Two essays to wrap up 2020

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Alrighty then! We ready for this 2020 to, well, walk away quietly into the night?

I am.

To be honest, I’ve had some successes and things I’m proud of this year but it’s also been a year of mixed blessings. So many friends going through things that, quite frankly, I feel we’re all a little too young for, too small to understand and carry the weight of what we’ve endured.

So, with that – some thoughts I’ve been thinking, if you’re up for reading.

First – an essay (by me, today’s guest commentator) about 2020 and eventually…hope, featured on Presbyterian Outlook:

Second, a little bit of my own 2020 wrap up/list.

Some have mentioned it’s been a “garbage year” and while I agree mostly with that, my own personal opinion is that nothing is truly garbage, and not an entire year. If there’s been a smile, a moment of flow or goodness, a good chuckle (or three) or a book, or something deeply moving that’s happened in a life, a year, a day…well, it’s not garbage. Sure, some of it stinks and is downright rotten, but not all of it. Not all of it.

So, with the tiresome, old joke that is me and my “pulse” on what all the kids are doing these days, here’s my own version of David Letterman’s top 10 for 2020. But of course, mine is inappropirately timed (funny in the late 90s, maybe, when it was a relelvant bit) too long, and hopefully humorous and bittersweet, but mostly? It’s just mine, that’s all. Hope you enjoy.

My own Top 12 (whoops) list for 2020

Image courtsey of Kreated Media, Unsplash
  1. Bagels still exist. So does cream cheese. And coffee. And tea.
  2. The mail carriers and grocery store workers finally, FINALLY get their due (and much deserved respect.) It is like we care that they are real people.
  3. Same for the nurses, doctors, therapists, and all the others involved in healthcare. And teachers and all those involved the schools and education system. The real VP of them all? The cooks and the janitors, who so often go overlooked. Food and clean spaces/surfaces are not to be undervalued.
  4. All the Thor movies. All of them. Come at me, internets.
  5. There was a Christmas. There was still Halloween. And people went in BIG, especially for the kids. That’s hope, a big hope, especially you when know childless couples that did big Christmas lights specifically for small children’s glee.
  6. We are not hiding out in our bunker with uncooked spaghetti noodles and a couple of matches, like how I thought this all would play out on Day 2 of lockdown.
  7. For the most part, we’ve accommodated and changed and listened and shown up, especially the retailers. Noticeable and detecable now, the car pickup thing in every store parking lot, the shields for workers, the way you don’t have to touch a credit card machine if you don’t want to. Say what you will about leaving people behind (we are sure no angels, that’s for sure, especially when it comes to mobolity and differently abled accomodations) but for the most part, retailers have considered the immune-compromised among us as a valid, real group that needs to be helped. (You and I can say many things here about how it’s “business” and that’s the bottom line/their customers, but I’m taking a compassionate approach. We’ve changed and shifted, and the retailers were among some of the first to lead the way.)
  8. The teachers have SHOWN UP. Telling us, showing us really, how to take care of our own children and our communities. So, so thankful for them and the men and women of faith, too.
  9. We are still here, friends. And don’t just have soup and day-long waits for a loaf of bread. Not to say that is not the reality of some; (and a good reminder for all of us to donate to food pantrys) but just a reminder that no matter how upset we can be about how this “isn’t the same” (it isn’t, that’s right) but it’s FAR from as bad as it could be for a majority of us.
  10. Our Quarantine Pets (and babies? And hobbies?) may have saved us. For sure, they are giving us hope, something to live for.
  11. The artists and composers and writers and creators are STILL creating, and giving us something to watch, think about, read, enjoy, ponder, all while safe at home.
  12. The mail still comes (with that, so does the bills) but the mail still comes. The sun still shines. People still get up, go to work, turn on the electricity. In a very particular sort of weird thanks, someone still goes into the factory to sew underwear, and someone picks out the books I’ve reserved at the library, a small, daily offering. In essence, the world still goes on, bit by bit. And I am so, so grateful.

Happy New Year’s, friends. Thinking of you, and wishing for a good end to 2020 and a good (not perfect, not back to normal, but good) 2021 for you too.

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