2020 One of the Best Years Ever! Contrary to all the memes depicting otherwise

I have been called everything from a crazy optimist to an excessive appeaser and I don’t mind. In fact, I would like to go on record saying, 2020 will be remembered as one of the best years of the century.

I am not oblivious to the havoc that covid has wreaked on all of our lives and on the economy. Nor am I oblivious to the political acrimony that has polarized the country or the globe for that matter. Yet, I stand by my claim that this has been one of the best years ever, it’s a matter of perspective.

I have seen random acts of kindness and a willingness to embrace innovation. I have heard more conversations about what truly matters to people than I have ever heard in one year. I have heard people speak at length about the simple joy of being in somebody else’s company. I have heard people speak about the importance of spending time with loved ones. I have even heard people that claim to hate “office life” lament about how they miss their colleagues. So yeah, this has been one of the best years ever if only to remind us of what we have.

Recently a course participant said to me, “I didn’t go to the movies very often but I will not take it for granted anymore”. Another said, “In spring I didn’t think my team could actually do what they have done and I’m proud of them”. Yet another said, “I spent more quality time with my parents this year than I have since my childhood and I will never forget it”. One could argue that these things would never have happened if there hadn’t been a pandemic. I acknowledge that and would counter, but there was a pandemic and yet these things did happen.

There was a pandemic (the eternal optimist in me has already put it in the past tense) and these good things did happen. We spent more time in 2020 thinking about what matters most to us than we have in my modern history. We even voted for a new president in higher numbers. We affirmed our belief in democracy despite what the current news cycle proclaims. We started dialogues where there was gridlock. We consumed and we questioned our own consumption habits. We fought and at the end of the day, I believe that we will be all the better for it. We did and are continuing to do some collective soul searching. Until 2020 “work-life balance” was mostly theoretical jibber-jabber for employees and managers alike. In 2020 the A, B, and C level employees began to question the role that work played in their lives.

In 2020 we even started a dialogue about the limitations of technology. We began to understand and acknowledge the true importance of human interaction. In 2020 we learned that a handshake or a hug is not something that should be taken for granted. Once the handshake was removed as an option we began to realize just how many hands we genuinely wanted to shake. For all our talk about a “PC” workplace; in 2020 we learned that a pat on the back or even a hug can go a long way.

The questions that our children and grandchildren will one day ask us about 2020 will not be about the vaccine. On the contrary, they will ask us about the hardship of social distancing and how we coped. They will ask us what we did to help others less fortunate than ourselves. I say this is one of the best years ever because for the time in generations most people will have an answer. We have all reached out digitally if not physically to someone in need. Sometimes that need was just a kind word from a friend.

We reconnected with people that we had become too busy to care about. We talked to, chatted with, and texted friends and relatives that we had not heard from in years. We used technology to reestablish human connections. We reached out. We also picked up when they called.

So as this year comes to an end I have decided to focus on what I have. I have you! A single reader, friend, potential course participant, family member, reading a post that I have written. If 2020 hadn’t gone the way it did, I wouldn’t be writing this post. So again yes, one of the best years ever. On that note, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Lucky Mushroom.

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