We made it! 2020 is over and 2021 is here.
2020 was a lot. It not the year we expected. It was full of surprises and cancelled plans and difficult news and hard days. The calendar flipping to a new year doesn’t make everything better overnight, but it’s a sign that we are moving forward, a needed reminder in a year that has often felt like time froze in March, when everything shut down.
While we stayed home… and stayed home... and stayed home… time didn’t actually freeze. Things kept happening, just without all of the usual markers of events. We finished one school year, and started another—virtually. We decided to unenroll from preschool and opt for a year of at-home learning instead. Our baby started to walk and talk. We all got another year older. We spent a lot of time together; hours in the backyard, hours walking around the neighborhood, built LEGO creation after LEGO creation, and played an infinite amount of checkers. Just when I thought I might lose my mind if we didn’t get a change of scenery, we escaped our house for an October beach trip. We celebrated holidays with backyard Easter Egg hunts and Halloween scavenger hunts and saw Santa in the coffee shop drive through. I started waking up early, wrote a lot of words, and read a lot of books.
My word of the year for 2020 was invest. I wanted to invest more time and energy in what matters to me, and 2020 gave me unexpected ways to do that. Hours at home meant a year of a less rushed childhood—less hurry, more imagination and more time in nature. My husband's work schedule slowed down, meaning more family dinners and less trying to wrangle three kids solo at bedtime. I took a writing class, participated in some writing challenges, blogged more.
When I started to think about what I want out of 2021, the word that kept coming to mind was persevere. Realistically, the pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better. Nothing is going to change magically overnight, despite the arrival of the vaccine and the promise of a new year. We still have (at least) one semester of virtual school to get through. If 2020 has taught us anything (it’s taught us a lot of things), it’s to expect the unexpected. So I’m trying to hold the future loosely, not put too many expectations on the new year. Even though we are so, so tired of staying home, we’re determined to not become complacent in our pandemic precautions, especially now that the end is (at least vaguely) in sight. Despite the insanity of 2020, I created good habits I want to continue. I want to keep waking up early, keep filling pages with words, keep going on walks, keep getting the kids in nature as much as possible.
Uncertainty will not be left behind in 2020. There will still be difficult days and discouraging headlines. Things will not change overnight, but one day at a time—with each step, each early morning alarm, each page filled with words, each outdoor adventure—my year will be shaped by perseverance.