I’m not finished with you yet, 2020.

“You were always here and yet I see you for the first time”. ~Hua Zhou, Mulan

This quote from the movie Mulan really struck a chord with me. Mulan’s father apologizes to his daughter after she returns from her epic battle against Northern Chinese invaders and laments that his foolish pride drove her away.

If 2020 taught me anything, overwhelmingly it is to be grateful for every day, every moment – good or bad – and every breath. New day (after new day), you’ve been here all along. But collectively, I think we all see you in a very different light.

We spent Christmas day in a movie marathon such as I can’t recall. In year’s gone by there were family events to make. This year was a multitude of drives by for my husband’s family. A honk from the driveway or the street and a wave was the sum total of celebration. But the act of doing it, making the effort and sharing the sentiments was heart warming. And one could say, what a blessing that it wasn’t a nursing home or hospital window, because it could just as easily could have been.

Usually I can’t sit still. I am cleaning, shopping, exercising, working, counseling, writing, mediating, driving, or coordinating. The thought of looking around at the abundance of mess and gift wrappings, crumbs and dishes and looking the other way towards my family and our time together was delicious. We watched four movies. Some came and went. Some watched them in their entirety. But the moratorium on everyone on their devices for some reason or another, and the living room furniture and floor filled with my family was precious.

The year brought unease, confusion, disruption and anger. And yet, overwhelming abundance, renewed strength, clarity and lots of love. These things all exist together. And one can’t appreciate the good without the bad. And the longer I live, the more examples I have of the resilience that lives within to weather such ups and downs.

And now I am to the point in my Motherhood journey that I am watching my teenagers weather their own ups and downs. And the desire to protect them from every heartache and sadness, difficult as it is to witness, has dimmed. How can they have perspective, wisdom and resilience without some?

I hope to take the lessons of this unimaginable year and carry them with me into 2021 and let the best of the best remain and the worst of the worst re-shape.

For me, this is not goodbye, 2020.

Wandering and pondering in December by Lake Michigan

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