As the end of the year approaches, we prepare ourselves for all things holiday: food and family, rest and relaxation, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, peace on earth, and the annual year in review list. But this is 2020, and that means different, unprecedented, disrupted. By necessity, traditions will be a little well, untraditional, this year. In fact, many of us will ring in the new year - “Bye-Bye 2020!”-- with great gusto and much optimism from the safety of our living rooms. Seasons greetings will be digital, the laptop will have pride of place at the holiday dinner table, and for the first time in my lifetime, babysitters will be unemployed on New Year’s Eve. Still, there’s much to cheer and many lessons learned. So, to highlight some hallmarks here’s my top 10 list of the good stuff that happened in 2020.
1. We slowed down and found joy in simplicity
2. We explored new frontiers in learning
3. We added new family members in our households
4. We added fur-babies to our families
5. We walked more; we used our cars less
6. We recognized systemic racism and vowed to do better
7. We learned that a “bubble” is not always made of soap - and it can be a verb (“to bubble”)
8. We said leadership must be inclusive
9. We added the mask as a fashion accessory
10. We continued our Toastmasters’ journey and strengthened our community.
We learned new words too. Not just “social distancing” and “Zooming” but my new favorite, teleoanticipation. As we wave goodbye (and good riddance!) to 2020, and hello to the promise of 2021, I can think of few words more apt right now. It’s vocabulary that comes from the world of long-distance running and it describes the finish line - or, more precisely, how far away the finish line is in the race. In this COVID-19 journey, we are all runners. No doubt, we have surprised ourselves by what we have endured already, and the incredible feats we have overcome. Now, as we enter the final stretch, we see the road is challenging, and we are tired. The finish line is in view, and we have a clearer sense of the energy it will take to get there.
We wish you the strength and hope you need to cross the finish line safely.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Dr. Claire Kelly, PhD
Director, Curriculum & Research - Appleby College
OTM Oakville Toastmasters, Club Member December 2020