I’m an optimist. Not a “plug your ears, close your eyes and sing a happy song while ignoring reality” type. More like I know reality and hope in the good to come. I believe that problems can be solved, people can learn and be better, and everything will turn out alright in the end…until the next thing arises 😉
I know a lot of people had it rough last year. (Last year, feels weird to say when it was just yesterday) I’ve had personal friends struggle with health – physical and mental, finances, job loss, long hours at hospitals, suddenly homeschooling their kids, not being able to get appliances and material to finish renovations (literally living in a construction zone!), and literally everyone trying to manage the changes in the world and how to interact with everyone else trying to manage those changes. Oy!
I’ve experienced some of these myself and boy, it’s strange and some times uncomfortable…or outright painful. But I’m an optimist and that has helped me all my life when Trouble peeks out and throws a few obstacles in the way. Cause Trouble comes and the only thing to do is choose your perspective on the obstacle, see what you can learn from it, and be optimistic for the good to come. And the good ALWAYS comes if you look for it.
So, I’ll say it. Last year was good.
Despite gaining fifteen pounds back (probably more than that – I quite weighing myself) after keeping it off for literally years. Despite not having as much time to write because I was helping kids with online school. Despite having to cancel my daughter’s Christmas present and not let her fly to her Uncle and Aunt’s house for spring break. Despite my kids not being able to have friend birthday parties. Despite not having our traditional July Fourth party where our group of friends fly in and celebrate with us for a week. Despite a fire that threatened our neighborhood where we had to evacuate! Despite having my transmission die and be without my car for weeks (I still don’t have it). Despite the weeks – months! – of helping all of us figure out how to mentally handle not being able to leave our house!
Last year was good.
Perspective is everything.
I’ve been engaged in politics, the problems of our time, and in possible solutions more than normal last year. What a whirlwind but also a blessing to expand my own knowledge and to engage in conversations with my spouse and children. To examine beliefs, to consider ideas, to ask questions, research, gain a foundation but then be open minded to change it – and do! I mean, what an opportunity all brought on by Trouble.
We’ve been able to grow together as a family. Not perfectly. Not everything is always hunky dory where no one ever fights and everyone always uses their manners and is completely understanding. Not that. Not perfection. But we’ve been there for each other on the days that count the most and enjoyed each other’s company during a strange time instead of taking out the circumstances on one another. I call that a win.
My husband got to work from home and that is a HUGE reason to say this year was good. And I even did pretty well on not interrupting him during working hours. (Also a win)
Books were read, movies were watched, games were played, letters were written. Virtual Conventions were attended! (A post about World Fantasy will be in the future. I’m still on a high from that experience!) I learned Zoom! Animal Crossing was played! And more Animal Crossing was played. And more Animal Crossing… (It was a huge help when it came out so soon after having to stay home!) Our neighborhood didn’t burn down! Not a single house lost – Woot!
And hey, I got a short story up here, that also makes this a good year.
There are a dozen other little things that made it a good year. And you know, despite some uncertainty in the world, good will continue to come. It’ll show up. We just have to keep learning, keep making the best of things, and Trouble will get tired and go take a nap for a bit while we revel in the good and the peaceful.
We got this. Let’s go 2021.