2020 sure was something else, wasn't it?
The holiday season, though very different, was special for me this year. There were no holiday parties. No large family gatherings; exchanging gifts and cookies. And while it was somber to have the month look so different, I appreciated the simplicity. The quiet. The peaceful moments to reflect and be still. To strip away all the expectations of the season and just be.
I reflected a lot on the painful year we had. And the relief that while we're very much still in it. The light at the end of the tunnel appears to be more visible now. And that's something we're really needing. We're weary, anxious, and grief-stricken. And if you're like me, the word overwhelm seems to sum it up real good. I'm overwhelmed by all 2020 brought. The loss, heartbreak, injustices, pain. The adjectives are endless.
How different the start and end of the year was. When the clock struck midnight on January 1st 2020, I thought for sure this was THE YEAR. We had no idea what was coming. The countdown to 2021 couldn't come sooner. What a relief it felt to put a lid on the last year.
And I share all this aware I am coming from an immense place of privilege. A white woman who could still safely work. With a husband who didn't lose his job. A family who stayed healthy. We didn't run out of food or struggle to pay our bills.
It breaks my heart and angers my spirit that it's possible to live in a country where I can be doing 'okay' or dare I say 'good' while way too many families barely get by. It's not fair and it's not okay. That it's possible for me to be so disconnected from a reality that many others experience.
That's a big lesson 2020 reminded me. To critically look at the layers of our society and question who it's helping and who it's harming. Is it equal? And what can I do about it?
And that's my challenge to you. How can we be more kind in 2021. More loving, self-aware, empathetic. To consider the lives different from ours, and create more bridges that support and empower. To acknowledge that first and foremost we are all human. Desiring, and deserving, to be loved and belong. How can we take the lessons we learned from the hardships of 2020 and apply them in the year ahead. Maybe we need to make some changes in our lives to better care for others. Maybe we need to face some of the biases in our lives and simply do better. Maybe we need to get out of our comfort zone. Maybe we need to shed some habits that aren't serving us or those in our lives well. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
You have the ability to be a great light in this life. And as MLK Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
May that be our motto for 2021. As we step into a new year. May we be that kind of light. And embrace the hope of the possibilities to come.