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Growth Spurts: 2020: Let’s Not Leave It ALL Behind

Without a doubt, 2020 has been an unforgettable year. I think I’ve heard the word “unprecedented” used more this year than I’ve heard in all the previous years of my life combined. A worldwide pandemic would’ve been quite enough to deal with, but we’ve also been faced with…

You know what? I could list everything terrible and overwhelming about 2020, but my guess is that you have read plenty of these lists and, like me, you’re tired of hearing about it. When a new year begins, many of us become hopeful for fresh starts and great possibilities. We set goals and make resolutions. We declare that “this year will be better!” And it’s hard to imagine that there’s ever been a more collective “Happy New Year!!!” cheer than there has been as we’ve hurriedly ushered out 2020 and welcomed in 2021. Admittedly, none of us knows what 2021 has in store for us, but just being able to put a big ol’ check mark by 2020 feels good. We are all so ready to move on.

But let’s not be so anxious that we leave it all behind without sorting through it first. Truthfully, there have been some really good things to come out of this difficult year, as well, and we don’t want to lose or forget them. Whether a result of having to quarantine, spend oodles of time with family, work differently, or pinch pennies like we’ve never done before, I imagine that each of us can find something good to carry with us from 2020 into 2021.  

Some people have discovered new interests or taken up new hobbies this year, thanks to some forced downtime. Some have started working out regularly. Some have realized they can successfully work from home or can actually homeschool their kids (or at least oversee virtual school). Some have rekindled the romance in their marriage. Some have spent more time with their children than they ever have before. Some have discovered that they actually enjoy cooking. Some have mastered the skills of shopping online and picking up curbside. Some have found more time for reading. Some have taken up gardening. Some have genuinely relaxed for the first time in a long time. Some have added a new pet to their family; others are adding a new baby about now. Some have had to rethink their priorities, and some have taken more time to consider what is most important and most dear to them. Some have examined issues of racial justice more carefully. Some have decided it is healthier for them to scale back on social media usage. Some have a new understanding and appreciation for what it means to live in community, and some have found creative ways to do so. These are all good things!

It’s so much easier–and probably more tempting–to focus on all the bad from 2020, but I want to challenge each of us to look for the good, the valuable, the helpful, and carry it around with us as faithfully as we’ve carried our face masks and hand sanitizer this past year. 

They say that hindsight is 20/20, and now 2020 is in hindsight. Let’s move forward with new vision and fresh hope. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO US ALL!!

Carrie Bevell Partridge has enjoyed extra time for knitting, walking, writing, reading, coloring, organizing photos, playing with her dogs, and hanging out with her family during 2020. Read more from Carrie at carriebevellpartridge.com.

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