By now, it’s pretty cliché to talk about 2020 using any of these words: Crazy, ridiculous… or the best one – unprecedented.
A lot happened in 2020. Much of it concurrently, too; COVID-19, the economy, the northeast hailstorm, city finances/taxes…
The year 2020, by all accounts, is one that we’ll happily tuck into the forgotten bureau drawer in the upstairs attic. Probably never to be spake of again. It’s one we’d like to forget.
It will be a year that was reviled for the losses – of life, of job, of business.
It will be hated because of the wedge it drove between us and our loved ones.
It will raise our anxiety thinking of mornings at home trying to get the kids to pay attention to Zoom school classes, while struggling to find a top to match our pajama bottoms for a work Zoom meeting of our own.
For many reasons we could look back in anger at 2020 for all the things it took from us.
No growth without struggle
Instead, look back at 2020 for the richness it gave to us. For there is no growth without struggle.
2020 was a year that we’re choosing to look at as a recalibration. We readjusted expectations, pace of life, appreciate of time – especially with loved ones.
Calgarians embraced innovation. Necessity was, indeed, the mother of invention. We explored new parts of our immediate world, we took change on like a boss (for the most part) and rolled with the punches, a combination of which seemed to come daily.
Calgarians, for the most part, did their part in adhering to public health guidelines, not always for their own health, but because they were thinking of the health of others.
We respected the rule of law. We respected others and their vulnerabilities.
We learned the value of front-line workers, many of whom we take for granted. And, not just the doctors and nurses and emergency personnel who get the bulk of the headlines. Without the truck drivers, the grocery workers, the corner store operators, the Amazon delivery drivers, the transit workers or those working the takeout windows or curbsides – this would have been infinitely harder. Perhaps, unbearable.
The year the little things came into focus
Many will tell you 2020 was a year that put big picture things into focus: Climate, social justice, political change.
This is not the case.
2020 should be remembered for how it brought clarity to the importance of little things.
Appreciation of a beer with a friend. A hug from another. Personal touch. Other people than our immediate family. Going outside. The warmth of an in-person smile from a maskless face. Game night. Family dinners. Festivals. Our pets. Our immediate community. How vast and unexplored the city is. Our pathways. (Having kids in school… let’s be honest.) Fellowship in the workplace. Backyard fires with friends on a hot summer night. Playing shinny, shooting hoops, kicking the soccer ball or tossing the football.
While COVID-19 was determined to tear us apart, it brought most of us closer together.
As we bid adieu to 2020, we ask that it not be forgotten.
In fact, instead of being tucked in the attic bureau, it should be written on the refrigerator door. We will need to be reminded daily of the lessons and sacrifices we learned as we slip back into that ‘old normal.’
Change is constant and this year was like few others. We’ve adapted, we’ve learned and we’ve evolved.
To us, that’s what makes the opportunity in 2021 more exciting than in years past. We can’t wait to embrace what’s ahead.
Have a safe, happy and healthy new year!