Well each year I think it can’t go any quicker and yet it does. What a year we have had. When I chose my word for last year, I had no idea how much we would all need it. My word for 2020 was Grace, and here is the link to that blog in case you missed it.
Grace was a word that carried me though many hard days this past year, and I know it will continue to be with me into the future.
2020 was unprecedented. It was quite possibly the most riveting year many of us will ever see. Between the pandemic, and general climate of conflict and struggle in our county, it is one for the record books.
Regardless of all that has happened this year, there were so many blessings and I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to acknowledge them. I’ll get to those in a moment.
We began this strange and unusual time with some very difficult moments. Emma lost the entire end of her senior year. It was heartbreaking as a mother to watch. We want to take the pain of our children away and lock it up so they can’t feel it, but of course we can’t. Who would have thought that her year would end with no prom, senior fun days, graduation, or any of the usual lasts that they are supposed to be celebrating. It was stressful and unfathomable. It was like the world froze in time with no end in sight. It still feels somewhat surreal. People kept saying things like, “they’ll be better for this,” “they will persevere,” “they will emerge stronger than ever” and maybe they will. But I got tired of people diminishing it. In the grand scheme of life these events may seem trivial, but remember the little things actually create the big things. It doesn’t make it any easier, not in the slightest. But time marched on.
Sam lost the end of his freshman year and all of his band friends and fun. He finally felt like he had found his place, and with one swift kick, it was gone. The struggles he has had both socially and academically have been grueling. Children are not meant to be isolated and learn from a computer screen. They are not meant to be alone, none of us are. I am praying they return to school sooner than later, as this has proven to be one of the largest struggles for him thus far in his sixteen years. Again, time marched on.
We made it through summer and sent Emma off to college and Jack back to college. We were so glad that they made it to Thanksgiving, but it was hardly “normal.” They were relegated to many online classes and it was hardly the college experience we hope for our kids. But nonetheless we were thankful they could be back at all.
Once we all accepted that we had to be at home, we made the best of it. We spent every moment of our time together laughing, cooking, playing games, watching movies, and talking about everything. We were brought even closer together than we have ever been. Even as a tight-knit family we can still grow and learn from one another. I learned a lot about tolerance, patience, empathy, and the list goes on. I will never be sorry for this time, as I know my time with them is fleeting. It was an unexpected gift. I will always cherish it. There was struggle, there was loss, there was hardship, but there was also unspeakable joy and goodness. We finally got to have a family wedding, we got in some outings with our friends, we celebrated several birthdays, I got to take a road trip with my best friend, Sam got to play some baseball, we celebrated the holidays just us five, and it was truly special.
Nate was able to work, and even though the pace slowed because he was forced to see his patients in a new way, and change the way he had to work, we were so fortunate that we didn’t lose all of our income. He still could go to work, when so many couldn’t. I was also so fortunate that I could continue my job virtually, and expand that job by going back to work full time in June on the design side for Karr Bick. I adore everyone that I work with, and the ability to be creative in my life. This leads me to my word for this year.
My word is INSPIRE. I love that each year a word whispers its sweet name into my ear over and over again guiding me in a direction that I need to go. To inspire is something that I have always tried to do. When I taught I wanted to inspire my students to be the best versions of themselves. I wanted them to be inspired to use their talents to the best of their ability. I wanted to inspire them to fight for others, and stand up for what is right. But now this word has a new meaning to me.
Although I want to inspire others through my design, my writing, my cooking and decorating, and sharing all that I love, more importantly, I want to be better at focusing on the beauty and inspiration all around me. I want to never lose sight of the daily inspiration that I see in my children when they have to navigate a difficult path, and do so with grace. I want to look at the world always as a place of beauty. I want to hike with my sweet dog and be inspired by the shear joy he exudes as he runs down a bluff. I want to be inspired by all the good things that are present in our world, because there is so much good. I want to ignore all the junk that gets in the way.
Inspiration can be so many things to so many people. What inspires you? What can you take away from this demanding year? What do you want to change or see happen in this new year? It is time for a fresh start, it is time to inspire. Today is my birthday and I enter into the last year of my forties. I plan to make this last year of a pretty amazing decade, even better.
So with that I bid you adieu. I hope that we can all be an inspiration to those around us. We don’t have to agree, we don’t even have to like each other, but we do have to live on the same planet and have a duty to try to make it better everyday. So I challenge you to use your gifts for good. Be an example. Be a light. Take the high road. Kick 2021’s ass! Be an inspiration in any way that you can. We will all, myself included, be better for it. Get out there and INSPIRE! I know you have it in you.
Cheers and Peace xoxo….Deb
(Photo Credit to Lisa Mitchell for my headshot)