2020 draws to an end. We are all weary and eager to return to a “normal” that was unappreciated at the time. Great lessons here.
Time “in place” has enabled some healthy reflection and, for me, a feeling of gratitude and a clearer sense of my life and eventual end. I’m so lucky to have good health and a partner who joins me in a healthy lifestyle. We’re at the age where something can/will come along that signals the final passage. I’m OK with that.
I can’t remember a time like this. I remember Senator McCarthy, the polio epidemic, Watergate, JFK and MLK assassinations, 9/11 and the 2007 collapse of the economy – all awful times that we mostly came through. This year’s pandemic, racial outrages, unemployment, and our deeply divided political cultures, all exacerbated by the worst president in our national history. That’s enough. We’ve spent four unhappy years, and 2020 is the worst.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
- I missed being with family especially on holidays. I survived.
- I missed enjoying lunch and spirited conversations with pals. I survived.
- Things will change: how we work, learn and shop, where we live, how much we travel, how we think about racial justice and health care.
- How critically endangered our natural environment really is, and
- Science can save us, if we listen. Humor, too.
Most of us have had similar realizations, I know. I’ve just writen it down to clarify my thoughts and feel some community. I appreciate that some folks have learned different or additional lessons. It’s how we grow.
One final thought. Many are trying to figure out how we get back to being less divided. SAM and I often talk about this. Do you live in a neighborhood where you barely know those who live closeby? Social media is separating us. Really. When I lived in a small town, folks did stuff together. We didn’t always agree but we could talk and would listen. In my neighborhood in Asheville, one couple invited bands to come and play for a couple of hours and we got to know a lot of great folks. Music and food brings us together. Finally, activities for our children is another congregator. Not a solution, just reasons to get outside, unplugged, and talking to each other. Perhaps we can rediscover how much we have in common.
Wishing you happy holidays and much better year ahead.