Different perspective-why 2020 wasn’t the worst

I don’t have to say this statement, but here goes-2020 was not a good year in a lot of people’s minds. From COVID-19, to stay at home orders, to civil unrest, to a Presidential election that brought out the worst in some people, was there anything from 2020 that didn’t make you question what was happening in this world and wondering where it all went wrong?

Let me recap 2020 by taking a different perspective on it. In looking back on this year, I know I feel differently about a number of things than I did at this point a year ago. Let me elaborate…

An appreciation for parks and public spaces…

When the pandemic really reached a boiling point in the United States in March, people were scared to leave their homes. However, we quickly realized that we could socially distance in parks and open spaces. Parks were where people were able to exercise, birdwatch, ride their bike, or simply walk and take in the fresh air as a change of pace from the coronavirus pandemic. From the Appalachian Trail, to state parks, and local parks, the spotlight was on these places and they didn’t disappoint. I know it made me appreciate the fact that I have a park directly behind my house even more.

An appreciation for technology…

There probably was a time, not too long ago, that all of us took for granted the ability to video call our parents, grandparents, children, etc. via Facetime, Google Duo, etc. Honestly (no judgement here) how many of us even used Zoom before this pandemic? I know I hadn’t used it, but boy did that change (I’m looking at you, PRPS!). Those weeks during lockdown were made easier by the ability to see our loved ones through those tiny screens in our pockets. I generally agree with Joe Battisa (you remember him from the 2019 PRPS conference, right?) when he referred to cell phones as “digital distraction devices” but I think we all can agree that they changed our ability to stay connected during this pandemic.

An appreciation for time…

We all know time is fleeting but we’re so busy running from this practice, to a quick dinner, to scouts, back home (you get the picture) that we don’t always sit back and realize where we are placing our priorities or investing our time. The only thing that never stops is time. It will always keep moving. This pandemic gave me the opportunity to spend a month with my kids that I never had before. I was able to do things I typically was not expected to do such as run the daily schedule of my five and one year old (at the time). It gave me a new appreciation for what my wife and mother-in-law did for providing child care on a daily basis. From sticking to a nap schedule for the one year old, to engaging my five year old through ways that didn’t involve a screen (let me tell you, we played a lot of ABC Go Fish!), it gave me the opportunity to bond with my children in a way that I would have never experienced if it wasn’t for the pandemic. Disclaimer-I LOVE my job and never want to be furloughed or laid off again. Just want to make that crystal clear!

So although I hope we never have to experience a year quite like 2020 again, I also recognize the good that came out of it and my hope is that you take some time over the next few weeks and think about why 2020 was a good year for you too.

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