2020. A year that will go down in infamy.
In the year 2100, kids who are currently five years old will be telling their great grandkids about remote learning, masks, and the vaccine that turned things around (fingers crossed).
It’s true this isn’t the year any of us imagined when we celebrated on January 1. What’s also true is that 2020, like everything else, has more than one side to it.
I laughed out loud when I recently saw someone’s complaint on social media for being sent a YOL plaque rather than the JOY one they’d ordered. The complaint was a joke, and the laugh was much needed.
A look with a different view
The laugh also put me in the frame of mind to think of what else I could view from a different angle.
1. The YOL side— Remote learning means parents have to be teachers; teachers have to be tech-savvy; and kids miss out on the social aspects of going to school.
The JOY side—Remote learning means teachers gain respect for the very hard job they have; new skills are learned by everyone involved; and kids gain problem solving skills from the adults they love.
2. The YOL side—Job layoffs, businesses closing, financial concerns.
The JOY side— The opportunity to pair those in need with those in a position to support them- emotionally and financially.
3. The YOL side— Holidays are being spent differently, and many won’t be with the family and friends they most enjoy.
The JOY side—New ways of celebrating show us how creative we can be. Zooming for ugly Christmas sweater contests, a shared prayer before the big meal, and grandparents in their comfy chairs watching the little ones open gifts—all benefits of this year.
4. The YOL side—Wearing a mask is uncomfortable and stifling.
The JOY side— Knowing we’re keeping others safe—and ourselves safe in the process—is a stronger feeling of comfort than the discomfort of the mask itself.
5. The YOL side—The realization that the certainty we once lived with is gone.
The JOY—The realization that the certainty we once believed we had wasn’t really a thing. Now we know we can get through anything. We’re resilient. We’re courageous. We’re creative. And we do hard things.
And it’s all perfect.
Some of these mind shifts are easier for me than others. And some of them may not work for you at all. And that’s perfect.
Because if there’s one thing this year has taught us all, it’s that we don’t always get what we want. What we get, though, are the lessons gained along the way, and the realization that anything can be perfect for us when we allow it to be so.