Putting it all Together: 2020

Photo by Dmitry Demidov on Pexels.com

Since it’s been months since I’ve written anything – I am steering away from a tech topic today and sharing some personal reflection instead.

2020, as I write this is almost coming to an end THANK GOODNESS. And like most of you I will be glad to see it GONE.

NOTHING was normal or natural about 2020. For my family it started with us putting down our 11 year old Golden Retriever, Charlie, on January 2 for a tumor that had crippled his hind legs and cancer that riddled the rest of his body.

Charlie…summer of 2019 at Betterton Beach

Two months later the whole world turned upside down as COVID-19 and the pandemic made its debut. My job went virtual and my typical daily 45 minute drive every morning switched to telecommuting full time as of 3/13/2020. My husband and I started living full time at our vacation home in Betterton, Maryland, because that’s where we were when the stay-at-home orders hit in March, and we’ve basically been there ever since. A new granddaughter arrived in September. One daughter celebrated her first-year wedding anniversary in early October. My 78 year old mother has not been out of her nursing home even once and we have not been allowed to visit her since March.

The things we typically did in a “normal” year also pivoted. Family dinners changed to family ZOOM calls. Concerts my husband and I had tickets for were postponed. Conferences I am helping to plan or speak at this winter and next summer are shifting to virtual or hybrid. And I thank the universe every day that my children are grown adults and that I’m not trying to do it all and have small children at home as well. To my friends and coworkers that do: I salute you for your patience and fortitude.

The lessons of 2020 that resonate most for me? How wise it was that I left a career in health care 23 years ago – and went from nursing into I.T. I cannot imagine being a nurse right now. How incredibly lucky it was that I bought a condo on a beach I could quarantine in back in 2018, before quarantining was a necessity. How much I love and miss my children and being able to just hug them or share a meal with them. How much I will appreciate being able to go have a glass of wine with a good friend again, at a favorite restaurant. How great it will be to see live music again.

Who has the crystal ball to know what our world is going to look like six months from now? Will it be better? Worse?

I do believe wholeheartedly that we can come out of this stronger. We can join together, embrace our humanity, and lift each other up. We can stop bickering over wearing masks or not wearing masks. We can stop letting politics divide our communities and determine who we love or hate. We can stop the name calling and finger pointing. We can listen for the voices of the people that need the most help and support right now – and offer that help and support.

After all, hasn’t this pandemic shown each and every one of us that when everything else goes away – all we really have in the end is each other?