Last year, I wrote on January fifth that "...it appears that 2020 is going to be the year of numbers." I am not psychic...but to my two sisters who don't believe in my prayers and alignment with the new moon, who believe my acceptance of Mercury's Retrograde and its impact on my life is crazy--how do you like me now?
It's been 152 days since I last wrote.
It's been 192 school days since Olivia has been in a physical classroom.
It's been 293 days since COVID-19 was called a National Emergency in the United States.
It's been 294 days since I wore anything fancier than a Birkenstock or Croc
And it's been 361 days since I sat at this computer and wrote about what 2020 would bring me.
But, I think if I've really learned anything in 2020, other than the fact the Mike and Judi's two older children can suck it, it's that numbers don't always tell the whole story.
These numbers are real--but what is left out of them is also very real, and very relevant. I have watched my daughter miss her friends. She has missed her classroom and she has missed her routine. But she has also learned, like so many others, the value in skills like time-management, quick-fixes for all technology issues, online folder organization, and adapting to an ever-changing environment. She has learned that right now is what we have, and it will be enough until we can make it more.
Like my daughter, I have learned to adapt. I have learned that sounding like Optimus Prime for an entire class is not a major catastrophe; in fact, it's nothing more than an annoyance. I have learned that taking 5 or 10 minutes to end and restart a Zoom meeting so I no longer sound like a robot is also acceptable, and will not cause permanent damage to anyone.
In my personal life I've learned that there is no chart, no tally system that people keep which states things I've excelled at and things I've failed at, only to be shown to the world at some unknown later date. I've learned that if I looked at the world through the eyes of my eight year old, I might be a far braver, happier person. I've learned that failures and mistakes are not mine alone, that humility and kindness go the furthest, and it's never a bad time to say "I love you," or "I'm sorry."
Most importantly, if 2020 has taught me anything it's that I had allowed myself to become wrapped up in things that were insignificant, things that I had no control over, and, yet, allowed to control many of my actions. I learned that being surrounded by real people instead of online people, that looking at myself in the mirror and accepting everything I saw and felt, was a far greater accomplishment than likes, shares, or brags.
So, here's to 2021, and a year that is more than numbers. A year that is all about the moments between: the small hikes taken, a leaf path discovered. A day at the beach. A mostly successful day on the mountain. Here is to you, dear friends, and something to look forward to, be it the ending of this year, or the beginning of a new one.