Andrea, we are in awe of you. Your strength, tenacity and grace moves us. Thank you for all of the important work you do and for being yet another reminder while maybe these stories aren’t the ones you see on the front page; good people are out there and are leading by example everywhere. You go girl!
I, for one, don’t want to read another thing about how 2020 did our whole universe dirty. I think we proved how agile we can truly be. That being said, I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned this year because maybe someone out there felt it too.
I’ve navigated through some tough childhood situations (just like everyone else): lived through a school shooting, built a career when no one thought I could, was pregnant with 5 children in 5 years, and lost one. I’ve loved and lost, family, friends and partners. What I gained from those experiences was what I like to call a larger capacity for gratitude, and a full-spectrum of emotions that would be similar to adding dimension to a painting. I learned the more I let myself experience the lows of life, the more I could recognize the highest of highs. For me at least, I have learned that in placing my focus more on all of the things I still get to have and enjoy, rather than focusing on what is no longer. Through practicing this; I could find daily peace, happiness, and even joy.
This year, I didn’t feel as if I was prepared for the transformation in my typical daily routine. At least in previous years, I could dance it off on a rare night out with friends, or even go out to eat at a restaurant. On a rainy day, I could take my kids to the museum so I could have a break from finding yet another at-home craft to do. I could take them to the movies, to see a show; hell, to their friend’s house. It was some time around March when my biggest feeling was regret; regret for not appreciating those moments in their fullest, because I never imagined it could someday be… not a thing.
Thank you 2020 for showing me new levels of humility from the smallest things like- I use too many paper towels (I’ve made this adjustment). I would say, YES it is tricky to raise 4 kids all under the age of 6. I, for sure did not know how “tricky” it would be to also homeschool 4 kids, all under the age of 6. I learned new recipes, I learned a lot of new skills, and I took some awesome online classes. I sat with myself, alone, and had to face some things that were initially scary. I learned that educating my children could be as simple as digging for worms or washing the car. 2020, you slowed down time to make us really look at the state of our environment and how our decisions without thought or purpose were affecting the planet as well as each other. I was reminded yet again, that life can be fragile. It is without a doubt fleeting and a gift that no matter what, it is my choice to make the best or the worst of it. This year made me stronger and more perceptive than I ever knew I could be. I am sincerely grateful for the experiences that led me to where I am today. I promise to carry this deeper understanding going forward, always.
I would now very much appreciate a year that feels like a cool breeze, a warm-weather vacation, smooth sailing, and similar to when the sun comes out after a storm. I am not going to say I think that things will just go back to “normal” when the clock strikes midnight. I have always thought it is what we make of it. I’m only saying, thank you 2020. You made one tough cookie out of me. Now, don’t let the door hit you in the ass, and let’s move forward with the strength plus knowledge we’ve acquired. I’d like to start this new year on a fresh page with the sun on our faces and wind at our backs.
I’m wishing you all a dance party where you can let it go, a high-five cuz whatever- we did the damn thing, and a new year that feels like no matter what…we know we’ve proved, we got this. Cheers to 2021!