The last days of 2020 are upon us and I can’t help but think about this year in terms of patience and bravery. While this year changed everything for a lot of people in the worst way possible, and I can’t imagine what it has been like for the frontline heroes at hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, and daycare centers, among many other places, there are silver linings. People were able to spend more time with their families and were forced to slow down, try new things, and really think about what matters most. On the other hand, my heart goes out to those who haven’t been able to see their loved ones due to traveling restrictions and the overall caution that continues to blanket the world. With no light at the end of the Covid tunnel, everyone has had to be patient with themselves and the rest of the planet.
Although the calendar switching to 2021 at midnight on Thursday will clearly not serve as a magic wand, it does signify a fresh start. Many of the aforementioned frontline heroes have gotten the Covid vaccine and it looks like it will be available to the public at some point during spring/summer. I won’t go as far as to say that the tunnel light is in sight, but we can see a glimmer. With that in mind, I have compiled a list (who doesn’t love year-end lists?) of the top ten things I learned and/or was reminded of in 2020.
10) Our country knows how to come through in the clutch. In arguably the most important election of our lifetime, Americans demonstrated an unwavering desire to change our country’s direction for the better. I will never forget where I was when I found out that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the reins in January – sitting at Carly and Justin’s kitchen table with Wookie and Fleet. The best possible scenario with the best people.
9) Bravery is everything. While I think most people strive to be brave, having more time (because I’m working at home) to watch Fleet grow over the last nine months has given bravery a whole new meaning. The look of determination on his face when he tries and accomplishes something new is unparalleled and I’m reminded that I need to be as brave as my little boy.
8) Patience is a virtue. Albeit true, this annoying phrase has been part of my family’s lexicon for as long as I can remember because my grandmother used to say it all the time and my mother says it too. Unfortunately, that old proverb is true. Whether it was work related, had to do with our seemingly never-ending deck construction (for safety reasons it was imperative that the construction was completed this summer), Fleet, or our dogs, I constantly found myself taking deep breaths and keeping in mind that being patient pays off.
7) The music business is in trouble but is also resilient.The last official live show we saw was February 25 – Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real at the Vilar in Beaver Creek. We also saw local band Rewind on October 17 at Riverwalk which was such a welcomed event. Venues are in serious danger of closing all over Colorado, artists are hurting because they haven’t been able to perform, and fans would give anything to see their favorite band live. That being said, the music business weathered Napster so there is hope.
6) The healing power of the outdoors is remarkable. As an 18-year Colorado resident, I’m well aware that spending time outside is vital. I’ve had some of my best ideas, calmed myself down, and solved many problems while hiking with Sedona over the last 12 years and Zephyr over the last three. I believe that being surrounded by the unparalleled Rocky Mountains saved a lot of people of this year.
5) Online tutoring works but is not ideal. Next month marks seven years working for Colorado Mountain College and last week marked nine months since I’ve set foot on campus. While I’m grateful to be working and helping my students via WebEx, not being there in person is definitely different. Many people who thought Grammarly was the same as having a live professional tutor learned the distinction this year.
4) There are no guarantees. On April 2, I wrote a blog post called Coronavirus: Observations and Realizations: https://lauralieff.com/coronavirus-observations-realizations/ Looking back, it’s interesting to read where my mind was then versus now and how things have and have not changed. Other than everyone now saying “Covid” instead of “Coronavirus,” most of what I wrote in the spring still holds true, especially the parts about the unknowns that accompany a pandemic. People are still being forced to go with the flow and adapt because nothing is for certain – that goes for restaurants, the movie/television business, and most independent retailers. And it is unclear if that will ever change.
3) Health is everything. I’ve had a front row seat to what happens when someone doesn’t have their health for a long time, but that understanding reached a new level this year.
2) Everyone needs people they can count on. Thank you to Wookie, my mother, Carly, Marguerite, every single person who babysat Fleet, and everyone who joined on a walk or hike with our pups. Also, thank you to all the hardworking people who laid concrete, trex, and railing to make our deck happen this summer. I don’t know what we would have done without you.
1) Fleet can make anyone smile. I may be bias, but I strongly believe Fleet Halen Fleming helped some people through 2020.