Your time is coming to a close, and I can’t say I’m sad about it. You have been a year filled with the stress of a global pandemic, a contentious election, fires in other states that made Arizona’s air quality pretty rough some days, and a summer that felt like it might never end. You brought me new words and phrases that I would be just fine forgetting in the years to come. Here are just a few that I wish you’d take with you when you leave: “social distancing,” “viral load,” “mask up,” “unprecedented times,” “now more than ever,” “abundance of caution,” “PPE,” and “we’ve had to pivot.” (Does anyone else think of the TV show FRIENDS whenever they hear that last one?) I am also looking forward to the day that celebrations via zoom, school via schoology or other online platforms, and stores having to limit paper products are a thing of the past.
Oh 2020, it is so easy to imagine that you are some supervillain set on stealing a year of our lives. So many days I imagined you consumed by your own dumpster fire. But as the year winds down, and we know that several challenges still face us in 2021, I have started to realize that you aren’t the villain, you are just another 365 day unit of time (okay, 366 days because OF COURSE you were a leap year). And as much as I thought I wanted to forget this whole year, I changed my mind after sitting down to create our Christmas cards for the year. As I scanned through potential pictures for our photo card, I realized how many truly happy moments I documented along the way. After that, I changed the original text I wrote at the bottom of the card, “Bye 2020, no one will miss you” to “2020 wasn’t all bad. Here’s proof.”
Most of the pictures I included were of family hikes and day trips that we might never have taken if our usual indoor favorites were open or our weekends were full of the usual array of birthday parties. We miss those things, but we also rediscovered how much we love outdoor adventures. I also included a few pictures of our newest family member. While it sometimes felt like a curse to have a newborn during this time, our sweet third baby was the perfect escape from all the upsetting news of the world. We all took comfort in knowing that she probably won’t even remember all of this. If nothing else, her birth (and the birth of so many other adorable babies) disproves the idea that this year was the worst.
I’m not happy about the challenges of 2020. There were plenty of tears and more yelling from the immense stress than I am proud of. I don’t think silver linings make those things better. But oh 2020, that is not the whole story of you. I’m grateful that we can all look forward to a symbolic “new start” with 2021, but I am also grateful for the good moments that were hidden in your 366 days.
Oh 2020, you may not be anyone’s FAVORITE year, but you certainly will not be forgotten.