Beyond 2020

While December 31, 2020 is the highly anticipated end of the worst year most everyone has ever had, I know that the pandemic and all the collateral damage that has come with it will not magically be over. The sun will not burst out in glory on January 1st. Yet, since we have a tendency to look at January 1st as a new beginning in our lives, perhaps everyone will make a renewed effort to overcome the discouragement, loneliness, fear, and anxiety that has settled over much of the world.

Many have lamented not being able to visit family, take a vacation, hug each other, and generally run our lives within the realm of whatever each of us called normal. While some allowed the fears and differences of this year to overcome them, others have managed to try new things to accomplish what needed to be done.

I have seen such wonderful things this year: people found new ways to visit one another; teachers tried new ways to engage their students; churches continued to worship; businesses developed new ways to continue serving their customers; workers undertook new ways to earn their living. When traditions could not be followed, many made new ones.

In truth, this year has been one of overcoming our ruts. It is uncomfortable to do things differently but if we let it, “different” will stretch our possibilities. If we paid attention, we learned the positive and negative ways we have been interacting with the world around us; we found some of the holes in our logic; and we discovered what jobs were most resilient and which were not. All in all, we should have discovered new directions for our lives.

Those who did not let their circumstances dictate their faith, hope, and happiness actually gained more knowledge, resilience, determination, and peace. It is inspiring to see adversity bringing out the best in people.

My hope for the new year is that these attitudes of growing and improving will continue to be found and that we all will create our own happiness.

In this New Year I hope we all find New Happiness.

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