Whew! What a year, am I right? I am all to familiar with the idea to wish a year away when it feels like so much went downhill so quickly. Between losses, grieving, illnesses, and multiple natural disasters, it felt like it was never ending. But what I’ve learned through my own trials in life is that’s when you grow the most. And hard times can push the positives to really shine. So while this year felt impossible to get through, we made it because of the bright spots. These are what I hope we keep around in 2021…
- First, selfishly, this introvert loves a limited crowd. I mean… less people? Yes please! But in all seriousness, some attractions are just nicer to enjoy at a leisurely pace (I’m looking at you, Atlanta Botanical Gardens) instead of shoulder to shoulder. I know, I know, this one is less likely to happen, but a girl can dream!
- Celebrations! The seniors of 2020 didn’t go to prom, but I hope they felt the love of their communities. Pictures all over town, local Chick-Fil-As gave shout outs to their graduating employees on social media, principals delivered yard signs to their students, and families proudly made banners and cakes! Why can’t every graduate be celebrated this way from here on out? What an accomplishment! College seniors worked so hard! Let’s lift up the Class of ‘21 and beyond! Which leads to my next takeaway…
- Less can be more. I wish I could have kept track of how many friends said their kids “had the best birthday ever!” this year. Why? Because of the attention and thought, not because of the size of the party. I’m even guilty of this. For months I had my son’s first birthday in my head. A big pool party, lots of friends and family. But that idea turned into a small cookout with immediate family, playing outside with Charlie, and a smash cake. We had the best time and he got so much love in return. Some bride’s transformed their weddings from grand affairs to a more intimate evening, which proved to be a symbol of a beautiful commitment for them.
- Essentials. While your need for toilet paper grew, hopefully so did your appreciation for healthcare workers, school staff, grocery stores, and more. These things and these people make our current world go round! I certainly will not let them feel unappreciated going forward. If you’re reading this and have continued working face to face, you’ve kept us going. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Our communities need you and we couldn’t do it without you.
- And finally, LOVE. The family time we’ve all been given. The opportunity to call grandparents and friends and really catch up has been a true gift. Ask anyone who’s lost someone, this is a time to cherish. And when schedules pick up, I hope we all remember to tell someone we love them. To hug BIG every time. And that love doesn’t end with others, but we need to extend that love to ourselves! Self care is so important to get through whatever phases come next, take time for you in whatever way you need!
Because of these key learnings, I’m proud of the growths I’ve made this year. I’m proud of what I’ve learned about myself as a person and as a mom. I mean… my son is a thriving 17 month old in a pandemic! Go us!
I made it and you made it, too! Ready or not, 2021… here we come! Cheers, everyone and Happy New Year!