Reflecting and Moving Forward
So, here we are 12 days in, what are your initial thoughts about 2021? Now that we’ve made it through and 2021 is finally here, do you feel like this year is your chance for a do-over? If you’re anything like me, you might feel like 2020 took quite a bit from you but it also gave you a new mindset. You have learned lessons that will help you navigate 2021, and probably the rest of your life. I have decided to believe that these lessons were God’s gift to me this past year.
Time isn’t refundable: This seems like common sense, but you don’t realize how valuable time is until it’s taken away from you. One day, we were all going about our lives, working, doing the things we loved and literally within hours, the entire world shut down and we were locked inside our homes. Did you use your time wisely? As a family, we decided we were going to use that time to strengthen our relationships and pick up new hobbies. Were those days in lockdown rough? Absolutely. Did it test me in ways I didn’t think was possible? You betcha. But we took the time we were given and made the most of it. That’s all you can do, because once it’s gone, you can never get it back.
If the answer isn’t ‘heck yes’, it’s a no: Boundaries. As a people pleaser, this has always been a struggle for me. I want to make sure everyone I come in contact with is happy at all times – this isn’t realistic. Setting boundaries was something I had to force myself to do, because we welcomed a new baby in April of 2020. He became our priority. Especially during a worldwide pandemic, his safety and wellbeing became our #1 priority. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought or how anyone else felt, our son came first. I have found that many of our friends and family learned how to define their boundaries better in 2020. Other people’s opinions of you became less and less important, and putting the people inside your home first, became crucial. When making decisions for myself and my family, I started the ‘heck yes’ method. If my immediate reaction isn’t ‘HECK YES’ then it’s probably a no. Learning this has done wonders for my family and has helped us keep things in check, especially when the world around us is chaotic.
Listen more and talk less: Throughout all of the events of 2020, one of the most important lessons that I have learned is that every person experiences difficulties in their life. It doesn’t matter what race you are, if you’re male or female, if you grew up in the suburbs or lived in a shelter. Every person has a story that deserves to be told. Most of the time, people need to be heard, but they don’t have anyone willing to listen. Their stories allow us to get out of our ‘bubble’ and view their reality. Their reality gives us insight on the hardships that affect others all around the world. So take a moment, ask the tough questions and listen – I guarantee, you won’t regret it.
2020 came with a lot of heartache. People lost their lives, were locked in their houses for months on end, fought for their freedoms, participated in, what felt like the worst election in history – honestly, I could go on and on. But where there are trials, there are also blessings. One of my favorite songs says “What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?” That’s what I’m choosing to believe, everything we went through in 2020 will prepare us for what’s to come in 2021- they are God’s blessings in disguise.