On a New Year

Here we are, on the precipice of a New Year again. If you’d asked me back in March, I would have said that I thought we would never get here. But somehow, time sped up again and we made it to the end.

I’ve expressed my dislike of the NYE holiday in terms of the ever-present pressure to do something (thankfully said pressure is totally absent this year), but I’ve always appreciated the feeling of a fresh start that comes with a new year.

That feeling is somewhat absent this time though. I’m of course looking forward to putting this year behind us, but I also know that 2021 isn’t going to bring with it some magic switch that’s going to make everything better all of a sudden. COVID won’t be changing anytime soon with the increasing number of deaths we’re having and the failure of the government to provide the number of vaccines they promised.

That being said, 2021 does hold some very much-needed hope. We got the worst president ever out of office. People will still start getting vaccinated however slowly that may happen. I’m really just hoping maybe I’ll be able to step into my favorite stores again and see some friends without having to sit outside 20 ft apart wearing masks. I’d love to be able to go back into work too, but I know that might be far off.

I’ve seen people say we’ll never go back to the way things were and I think that’s probably true, as much as I don’t want to admit that to myself. In some ways, I think that’s good. But in a lot of ways, it makes me sad. I didn’t appreciate my life enough before this. I want a chance to do it again with more appreciation, so it’s going to be hard if that chance isn’t going to be an option.

This year has undoubtedly taught me a whole lot. It takes a crisis to make a lot of things clear, that’s for sure.

So on that note, I want to close out this post with some of the things I’ve learned in 2020, good and bad:

  • I learned that here in the States, we are generally a nation of people who don’t care about each other, even in times of crisis.
  • I learned that I have a lot more work to do to be a better ally to my own community and other minority communities.
  • I learned that a lot of people I thought I knew, I really didn’t know at all.
  • I learned that I’m tired of trying to be everything to everyone. To make everyone happy, to not say the wrong thing. I want to just be who I am, no apologies.
  • I learned that all of the things most of us are taught as kids, to be a good sport, to be a gracious loser, don’t actually apply if you’re in a position of power.
  • I learned that I really don’t need many things at all. All of the clothes and jewelry and shoes and things I used to buy, don’t really matter. I have everything I need and then some.
  • I learned that moving back in with my parents in my mid-30s could actually be a great thing.
  • I learned that I have a lot of really great friends who have helped get me through this whole mess of a year.
  • I learned who and what are worth putting effort into, and who and what aren’t.
  • I learned to appreciate the little things like getting dressed up, putting makeup on, and going outside.
  • I learned that there’s no feeling like being in a crowd of people for a shared purpose and I hope that’s a feeling I’ll have again.

I still wish I could wave my magic wand and make this whole year just a bad nightmare that we’ll all wake up from tomorrow…to make COVID go away for everyone. But since I can’t do that, I tried to reflect on all of the things I learned and the things I’ve gained this year. You wouldn’t think much could happen being stuck inside for so long, but I think I’ve actually learned and grown more this year than I have during any other year. I figured out what my priorities are, who my true friends and family are. I appreciate my job, my parents, and my health exponentially more than I ever have.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021 which will hopefully be a better year for all of us.

photo credit: iLoveLilyD 20150804194515_0364_SLT-A99V via photopin (license)

4 thoughts on “On a New Year

  1. “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” – Göran Persson

    I wish you to look forward to the upcoming year with confidence and courage, giving wings to your dreams! Live your life to the fullest extent, Happy New Year!

  2. Perfect. I can relate to so many of your learnings, Jackie, and you’ve stated them so cleanly. Let’s hope that there is more compassion among those soon coming into power, and that decency is more contagious than the coronavirus.

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