2020…A Year We Shouldn’t Forget

December 31, 2020. We have waited for this day for about nine months. This year has brought us grief, loss, anxiety, boredom, depression, social unrest and so much more. But as we walk (spring, skip, gallop, but very quietly so it doesn’t see us) into 2021, I want to encourage my readers to not forget 2020. Yes, we’ve seen some horrible things. But if we keep looking and don’t avert our eyes, we will also see so much good.

2020 has brought us many lessons, and what a lot of us have learned, even if we don’t see it, is how to be adaptable, creative, and hopeful. With each hard situation we have been faced with, we have grown as a community. We have adapted how we go about day to day life. A colleague of mine has talked about how 2020 gave us the “power of the pause”. We spent more time at home. We missed family members, but spent time with the humans we live with. We have rediscovered or discovered new hobbies. Our children have shown us that they are the most resilient of all of us as they continue to navigate online school AND wear their masks ALL DAY with little complaints. We have lost huge giants in the nation’s social justice movements, but we have also seen a new generation step up to help us continue to fight for equal rights for all.

I am not here to discount what we have made it through this year. For many, this year has truly been the hardest in their lives from losing their jobs, declining mental and physical health, and loss of life. But what we have seen is that we can do the hard things. We are resilient, we are strong, and we can make it. For my grievers, I most certainly do not want to brush off how you have been coping this year. Those grieving the death of loved ones, they keep hearing how when all of this is normal, things will go back to “normal”…whatever that means, but one thing grievers know is that their lives will never be normal because their person is gone. Hearing the words “new normal” and hearing everyone talking about “grieving their lifestyle” has honestly made grievers I know very frustrated.

With all of this, I hope that as we look forward to 2021, you find the courage to try to set goals again. You are still allowed to dream. Take some time today to spend on your own in a quiet space, close your eyes and dream. If you’re nervous to do the “where will I be in 5 years” just try “what would I like to achieve or learn by July?” Choose 3-5 goals for yourself or choose a word that you want to strive for 2021. In 2020 we learned how tough and strong we are, in 2021, let’s all learn how to dream again. I hope that you’ll share your goals or words with us in the comments!

Published by Bryna Talamantez

LMFT specializing in grief counseling for children, teens, adults and families.

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