Well, my friends, we’ve reached the end of another year, and what a year it has been. As I was writing this, I went back to photos I had taken in the first couple months of 2020. It seems like another world and a lifetime ago. There are images of so many things we took for granted, like being able to go to the bowling alley with your family, or watching my son play youth basketball. These are simple things, of course, but once they have been gone for almost a year, one realizes how special those moments were.

This year has certainly been challenging for everyone. For many people, their jobs were lost or severely cut back. For others, they’ve had to work longer hours, and in more dangerous conditions, than ever before. Families have struggled with how to keep their children educated during this era of virtual learning, and how to keep them active when most youth sports have been cancelled.

And yet, with so many things that have seemingly gone wrong this year, there seem to be many things that have gone right. For instance, in the early months of COVID-19, nearly everything was closed and events were cancelled. Obviously, that’s not a good thing. But through that negative experience, so many of us were able to step back and connect (or reconnect) with our families, or those who matter most to us.

I probably spent more quality time with Blair and the kids in the first couple months of the pandemic than I had in a long time. We would go for walks on hiking trails, or the riverwalk. We would play games in the backyard. Again, these are simple things, but they were refreshing, because in the hustle and bustle of our “normal” life, these things often get pushed aside.

We don’t know what the future holds. I think we all hope that this virus will be under control in the weeks ahead, but that is largely out of our control. What we can control is how we treat one another and how we spend our time. Let’s make the most of that, virus or not, in 2021.

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