I realize I am stating the obvious when I say I am so happy that this is the final day of 2020!
What a year it has been. Like everyone else, I saw life as I knew it change due to COVID-19. After March 6th I ceased all of my travel as in-person conferences/events were canceled. Hunkering down at home, I had to make new plans for replacing lost income and adjust to things I had not done before, such as ordering groceries online and switching to mostly virtual meetings and appointments.
In previous end-of-the-year blog posts, I would reflect on my personal or professional accomplishments. This year that somehow doesn’t feel appropriate. But as bad as 2020 was, I did find a few silver linings.
1. Family and Family History. Despite the physical distance, I found I stayed in touch more regularly with family members in the U.S. and abroad (thanks to technology). I also spent more time working on my own genealogy, including collaborating with a cousin on learning more about our great-grandmother’s family.
2. Faith. More time at home meant less distraction and stress. During times of uncertainty and anxiety, I found strength and comfort through prayer and meditation, and long walks during the summer and fall. I have learned to manage my time better, and give myself permission to just “be.” This has changed my perspective on life, adversity, and my work.
3. Fortitude. The word fortitude is defined “as courage in pain or adversity” (Middle English: via French from Latin fortitudo, from fortis ‘strong’). Instead of mourning all the things I did not get to do in 2020 or dwell on the disappointments, I found strength in handling the challenges. The truth is that I managed to stay safe and healthy, and sadly I am aware that others and other families are not so lucky. The small sacrifices I had to make are nothing compared to those of previous generations. I was inspired by the stories of how my immigrant grandparents faced their obstacles, and from the many life-altering events my Slovak and Rusyn ancestors endured.
Which brings me to my “word” for 2021…
Last year, I chose the word “transform” as my word for the year. I outlined this in my “Saying Farewell to 2019: My Year in Review” blog post.” I wrote in part:
“While 2019 was a year to simplify various aspects of my life and work, 2020 is the year I plan to make some big changes including where I live and what type of work I do. While I don’t have all the specifics in place, I can say that I will be doing more creating/writing and online teaching, and virtual presentations. and less traveling/speaking at in-person conferences/events.”
Perhaps that post was a bit prophetic. While circumstances prevented me from changing where I live (I had planned to move), the unprecedented time forced me to halt travel and in-person conferences and work more virtually as well as focus on creating/writing. I had to pivot in my business and transform my goals and thinking.
According to Forbes.com ‘Resilience’ is the word for 2021 because it implies hope, faith and possibilities.” (See “Why The Word For 2021 Is ‘Resilience’ And How It Affects Mental Health” 6 December 2020).
So, I have decided that RESILIENT/RESILIENCE will be my word for 2021. I will be honest in saying I have no idea what 2021 will bring. However, as I prepare for the new year, I do have hope and faith and I look forward to new possibilities!
I would like to extend a special thank you to my readers for your continued support in 2020.
I wish you health, happiness, and better days in 2021!
Copyright 2020, Lisa A. Alzo, All Rights Reserved