Every New Year’s Eve, I write a letter to my daughter. It’s a new tradition (she is after all, only 2) but my intention is for these letters to serve as a summary and reflection on the year soon to be behind us. I’ve never had the best memory so I’m desperate to capture as many family memories as I can, the funny little stories and the smaller milestones that often get swept away as the years pile on.
Thinking ahead for this NYE, I thought maybe I should just write “2020: PASS” in black sharpie and shove that in an envelope. But while I want to put much of this year behind me, 2020 also came with its fair share of happy memories. For me, there were a lot of significant moments that marked our lives in such a way that I hope to carry the lessons into 2021 with us.
For starters: Gratitude. Outside of Covid, our family experienced some personal health setbacks that were very trying. I leaned into my husband so hard during these times, I absolutely expected him to fall over. But he didn’t. And for that, I’m grateful. Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we expect it, but I learned this year to be at peace with the road we’re on and I will never take the blessing of health for granted again.
Next up: Confidence. This year I found my footing as a mom and I’m proud of how we’re raising our daughter. I figured out how to feed a toddler well-balanced meals (after making myself burnt grilled cheese for years) and I also learned how to speak up on her behalf. To make hard decisions that were in her best interest, despite what others may think or want.
And last: Creativity. When the early lockdowns were in place (and I was on furlough from my full-time job), I felt stuck. I started to indulge some long-forgotten creative pastimes and volunteered to photograph neighbors and their families. I also applied for a writing position (Hi, Neighbor!) and am so happy to end this year with these new outlets where I can create and write and contribute.
I’ll leave you with this quote which has stuck with me since the Spring. A beautiful, new reimagined year will soon be upon us and I wish you and your families a holiday season filled with health, peace and joy.
After these days of rending, of loss, of violence, of grief, of convulsant change, may we find a beautiful, grateful reimagining. May we land as the blue bird does, resting and peaceful.
~ I Was in Love With a Tree That Swallowed the Sky,
New York Times