2020 in the Rearview Mirror and Counting Blessings:
I’ve recently read MANY blog posts about this monumental year. All have remarked on the challenges the year has posed and to what degree we as the human race have coped with isolation, frustration, loss of loved ones and/or traditions, and personal illness. I firmly agree that no person will be sad to wave goodbye to 2020. My husband and I have the champagne ready to toast its demise.
As a teacher, my spring semester came to an end in March of 2020. Teachers and students went home on a Friday and were told not to return. Teachers returned on Monday to collect any personal items. Any learning was online and was minimal since most of our students did not have computer access on a daily basis. (The district has since provided computers for each student). This period marked the beginning of minimal contact with friends, colleagues, and family; however, it also opened many possibilities. When I left school that Monday, one of my fellow teachers said, “Well, you now have no excuse not to write that book.”
My young colleague was right about writing. I embraced my writing, and during the first bleak days of the pandemic, wrote endlessly. I was working on three manuscripts until my husband uttered these words: “Finish one. You’re just dabbling here and there.” Wise words from my scientist hubby! I finished the third installment of my Jude Mooney saga as the school year resumed, and it has been submitted! Fingers crossed!
The year has also brought blessings and losses. Several friends have had babies. Several relatives are adding their own additions to the family. We lost some near and dear to us. We’ve known many who have suffered because of COVID or the challenges the illness has brought—hospitalization, loss of income, loss of loved ones. The year also brought attention to the divide in our country as COVID became a political football, and we as a people realized how little progress we’d made in the area of tolerance or race relations. Still, this year has provided hubby and me with much needed time together that we don’t always have when I’m working. We have taken walks together, lingered over coffee, and enjoyed leisurely meals. My scientist hubby has provided me with valuable, unbiased information on the demon COVID and the vaccines we now so covet. We’ll stand in line to receive that shot.
In New Orleans, we love social gatherings. Hubby and I mourn the loss of our favorite festivals, but we will be in line for tickets when they resume. We’ve mourned the distance we must maintain from family and friends, but we’ve found a way to maintain some social interaction through Zoom and our large front porch, which has allowed us to interact with friends at safe distances. No one shakes hands at church during the sign of peace, but we do wave and smile through our masks.
On New Year’s Eve, we will drink a toast to all those we lost, celebrate the future, and wave goodbye to 2020.