A Beginning and an End

It’s the first day of 2021! Is anyone else still stuck in March 2020?? No? Just me, then…

While it’s easy to look back on 2020 and think, “Oh my god, this year sucked,” (and let’s face it: this isn’t one we’ll look back on wistfully) it’s really important – for me at least – to take stock of what I learned this year.

  1. Time is valuable. For me, this was the number one lesson of this year. Time will continue to pass no matter what you decide to do with it. And, as we’ve all seen, your time and your abilities can be cut short at any moment. Whether it was by quarantine, illness, or a death, we have been hit with a reminder that absolutely nothing is guaranteed.
  2. Be in charge of your own happiness. For most of us this year, we were cut off from many usual sources of entertainment: travel, movies, concerts, hanging out with friends, even going out to eat. This meant we all had to get a little creative, or try new things. I personally found that I am really and truly an introvert. While I missed my tennis matches, Bachelorette nights, and writing group, I also enjoyed the time I was able to spend hanging out at home and learning new things. I learned how to garden, tried my hand at video game programming (learning still in progress), and found a new appreciation for at-home solo exercise (shout out to the Nike Run and Nike Train Club apps… you the real MVPs). I finished the manuscript for my sci-fi book and will be sending it out to agents this month (Eep!). The thing is, everything outside our own little worlds can change in an instant. This year was yet another reminder to me that I can choose to be happy and thrive no matter the circumstances.
  3. Technology is truly amazing. Maybe this goes without saying. Of course it’s amazing. But I know I take technology for granted. It’s not something I give conscious thought to, even though it’s in every single aspect of our lives, from our coffee makers to our smart phones to our jobs. It makes everything so convenient. This year, though, it became imperative. I meet with my writing group every Thursday via Zoom so we can critique each other’s work and provide new ideas. Without technology, we would have…sent each other letters? Tried to meet in a park in the Texas heat? More likely, we simply wouldn’t have met at all. How many people would have been cut off from the world entirely without technology? Social media can be toxic, but this year it became a lifeline.

Now for the resolutions. I’ve never really been much of a New Year’s Resolution type of person. You can choose to make a change any day of the year; no need to wait for January 1. However, moving into 2021, I think it’s important not to forget everything we learned in 2020. I’ll keep it short and sweet:

Keep learning. Choose happiness. Tell your people you love them.

What are your resolutions for this year?