2020 has indeed been a year filled with quite a few surprises, and in a few days, all Americans can expect to be surprised one more time, one way or the other. To say this year is a tumultuous year is nothing short of an understatement. I sometimes call it the year of losses. Afterall, there has been major loss of life, jobs, finances, food, services, homes, trees, etc., of which the true extent will probably be felt for a long time. On the flipside, as I take a retrospective look from January to date it has also been a year of gains. Is this an oxymoronic way to look at it? Maybe. Am I being facetious? Certainly not. All that I am saying is, it is simply a matter of seeing the cup half full or half empty.
With just two more months to year-end, I have begun to take stock of the gains and losses I incurred since the year started. Surprisingly, the gains have outweighed the losses. Let me explain. Though I enjoy traveling, exploring bright new horizons, and planning bespoke itineraries, in the ‘new norm’ the things that brought me the greatest joys were blessings received from the tangibles and intangibles that cannot be quantified or assigned a dollar value. I will only list the ones that mean the most to me, but the list is by no means limited to just these mentions. Here is my list.
Family time – this year provided the opportunity for us to talk more, in person and on the phone. Relatives that I had not spoken to in a long time were calling to check in on us. We felt the love, care and concern flow in from every direction. We used the time to catch up on family dynamics and to renew interests.
Group exercise – although not a part of my initial plans since I do ‘my own thing’ regularly, I joined a national exercise initiative meant to jumpstart social activities after restrictions eased. Believe it or not, I found being a part of the assembly a time to relax, unwind and enjoy ‘bare laughs.’ The comradery and encouragement of the gals to go the distance, earn the burn, chase the waist, and all the other exercise cliches used as motivators was fun and rewarding.
New friends – always are a plus in my book. I met 11 new acquaintances of which two have become fast friends. Our similar interests and zest for life, travel and exploring are just a few of the things we share in common and enjoy talking about.
Physical labor – was a good way to get stuff done that would otherwise have languished around the home. The time spent involved in or supervising projects was definitely worthwhile. A job well done brought satisfaction and pride. Lots of time was invested in planting, harvesting, renovating and cleanups around the home. Many days the hot sun took its toll, and some days unexpected bad weather made the projects come to a screeching halt.
Healthy eating – the farm to table experience was real. I often take home-grown fruits and vegetables for granted. This time I ate with gusto the fresh, organically grown fruits and greens without reservation. Mangoes, bananas, soursop, avocado, star apple, sugar apple, papaya, guinep, egg fruit, carambola, mamey apple, fig, golden apple, water melon, grape fruit and seville sweet are simply a few of the delicious fruits I enjoyed. A bonus of not having to purchase these same provisions at the supermarket helped my pocket too.
Impactful meditations – morining and evening devotions are by far the most precious enjoyment and gain in 2020. Spending time alone with God in prayer at home or in nature has revived my spiritual connection and centered me on what really matters going forward. Along with that, I treasured the times spent singing spiritual songs with my aging mom, reading scripture lessons with her, and listening to her wise counsel (wanted or unwanted 😊) are experiences that I will recall for the rest of my life..
Community Peeps, I can go on and on of experiences that I have found to be worthwhile even under the black cloud of covid-19. Hopefully by now it is obvious to you that I view the glass half full. What about you? Have you assessed the year and realized there are things you have gained irrespective of any loss incurred? If you have, please share an experience or two in the comment box below. I love to hear from you.
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