Life is full of ups and downs.
Here at P/L/R, we’re looking forward to 2021 with hope and enthusiasm, because we’re about due for a year of ups, aren’t we?
Millions of pages will be written about the year just past. Writers and pundits will opine for decades about what we could have or should have done differently, and it will change exactly nothing.
A more effective path forward starts at the individual level. Each of us can take this opportunity to learn so that we can move ahead with hope and enthusiasm, too.
Consider the amazing takeaways from the year that was:
Work from home? OK!
That means more time with our families. More time with our partners and our children.
And now there’s no denying that a more permanent shift to working from home is possible. Companies could save untold millions on their huge office buildings and campuses and leave a much smaller carbon footprint on our world.
Parents could stay home with their children instead of being away at work every day and families could save thousands of dollars a year on childcare expenses.
All our social activities are cancelled? OK!
No travel sports every weekend leaves more time to make memories at home.
Just because you can’t leave Junior at baseball practice three nights a week doesn’t mean you can’t walk over to the park and have your own practice session on the ball field. Not to mention all the money you’ll save by not traveling out of town every weekend.
You might even find time for your kids to enjoy each other’s sports if you have time to play together as a family.
We’re stuck at home with our families ALL the time? OK!
It’s been at least two generations since parents were “stuck” at home with their kids.
The social scientists might say that spending time as a family unit, cooking at home, eating at the table, playing games, making crafts or watching movies together is a good thing. That it creates stronger social structure, provides stability and strengthens interpersonal skills. They might be right.
But that’s an opportunity that most of us never would have noticed, had the events of 2020 not stopped us in our tracks and sent us home.
There are many challenges that are not so easy to flip. We know that not everyone could transition to work from home and that times are hard. We know that if parents are home with their children, the childcare workers are out of work. We know that if there are no events or travel sports, the hospitality industry suffers. We know that loved ones got sick and died alone.
We acknowledge the privilege of some, and the pain of so many others.
Even in the darkest days, we still see hope.
The lines may be long, but there is help for those who are hungry. Our communities are coming together to help people stay in their homes. Our front-line workers are striving night and day to protect our most vulnerable.
We’re at our best when we work together for the common good. Perhaps this is another opportunity that we wouldn’t have noticed if the pandemic hadn’t stopped us in our tracks.
As we welcome 2021, let’s all move forward with hope, enthusiasm and a commitment to helping one another. If we all work together to make things better, this just might be our best year yet.