reflection & hope

This morning, while we laid in bed and chatted together, we overheard F awake across the hall and he said “Wow, 2021,” out loud, causing us to chuckle a bit. There was a sense of awe and wonder in his voice; almost disbelief that he’d awoken in a new year.

On New Year’s Eve, we had a small and safe gathering with the friends we’d spent most of the past year with – the friends we’d called our ‘bubble’ long before it became provincial regulation. The people who fill our lives with laughter and love.

At 11:55pm, one said “What was the worst part of the year?” and we all answered. One couple’s wedding had to be cancelled; another hadn’t gotten to go back to New Zealand to see family. Homeschooling, being a nurse in a pandemic, and no travel were the downsides. But the upsides were many, for all of us.

I’ve looked back on our year many times over the past several weeks. It’s easy to focus on the bad. It’s so, so easy. The disappointments and the lost time and moments, the devastation and loss, the sadness – it can overwhelm you in a heartbeat. How often did we lament that the year sucked? How many times did we say things like “2020 is the worst”?

When I looked for the good in our year, there was a lot. We bought our home. We identified F’s learning disability and are able to better support him. We laughed a lot. We became a stronger family unit. Our friendships blossomed. We leaned on one another. We became better people. We found new skills and new hobbies, pushed our personal boundaries, and learnt just what we were capable of.

Even the things that felt bad – like F’s learning disability or my discovering I have a chronic condition that will require medication and monitoring forever – have enabled so much good, like helping me get healthier and helping him feel empowered to learn in the way that works for him.

After we’d gotten out of bed and eaten delicious waffles and whipped cream, Marc and I walked the dog around downtown Dartmouth – taking in the waterfront and looping back home in the sunshine. As we often do, we talked about what’s happening in our lives and the lives of the people we love; we discussed what we hope happens this year – both personally and professionally.

If 2020 taught me anything, it’s the power of perspective.

As in other years past, there’s no resolutions here. My goals are bigger than a 12-month calendar and they’ll grow and change as much as I will in that time. But, as we head into this new year, I hope that I can keep my perspective in check – to look for the good, to celebrate the little victories, and to seek happiness in the mundane.

I hope the same for you, too.

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