2020: What We Learned


2020 number line2020 has been hard. I’ve said this about other years. 2016 was hard. 2018 was hard. But 2020 takes the cake. With a global pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, racial tension, political tension – our worlds have been turned upside down.

But, I have learned so much about myself this year – and about the world. Here’s what we can take with us after 2020 is over:

  1. In 2020 we learned how important self-care is. I’ve even started a daily habit tracker with 9 habits to do regularly, with a goal to do 4-5 of these each day. These habits can be whatever keeps you grounded. Mine has journaling, meditating, yoga, running, taking a bath, practicing guitar, etc. These are the things that keep me centered and sane. I’m going to continue this after we get back to “normal.”
  2. We learned that there is good in the world. We have seen communities rally to support those in need during this difficult time. There have been food and supply drives sent to Minneapolis following the protests. We have seen families and neighbors take care of one another. I’ve seen people run to the store for an at-risk neighbor so that person can avoid going out in public. I’ve seen Facebook groups set up to help get supplies to those in need. One Rochester resident even made an app to help track which stores had supplies in stock like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  3. Humans were built to be in community with one another. I don’t think I’ll take these community connections for granted ever again. I miss hugging my friends, singing in church, and going to concerts.
  4. When we were quarantined, we turned to art. We watched Hamilton. We listened to music. We created quarantine playlists. We realized that art & music is soul-feeding, heart-healing, and a way that we can communicate and empathize while apart. We turned to creating things as a family as a way for us to spend time together, feel our feelings together, and spread love.
  5. We have learned what’s important. Health. Family. Safety. Our wellness.
  6. We have learned that everyone is essential. Whether your occupation is considered “essential” or not, all of us have an important job to do. Even if that job is to stay home. Especially if that job is to stay home with children.
  7. We have learned that young people want to make a difference. After the death of George Floyd, young Rochester residents organized peaceful protests and marches. Our young people have led the charge for this, and it’s incredible to see this new generation of strong voices find their footing in and work for good in our community.
  8. And finally, we have learned that we can make it through anything. Murder hornets. Wildfires. Isolation, disconnection, adapting to new ways to do work or connect with one another. There will never be another 2020. Nothing will be quite like this. We will be able to tell the future generations how we made it through this time. We banded together-while apart- and supported one another, loved one another, and we made it through the most difficult year of our lives.