Reminiscing on 2020

2020 was certainly a year that changed our lives. So many developments of global proportions; so many seismic shifts in our everyday existence. Will life ever quite be the same? In any event, it’s worth recalling some of the ways – good and bad – that 2020 will forever stand out in my memory. Here is 2020:

  • The first year I received money from the federal government (that wasn’t the result of an overpayment). I also nearly threw it away because I thought it was a credit card offer.
  • The first year my kids did not get a single cold. This is really mind-boggling. Is this good or bad for their immune systems? It was good for their parents’ sleep schedule.
  • The first year I (and my wife) visited with practically our entire extended families over Zoom. These are people scattered across great distances who we very seldom see in person; we had plans to see almost none of them this year, yet we saw and conversed with them all. I consider this a very positive irony of a pandemic year! There were many other video-conferencing firsts as well: first doctor’s visit, first school class, first prayer meeting.
  • The first year of my working life in which I worked more hours from home than from an office, and the first year in which I went almost nine months without setting foot inside a brick-and-mortar office building. While working from home brought new challenges, for me it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
  • Not unrelatedly, this was my first year to go to work in pajamas. Repeatedly. (Please don’t ask me to turn on the webcam!)
  • The first year our family had to ration toilet paper. And mooch it off family and friends.
  • The first year I wore a mask in public; also, the first time I drove all the way to a destination, only to turn around and drive straight home because I’d forgotten a mask. Did that more than once.
  • Finally and most unexpectedly, the year of my kids’ first white Christmas – and my first in a very long time.

2020 shifted expectations in many other ways. It was a record-setting year for:

  • amount of miles I’ve driven (least)
  • amount of words I’ve written (most)
  • amount of time I’ve spent with my family (most)
  • number of haircuts I’ve had (least)
  • number of new hikes I’ve taken (most)
  • number of neighbors I’ve been neighborly with (most)
  • number of educational(ish) Youtube videos I’ve watched with my kids (most)
  • number of times I’ve told myself I should get off social media (most)
  • variety of ways I’ve attended worship services (most – at home, outside, in the home of a friend, by livestream).

No matter what the future holds, it’s good to know that (with help, support, and grace) we can survive such a year. Because who knows what 2021 will look like!

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