Glory to the light of the world
For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed
For all who wonder ~ Lauren Daigle
Hold my beer
I am not gonna lie 2020 has been a shit show and honestly, not to sound self centered, but literally the reasons had NOTHING to do with pandemics or elections. I mean did they add to the stress? Most definitely, but they were and ARE not the reason 2020 sucked for my family and I. It was and is a little more personal then the collective we are ALL in a storm together. Yeah, did you have loved ones pass away tragically? Or deal with sick parents? Or have December say to 2020 hold my beer this year is NOT over yet, and we are gonna give you the absolute WORST holiday season second to when my sister died?
I am not writing this to be woe is me, or to run a game of one up (wo)manship. I am also not a bandwagon-er of 2020 sucked per se, just because it is the cool influencer thing to say. Because while it did suck, there were also some AMAZING moments in 2020. Me sobbing my heart out on Thanksgiving was just one day, and my family got what I considered our Christmas Miracle, on Christmas Day a month later. Dualities guys. Dualities.
I am not negating that 2020 sucked for a LOT of people, myself included, but out of all the days of this year how many REALLY sucked? Or were their bright spots that might have been minute, but they were still there? Moments that I can say I am so f*^&ing grateful to be alive, and to be living and yes I might be stuck at home, but I got to do things I NEVER would have done, if I hadn’t been at home. And how many of those moments followed crying jags or occurred even on our bad days?
I learned long ago, ten years in fact that life sucks, but WE make it what we want it to be. We can either wallow in the suckery or embrace it and learn from it and grow. We can not change “Events.” We only change our actions and reactions in light of them.
Focusing on the positive
Not going to lie, 2020 DEFINITELY tested how I reacted to situations, which was only amplified by the stressful situations my family and I went through (still are) on TOP of having to quarantine together. Honestly I think we should just be thankful we didn’t murder each other, four and occasionally seven people in a very small house ALL working from home…. Oy vey, that in of itself is a huge 2020 miracle, love you guys!
Of course I could look at the fact that my brother was slowing down the internet with his Zoom meetings while I also had to have Zoom meetings, OR I could focus on the fact that I got to spend the last year connecting with my family. Supporting them through difficult moments, trying my hand at teaching (Not gonna lie that one is stretching the positivity a bit) my nephews school, and having coffee dates with my niece.
In a year, where I had originally planned on being abroad, I somehow ended up right where I was suppose to be. Believe me there were times where it was flipping frustrating as all get out, but looking back now? I wouldn’t change any of it. (well maybe stocking up on more tequila maybe)
I have spent more time with my family then I have in the last ten years combined. I got to create memories with my nephews and niece that they will hopefully remember years from now, and I got to reconnect with my brothers, which they really are kinda cool. (Don’t tell them I said that!)
While I didn’t get to explore the Amalfi Coast or sit by the Seine and write, I did get to explore places that I didn’t even realize were in my backyard, as well as experience more of the Maine Coast. Beauty isn’t just in foreign adventures, but it also exists in our own backyards and I am so grateful that because of everything that happened this year, I was able to discover that, and I have a whole new appreciation for my home town.
Because of the pandemic, I also had to pivot in my work, but that also was a blessing, as I really began to focus on Influencer Marketing. Because stores and malls were shut down, people were going to Instagram and Rewardstyle before ordering, changing how many companies work with bloggers and revolutionizing what has become a billion dollar industry and also giving a bit more validation to what I do. I also was able to spend more time on my writing as well as this blog which is always a huge gift.
What We Needed
As people have said this may not have been the year we wanted, but it is the year we needed and I am a STRONG believer in that. I wish life was sunshine and roses, but it isn’t and we will go through bad, even horrific periods, but those periods give us courage, and strength and hopefully more compassion. And on the other side are rainbows and light. We just have to make it through. And we will. Humans are resilient, especially in our darkest moments. We WILL get through and be stronger for it.
This year is proof you never stop learning, even when you think you have learned the toughest lessons in life, sometimes God wants to remind you, you haven’t, LIKE taking life for granted. This year is a reminder to NEVER do that. Always appreciate what you have, even the most simple mundane activities, and live from a compassionate heart, for others as well as for yourself. We never know anyone’s story, and in our own pain and darkness, it can be so easy to forget that, and jump to judgement instead of sitting back and listening and realizing someone else might be seeking the light as well. All our stories are unique and our own, but we are all living this life, and I hope that 2021 brings more compassion and understanding, light and most especially love.
What are some good moments you had in or lessons you learned in 2020?