Three Bows to 2020
I loved 2020.
I know that beggars popular orthodoxy, but it is so true.
And it may trigger some of you. I apologize for that.
You have a right to be indignant about 2020.
I do feel deeply for all the pain and loss everyone is suffering.
But for me, personally, perhaps selfishly, 2020 has been my favorite year yet. If I don’t tell you, whom shall I?
Though I am more drawn to the Chinese Lunar way of marking time, my personal annual cycle nearly coincides with the Gregorian calendar, off by only one click on the 365 dial of days. So, reflecting on and appreciating the year just passed seems apt.
I surely felt the pain and angst and anger this year delivered us as many did. But I also, and perhaps more so, appreciate the cascade of surprising gifts 2020 brought me.
- I grew another year older and did not die of Covid, as were the odds.
- I have been working 53 years and at this age I should be playing golf or doing extreme scrapbooking. But this year I began my very favorite job of my life and I get to do it full-time, all the time.
- I was able to sit, still as a stone, aimlessly, for hundreds of hours, alone and with others. And for that, I gained absolutely nothing. How wonderful.
- I made well over a hundred new friends, all over the world, and we get to meet and chat often.
- I was able to keep in touch with old friends, going back to the fifties, as never before.
- And my family. We talk together all the time and I love that. Every holiday. Every birthday. Sundays. Randomly. For no reason.
- Americans gained the clearest insight ever into who among us favors democracy and who prefers authoritarianism. What a gift. Now we know.
- I put on a few extra pounds, but they are sweet and gooey and have a warm, soft, chocolatey raspberry center.
- I finished a 10,000-word memoir writing project and delivered it to each of my kids on their birthdays.
- White Americans were shown what Black Americans have always known and there are nascent, clumsy, bold and honest conversations going on every day about white supremacy and Black American history and experience. This topic will not settle down until we face reality. Another priceless gift.
- A good speller naturally, I nonetheless finally mastered priveledge or privelege, or privilege, or whatever it is.
- Sandy and I are now able to capably harmonize on the Birthday Song and did so dozens of times last year. We now each own a bag we can carry a tune in.
- I experienced so very intimately that, while still a lover of being in person with others, “connection” exists even in isolation. What is that I wonder?
- Driving around is over-rated and although I love road trips, I survived without them.
- In-N-Out finally came to Colorado after us being here twenty-one years, but I’ve not been yet since that would require driving around.
- The sun rose and set, the moon orbited, and dizzying arrays of stars danced, all without my need to intervene. All I needed to do was watch.
- We made a dangerous mistake four years ago, but we stepped up and fixed it. We get another chance.
- Science finally triumphed over ignorant demagoguery.
- All of us are weary, perhaps a bit stove up, beat down, saddle sore and ready for a break. But we got through it and we learned how deep we run. I think we are amazing.
I invite you to make (and perhaps share) your own list. It’s liberating.
I wish everyone in this virtual space a very peaceful and fulfilling 2021.
Love to all y’all.