Cynthia L. Eppley 12/27/2020
I’ve seen several places where 2020 has been described as “A Dumpster Fire of a year.” Or “I’ll be so glad to finish 2020!” or “Good Riddance!”
It has been a hard year for so many.
Trials and Temptations
Covid has been a national, no an International scourge.
Small business owners have been on the verge of collapse. Many have lost their jobs.
Perhaps you have been considered an “Essential Worker.” Others have found they could work from home.
Schools have struggled to keep kids in school, but then adopted an online learning platform, or a hybrid method of both.
Many friends and even family have been challenged to work as well as educate their children.
You are not Alone
It has been said: “We are in this together.” But that’s not really true, is it? We are all in the same ocean of turmoil, but our boats vary in their functions and capacities.
If there was ever a time for grace amidst our trials, now is the time.
And the honest truth?
We don’t even know the half of our neighbor’s situation.
Even in times of Social Media, we may not know the full story.
I noted many happy faces, and family pictures.
But what about the friends who had sudden changes in plans?
What about the ones who celebrated holidays alone due to cancelled flights, or the threat of Covid?
You may have noticed their family portraits were absent. Which brings me to my point.
What is left? With Christmas “deconstructed,” what is left? Just around Christmas, several people began asking the question: “What have you learned or appreciated during this pandemic?” Answers came from Europe, Finland, Connecticut, and next door.
And their generosity speaks to the resilience of our human spirit.
What have you learned? What follows is a list of what 2020 has taught us:
The willingness to accept what is and that happiness and joy can be found despite our circumstances!
To not be fearful, to be willing to change plans in an instant and still enjoy them. That God is ever near and loves us so much! That working from Home is awesome!
That being masked and/or staying home isn’t the worst thing that could happen.
I am thankful for FaceTime, Zoom, and time spent outdoors.
That God is really and truely my everything. Do I struggle in this? Yes! But day after day, He is with me and I reconnect with Him as my everything. It certainly is a battle with the flesh. I have had cancer, neropathy, hernias, my husband had stage 4 lung cancer, and yet I KNOW that God is always good and bringing about redemption is so many ways. And I can thank Him only because He lives in me.
I learned that a small, quiet, private Christmas celebration can happen and bring joy without any of the usual trimmings.
The biggest payoffs come from tackling your fears head on. Hiding from them, avoiding them, pretending they don’t exist keeps you mired right where you are.
I can work just as effectively at home while eliminating my 2 hour + a day commute!
I saw so much more of Tana’s firsts this year working from home, I got promoted at work, and I’ve lost 50 lbs this year.
I was able to ride horses again (great social distancing activity) and adopted a race horse whose races were canceled so she gets to come home with me for a new life
I donated my kidney right before Covid to my cousin. Now my cousin is healthier than he’s been in years, and my body adjusted to one kidney like a champ!
So I’ve made over 5 and released 10 songs, I’m a rapper just not famous! lol
After saving for many years, we were able to build and move into our new home!
My book was published after 4 years of hard work.
I bought my harp Christmas 2018, right before I retired. I’ve been taking lessons and just love it! Especially during isolation.
I’m having loads of fun! YouTube is my BFF right now. I’m learning to play guitar (badly) and enjoying every second of it. Funny how a tiny change of pace can dramatically change your perspective.
I just started learning Spanish for the first time in my life. I love the challenge, the distraction, and that I’ve actually learned several words already!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
In this classic Dr. Seuss tale, the Grinch decides to take Christmas away.
“It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Curses or Blessings
We have all struggled during this time. And this is no time to minimize what some are going through, or to give trite easy answers.
My neighbor decided:
“I can’t have the kind of Christmas I want. So I’m going to find ways to serve others.” Perhaps, amidst ribbons and tags, boxes and bags: Christmas means a little bit more? And maybe 2020, rather than a curse, has brought blessings as well.