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.