2020 highlights

Posted by Kathy on Jan 1, 2021 in Uncategorized |

Well, it’s been a crap year in more ways than one can count, but highlights include: the horrific COVID-19 pandemic and general way it was handled by so many – still, by some who think it’s no big deal, who ignore safety measures and even boast of such; the tragic loss of over 330,000 Americans from that mythical COVID-19, including around 2,000 of our precious medical workers; the fires of California, causing death and destruction in numerous ways, some perhaps yet to discover for those who were breathing in smoke-filled air for weeks and weeks; the lengthy aftermath of our November election, for which I will curb my comments on those who apparently have given up on our long-standing process of democracy; racial tragedy, during which it felt like we have moved back to the 1950s in regard to progress in our America where, supposedly, all are created equal; horrible financial loss for so many resulting in inability to feed families, pay mortgages and rent, and on and on.

We have much to mourn about. But there is more. There’s always more.

There is a sense, today, that many survived. Many used innovation to keep their businesses going. Film makers figured out how to safely make movies and TV series. We learned how to zoom – even we old folks zoomed. We kept many businesses afloat via takeout and curbside purchases. We learned how to cook better. We got good at Facetime, we developed ways to show love at a distance, care for others less fortunate, and give in ways more generous than before 2020. People volunteered, both in organizations and informally, neighbor helping neighbor. And we cared, as Americans, that black and brown persons were being mistreated, still, by our system, scorning a few bad apples who in violent and horrid ways caused death and heartbreak, George Floyd being just one of many victims. We wept, we shouted and protested, we wrote letters, and we got out the vote in hopes of change, in hopes of a kinder nation. We did our best to support and attend to those broken by all this, new ways of therapy popping up into our consciousness. 

We prayed, wrote, cried, bore the absence of hugs and contact, grieved our losses in new and limited ways. Weddings were scaled down to a mere few players, sports events and play were cancelled, and we learned it was safer to go to church in front of a computer until other, safe in-person methods were developed.

I learned to fix things. I did some thinking. I cut my own hair three times and there will be one more trim happening this evening. I learned to sew masks, and sew I did. I found out I’m a good cook, evidenced by the addition of several pounds. Then I figured out a way to shake them off. I did more thinking. I sat on the sofa, staring at news shows, unable to move at times. I got up and danced in my little one-bedroom apartment. I side-kicked with my grandson with a Hitchcock class he was taking at college, watching and discussing along with him, a rare privilege for a grandma. I witnessed my son marry his beloved in the most tiny of ceremonies. I walked. A lot. I walked with friends and family at the cemetery, by myself around the outskirts of the mall parking lots, around nearby schools, at the beach, and in my apartment building’s parking lot. I bought a lot of seafood treats, and I quietly cursed at non-maskers. I have never said the word “asshole” so many times in one year. I talked to friends and family, and worried along with those of them who contracted COVID. I had therapy by zoom, dealing with anxiety and depression that burst through my efforts of “getting through” alone. I got down and dirty with both God, and in self-reflection, a frightening yet freeing practice.

But mostly? Mostly I learned yet again how very precious my people are to me. That through complex feelings, difficult feelings, love proves stronger than anything. Love, stronger than fear, than anger, than isolation. And that was the most important highlight of all.

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