Let’s Start Looking Ahead

Let’s start looking ahead, not dwell on 2020

As we begin this final month of what has become one of our most interesting years, I’d like to take a moment to share some challenges, reflections, and hopes. Most of us had high hopes for 2020—just the sound of it offered positive energy and promise, but we were unprepared for all that has transpired.

Growing up I heard stories about my great-aunt whose husband and infant died during the flu 100 years ago. She also had the flu and was so sick she couldn’t attend the funerals. Over the 65 years I’ve been on the earth I’ve seen us grapple with all kinds of illnesses and new viruses, and while AIDS affected my family, eventually there was some relief. COVID-19 has been different.

I’ve never seen anything spread so completely, in such a frightening way, be so devastating, or touch virtually every family. I’ve never seen anything alter almost everything we know and hold familiar, and yet our unconquerable spirits remain strong, prepared to endure, and move forward at the first opportunity.

I have decided that I would rather see my colleagues and visit at the copier than hang out with them all day on ZOOM, but I’ll get over it. Further, while I have only spent one Christmas away from my mother’s house, I’ll add this one if it keeps her and the rest of my family safe.

As someone who used holiday shopping as therapy, entertainment, and relaxation, the thought of going to the mall scares me to death. My usual shopping began at the mall when it opened in the morning, going in every store, having lunch, dinner, and a snack, and leaving when it closed, but not this year. (Trust me, the way I shop isn’t for the fainthearted. I buy gift cards, enjoy the music and the other shoppers—it’s a beautiful thing…)

I decided months ago that I’d never go back to the bad old days of a million meetings and ripping and running from place to place. I enjoy this slower pace—not the all-day ZOOM meetings—but the quieter, less eventful days with not so many places to go and be.

No, 2020 has not been what we expected but we’ve learned to roll with the punches, go with the flow, and take one day at a time. I’m looking forward to a fresh new year and all that 2021 may bring.

I am prayerful that news coverage will be less about gridlock in Washington and more about our elected officials remembering who they work for. It seems a real shame for the people who are charged with representing us to get paid and go on vacations when the lines for COVID testing and food donations are miles long. And no matter how we spin the messaging or spend our federal dollars, our citizens are suffering in a million ways.

An article I read this morning said many of the “working poor” who are employed by public entities are still eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Having such large numbers of folks who work hard and long but are never able to afford decent housing, adequate food and health care, or who work but stay poor, ought to keep us and our representatives—both local, state and national—awake at night.

Our challenges are great, but we and our neighbors are greater. Together—the key word here—we must heal our nation and greet 2021 with hope, determination, open hands, and willing hearts. Anything less would be a real shame.

How has 2020 been for you? Share your feelings at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

1 thought on “Let’s Start Looking Ahead”

  1. Dearest Cynthia,
    Today is December 12 and I just found this, read it and it is wonderful. 2020 has had an upturn for me through my 36 y/o niece that I may have told you got her doctorate in school counseling administration or something similar, I can never remember exactly what it is, on September 16. This was 4 days before her 36th birthday. I knew that for some time she has been dating a Green Beret (That’s a little scary.) and they were spending a lot of time together. I just didn’t know everything they had been doing. A couple days after Thanksgiving she called me and started out by saying, “I didn’t want to tell you this over the phone because I wanted to see your face.” I was thinking, what??? She then told me that she had not been able to get here for Thanksgiving due to John’s crazy schedule and now she was glad but wouldn’t becoming for two weeks. Her parents live here in Paris, all the rest of the bunch lives in Carroll County. Her dad has 4 brothers and sisters and they are just like a bunch of guppies… Kids, grandkids, great grand kids. They decided there was no reason they couldn’t go to grandma’s for Thanksgiving. Grandma is in her 80’s and her husband is 90+. Of course she wanted them to come, but. So they all went, 30-40 of them. Three days later my nephews wife has Covid. I haven’t heard from the rest of the family. Then she said, “You are going to be a great aunt again.” Then she said, “Why are you crying?” I told her that I was so happy. Jeannie loves kids, they love her, and the relate well to her. They aren’t married. I wish they were but I know times have changed. They probably would be except John wants to have a nice wedding, not a courthouse quickie. His schedule as I said is a mess and then of course their is Covid. They love each other. She will be able to stay home and raise the baby and will not have to work unless she wants to. If she does it will be from home teaching online classes at the college level. She is 17 weeks but they did not tell anyone until they had all of the genetic testing done and back. It is all 100% and an additional little plus, it is a boy! I could not be happier. I know it gets lonely when you are along sometimes and I am thrilled that she is going to have John and Baby Boy to fill her life. I got to see her for the first time today. She has always been very, very slender, perfect figure. She now his this little bump about half the size of a cantaloupe right in the middle. So 2020 isn’t turning out too badly for me. I have found a church that I have been watching on line that I plan to start attending as soon as that is possible. The pastor is David Albritton who attended Trinity before he entered part time and then full time ministry. A dear friend, Jane Hill who is now 84 is the pianist there, so I feel like I am going home in a way. Antioch is very troubled; they have lost their focus and that breaks my heart but as in many churches there is a little clique that runs the business. I am not in that little clique so there is no way that I can help bring it back to life because everything must be thought of, planned and supported by the clique. Unfortunately, most of them are content to come on Sunday morning and have no desire to reach out to outsiders. I was supposed to be in charge of Evangelism which to them means write a nice little letter to anyone who happens to visit. There haven’t been many to write for quite a while. Madge was the matriarch of that church and her loss has been devastating. Now another couple is leaving to move to Texas to live close to their son due to both of them having worsening health issues. The were great workers and large contributors. A lot of what they did wasn’t even known. I am sure there is still more that I am not aware of but they are going to be a great loss. Take care of yourself and Roger. Please tell him I said hello. Have a wonderful Christmas if I don’t talk with you again before then. Debbie


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