What I learned about myself in 2020 (or, “2020: A Passover Year”)

Some people are writing about their silver linings after living 9 months in a pandemic, like “My husband and I became closer by spending more time together”.  Some are listing benefits as a result of living in the year 2020 – something like, “I learned how to sew in 2020.”

This post may be a tweak on the usual.

I think living in the modern world frequently means that we are geared toward moving, and moving as fast as we can.  It means adding to our repertoire of skills and experiences.  It’s kind of the “fast lane” approach to life, leaving us little time for reflection.

I am in – and I think it’s enviable, frankly – the position of being a little older than most.  I’m semi-retired, which means I have the ability to slow life down a little, make choices that I couldn’t make in my 30’s and 40’s that suit my preferences, say “no” more often.  It also means that I have more time for reflection.

I’m going to say something that may come across upsetting to some, but hear me out.  Except for some minor disappointments (and we have those all through life), 2020 has not really impacted my life much.

I know, it’s a shocking thing to admit.  But here’s why:

  1.  I’ve stayed healthy.  Except for one minor ailment Christmas day (stomach flu), I did not even have a cold.  And, my husband can say the same.  Why?  Because we have long been careful with our health.  We take nutritional supplements.  Avoid high-risk experiences. We eat well, sleep well, move well….you get the idea.  Before Covid-19, we were already doing what was necessary to have strong immune systems.
  2. While there were family members with Covid-19, nobody died in my family because of it.  I thank God for this.  However, I lost a beloved sister to cancer.  Cancer has always been a scourge.  It’s just as frightening, if not more so, than Covid-19.  We have lived with countless diseases and so far, we have been spared.  Covid-19 is another to add to the list.  I refuse to live in fear.  This is not a new revelation.  The likes of terrorists and 9/11, my husband in a foreign land fighting a foreign war, and countless other things that can produce anxiety and fear have taught me that worrying about these things rob me of my TODAY.  Before Covid-19, I already had a sense of peace and knew I had a choice to experience it.
  3. While we have curtailed way too many social engagements with friends, not to mention the loss of two important vacations and were not able to fly my daughter home from Germany, I have not suffered from loneliness.  I am a fortunate woman married to a man who adores me and craves spending time with me.  In a year of isolation, I needed this.  We played more games, watched more movies, gardened together, enjoyed a bourbon on the deck every evening before bed during the summer.  We continued our couple’s devotion and prayed together. We have always worked hard to have a great marriage. Before Covid-19, I already had a great bond with my husband.
  4. I did not lose my job.  Now, in the first few months, learning to teach remotely, just learning those new skills at such a frenzied pace, nearly made me lose my mind!  But, I resolved to do what I could, the best I could.  Why?  Years ago, I had great people in my life that mentored me.  They ensured that I would develop the best work ethic possible.  They ensured that I knew how to keep learning.  They encouraged the attitudes that are required for just this kind of crisis.  Before Covid-19, I already had a long career in education and the skills to continue making an impact.
  5. I did not lose my perspective.  I’ve known too well that we should be careful not to take at face value much of what we see and hear.  Our current media, in most all of its forms, do not enjoy the credibility it had 30 or 40 years ago. I’ve learned over the last 45 years, that man’s view of the world is flawed.  How?  Because The Word tells us this.  I rest my faith on the plans God has for me.  It WAS distressing to see lost souls buffeted by this storm.  So many who I expected common sense from were caught up in the torrent of media fear-mongering.  Many of them Christians, just like me, but forgetting that He is in control, not the government and certainly not the media (except that both have been far too influential lately).  Before Covid-19, I used critical thinking to sort through the proverbial mountains of misinformation which more often than not just sent me to read my Bible or to pray.  Before Covid-19, I had a deep faith in God.

So you see, the one true blessing for me was to reflect on the fact that I created a life for myself that was able to withstand the storm.  My husband and I occasionally take a look back on our decisions and choices throughout our lives.  The quiet of the Christmas season allowed us to do that again.  It would be such a waste to live with regret because of things I didn’t do.  Rather, I choose to think about the things of value that were taught to me and that I learned that allow me to live a good life.

The groundwork was already laid for me to be able to say that I was not impacted by what 2020 threw at us. We will never be free from trials in this life, so we must choose to live, and live fully.  God has blessed me.  In this year of Covid-19, His blessings were the Blood over the door of my life.

About Frankie

A Navy vet, an educator (retired but still working), and a mom of three girls, and two grandsons. Married to the love of my life. Dirt and words. That sums up what gets my attention. Read on and find out why.
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