We’ve all seen the memes about what a dumpster fire this year has been. Hell, we’ve lived it, so we are acutely aware that this has been the shittiest of shitshows.
“One-star. Would not recommend.”
“YearQuil Hibernate – from the makers of NyQuil. Take 2 capsules and sleep through the rest of 2020.” Pass that box around to me.
And of course, there have been the endless jokes about toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, and the ineptitude of certain buffoon, piece-of-shit political leaders who deny science and peddle conspiracy theories about pretty much everything.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve been terrified and horrified and enraged and hopeful and stoic.
And we are all manners of shell-shocked by this point and frankly, could use a little pep talk. I’m here to infuse you with a sprinkling of mental and spiritual caffeine. Real caffeine is good, too. Grab a cup and let’s do some thinking.
Stand up, jump and down for 30 seconds, shake out your hands and let’s focus for a few minutes on what we have gained this year – besides a few extra pounds, which is not what we need to focus on right now – or ever. We have gained some valuable stuff, people – think about it!
Knowledge of self.
If you haven’t learned anything profound about yourself over the past 6 months, I’m straight up calling you useless and you are excused from the rest of this little exercise. Really – just go away. For the rest of you, close your eyes and reflect on how you know yourself better now. You’ve been through a lot of shit. You’ve adapted, you’ve pivoted till your tutu is madly twisted and you’ve looked on the fucking bright side so often your face is peeling. Go, You! You’re doing it. I will share what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve realized things aren’t really all that important and I own too many shoes and earrings. So, I’ve purged unnecessary crap and people from my home and my life. I’ve blocked and deleted and tuned out the stupid and the bigoted. I know what I’m willing to put up with and who I can forever say “Kiss my ass” to. And it feels really good.
New or Improved Skills
We’ve all learned how to do some pretty cool stuff. I discovered I can actually cook terrific meals and bake a damn fine loaf of bread. I’ve picked up needle and thread countless times and altered and repaired articles of clothing. I’ve painted two rooms of my house, given family members haircuts, pedicures and facials, started making my own greeting cards, and have perfected an at-home coconut milk Frappuccino. Fuck you, Starbucks!
Gratitude for Previous and Future Experiences
I will never again complain about how long it takes for people to grab their carry-ons from the overhead compartment to depart a plane. I will never bitch about a hotel pillow that’s too flat, nor an Uber driver who won’t shut the hell up. Leisure travel is a luxury that I will forever appreciate and never again take for granted. Same goes for concerts and sporting events and family holidays – where there is always alcohol to help you deal, should you need it.
Confirmation about the Adaptability of Youth
Like most Moms, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months worrying about my kids and feeling sorry for all the things and experiences they’ve been missing out on. Yes, it’s truly sucked that so many kids had to skip graduations and trips and sports and dances and job opportunities. And now many of them are losing out on real school starting again and it feels heartbreaking at times. But kids are freaking Jedi masters of resiliency. They are better than we are at simply accepting that SHIT HAPPENS and you gotta roll with it. They may wail and complain for a bit, but it’s usually a quick release of emotions and they move on with their day. Let’s try to tamper down our own worry and celebrate their flexibility, creativity, and toughness.
A Call to Action over Inequity
By now, if you haven’t gained illuminating perspective on just how much work we have to do to dismantle systemic racism, you are either living under a rock or you enjoy your privilege so damn much that you should go live under a rock. There are things all of us can do to be accomplices to our BIPOC brothers and sisters. If you’ve felt angry this year about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, or any of the countless instances of unlawful brutality against your fellow citizens – educate yourself even further, acknowledge ways you’ve stayed comfortable in the past, speak up and address racism and sexism whenever you see or hear it, donate money to causes that are working to create lasting change, and VOTE this November 3rd. We now have a kick-ass woman of color ready to help lead the way! These actions are how we can best begin to turn this year around and move towards a better future.
So, I sincerely thank you, 2020.
You’ve taught me a lot about myself. Things that I might not have realized for many years to come, or if ever. You have made me furious, miserable, and hopeful. You have made me think deeply. And you have strengthened my resolve to live more authentically for the rest of my life.