Let’s all breathe deeply and take a collective sigh of relief. We did it. If you are reading this, then you survived the year 2020. If you survived in 2020, you can “virtually” survive anything. Get what I did there? The year started off fairly normal for most, but took a sharp turn left that no one was expecting. Half the continent of Australia was on fire in 2020. The entire world shut down for some time, and a massive global pandemic swept through the entire world. Let’s not even talk about the toilet paper shortage. I am still uncertain about the correlation between COVID-19 and toilet paper. Not to mention, no one even blinked an eye when the Pentagon released information stating that UFOs are real. For quite a while some of us were working from home while teaching our children. I mean, are we not superheroes? I think so!

Now here we are in a new year. A fresh start. I don’t know about you guys, however, my mindset is a little like squint your eyes and wait for the chaos. Grin and bear it mentality as we wait to see what fresh havoc awaits us. Maybe it is PTSD from 2020. Guys, I am ready for a new year. I am ready for something different. I think 2020 may have tossed us around like a broken washing machine and then hung us out to dry. Even though 2020 was hard on us all, it has taught me a lot. It has taught me that there is always something to be thankful for. It is not easy, but it is possible. You can find gratefulness even in small things. I remember the joy of a sunny day during the lockdown. A break from the cold and an opportunity to walk outside and get fresh air. I remember the pure laughter that came from my children when we set up their swing set in the backyard. I remember Friday night movie nights. I remember a good glass of wine and a strong cup of coffee bringing a smile to my face. These were all things I have taken for granted before the pandemic. I remember the first time that we visited with our family after three months of being only the four of us. I remember hugging my dad for the first time in months. It felt like home. It felt different; it felt appreciated. If 2020 taught me anything, it is that family is most important. Maybe being washed up and hung to dry by 2020 allowed for me to be rid of all the things that seem so important but, in reality, did not matter. Like nice clothes, a polished car, or a booming career. Do not get me wrong, it is okay to find joy in those things, however, when the world shuts down, family is all you have.

I look forward to what 2021 can bring because I feel like I have a fresh perspective and a new appreciation for the simple things in life. While I know we are not in the clear from the coronavirus, I hope that 2021 will redeem us from the crazy that occurred in 2020. I hope that you can enter 2021 with the same mentality. My wish for you in the new year is that you hold on to hope and embrace the new year with open arms. May you sip your coffee in the mornings and appreciate the silence, if only for a second. May you act silly when your kids are watching, have weekly dance parties, and hold on to the only thing that matters if the world were to shut down again… your family. 2020 taught us gratitude now let us allow 2021 to teach us joy.

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