Complaining about 2020 is easy. There is a lot to feel down about. All the lost lives and suffering. Unemployment and the plummeting economy. Racial injustice. The divisive election. The list goes on.
Being grateful for 2020 is not as easy.
I had a lot of to-dos for this year that did not come to fruition. I wanted to go on an African safari; instead, I haven’t flown since February. I wanted to hike Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon; since March, travel permits there have been suspended, indefinitely. I wanted to challenge and stretch myself musically this year (I’m a vocalist); instead, karaoke is nearly impossible with a mask (if it’s even open!).
Despite my failed plans, I accomplished a lot this year. 2020 has been a blessing.
I went under the laser and had eye surgery, giving me 20-20 vision for the first time in my life. This is an incredible freedom, as I struggled with debilitating poor vision that limited my participation in many activities.
I bought an SUV, took up car camping, and visited five national parks (this year so far) — Badlands, Zion, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons — and more to come.
I sold my 1,600-square-foot house and downsized into my SUV, purged 98% of my earthly belongings, and embraced a minimalist, nomadic lifestyle. By the end of 2020, I will have visited (or temporarily-lived in) seven new states this year: New Mexico, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Arkansas, and Alabama, meeting incredible people and seeing beautiful things.
I turned 35, and while I had a few more disappointing false starts in the relationship arena, I have a sunny outlook that the man who’s right for me is out there, and I’ll find him when the timing is right for us both.
Sure, 2020 is not what I expected or planned for, and it’s been uncomfortable and demoralizing in a lot of ways, but I take this approach: I take stock of all my blessings. I have what I need to live (which isn’t a lot, as I’ve discovered), I have my health, and I have independence and the right to think and act for myself.
We’ve got two months left. Are you making the most of it and appreciating all the good things you have?