2020: The Gift that Keeps on Giving


Scarlet Lindsey | Civil Patriot 

The bright side of 2020 being the worst year ever is that it will drastically reduce the amount of ‘hindsight is 2020’ jokes next year.

The presents have been opened. Wrapping paper left in shreds on the living room floor is now bagged and trashed; bags, ribbons and bows saved for next year. The kids are in their rooms, playing with their new toys. And you? You’re on the sofa with your feet up, sipping from a now-cooled cup of coffee with peppermint creamer. 

There, in that quiet place, you’re finally able to think. . .about 2020 Christmas, about 2020. . .in general. The ups and downs have been overwhelming at times. There were times when it felt like a game, like some sort of weird adventure-saga the whole country was playing together. Jumanji for grown-ups with some crazy twists and turns. Quarantine. Don’t quarantine. Go back to work. Don’t go back to work. Wash your hands. Oh, wait. . .is COVID-19 airborne only? Does anyone really know? 

There were other times when it felt more like a nightmare—when friends and loved ones faced illness, even death. When someone you know personally lost a husband, a father, a spouse, a child. When job losses led to deep financial turmoil and confusion. 

Now you’re not sure what to think. The news channels are still rolling the death toll across the screen, an ever-present reminder that COVID19 is real. The coils of fear tighten with every word out of the mainstream reporter’s mouth. But there are lingering questions marks—about what it is, how it’s spread, what it’s going to take to stop it. 

Though you’re horrified by all of that, you’re also upset about the loss of income your grown son is facing. His company folded just last week. Your daughter-in-law’s a teacher but she’s nearly ready to quit her job, the stresses are so great. And your neighbor? Her job at the hospital has just about done her in. 

So, what’s a weary 2020-er to do? With news of a new strain of COVID, with fears coming from England and nether-regions of the world, you can’t help but worry. Will 2021 look like 2020? Will it be worse? How can you cross over the threshold into a new year when the old one still has its tentacles wrapped so tightly around you? 

Deep breath, my friend. Allow your thoughts to shift. Let go of those worries as much as you’re able and begin to look for the blessings that have come from the pain during this difficult year. 

Think of it this way—in spite of the chaos, the confusion, and the fears, you managed to survive 2020. No, you’ve more than survived. You’ve come through it stronger, braver, and more aware of the people around you. You’ve learned to manage your emotions, rethink your priorities, focus more on the things (and people) that matter. You’ve had time to get to know yourself. . .your innermost thoughts and concerns. 

And you’re still here. 

So, when you think of it that way, perhaps you can begin to see 2020 for what it was. . .a gift. And it’s one that will keep on giving, because the lessons you learned here will travel with you throughout the rest of time. They will reshape, redesign, and re-invent you. They will forever change how you look at life. 

So, throw off those fears. Hug those you love. Spend time looking forward, not back. And just know that, regardless of what 2021 holds, you will have the courage to face it all, not in spite of 2020, but because of it. 

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Christopher Reeve



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