticed people holding doors for each other more often and smiling (under a mask, of course) during the holiday frenzy.
While 2021 brings hope for a renewed sense of normalcy, let’s not devalue all that 2020 taught us. Just like, Moira, Johnny, David and Alexis, we are better people because of this!