There are certainly plenty of reasons for us to want 2020 to be a distant memory. The pandemic, the heartache of lives lost, the impact it had on our family and friends who suffered and recovered, and the economic burden and stress the pandemic created for so many individuals and businesses.
Layer on top of the pandemic the social unrest gripping our country, a very heated and contentious election year, one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record that left a wake of devastation, and hundreds of wildfires that burned out of control bringing more death and destruction. It’s no wonder why many are hoping Jan. 1, 2021, gets here sooner rather than later.
There were some very real and horrific events that took place this year. The losses, hurt, damage, chaos and confusion. Each one has been unnerving and unsettling, to say the least. And as with any event or season of life, the hope is that we will take something away from the experiences, even the pain. That we will learn from the failures and the mistakes that we made along the way. That we will not only learn, but that we will make the changes and adjustments that will bring lasting change, greater opportunities, a sense of calm, healing and hope, and a kinder society.
As I was taking a drive this past weekend, I heard Billy Joel’s song, “This is the Time.” As I reflected on the song lyrics, I thought, “Why is this the time to remember?” Then my thinking shifted. The song released in 1986 has nothing, and yet everything, to do with 2020. So, I challenged myself to try and think of why this would be a time to remember, even though we want it to be over.
The lyrics that really captured my attention were these,
“This is the time to remember
‘Cause it will not last forever
These are the days to hold onto’
Cause we won’t, although we’ll want to”
It’s a reflective and touching song that reminds us that there are parts of our life that we should be remembering, even now, and that there are people in our life that are important to us today and in all of our tomorrows as well.
There were family members, friends, and neighbors who were married. There were babies and grandbabies born into our families. There were celebrations of life that gave us an opportunity to grieve, mourn, and lovingly remember those closest to us who had passed. There were more virtual calls with family and friends that would have never taken place in prior years. There was a sense of community connection and reaching out, with people helping wherever they could. Initially, as the events of 2020 unfolded, we may have all had a reality check or perhaps been frozen with fear. But what I am hearing most about today, is resiliency and courage in the face of it all.
The year 2020 will indeed pass us by. For some, it will be goodbye and good riddance. And for others, we will look back on Dec. 31 and be reminded of how we personally handled the events of 2020. And when we do, we will look back on how we personally participated in 2020.
We will ask ourselves things like, Was I helpful? Did I actively participate in the service of others? Did my voice add value to the conversation? Did my character remain intact? Did I avoid the blame game? Maybe, and most importantly, did I vote? Because one day in the future, as we look back on 2020 and how we remember it, will be dependent on how we worked, lived, and succeeded through it all.
How about you? Is this the time to remember? Was there a particular event that impacted you more than others? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we can focus on this time, it just might be a time to remember, because it will not last forever, really making this a better than good week.
10.21.20 | Michael Norton