For a lot of people, the year 2020 was awful. We were hardly into it when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. For me personally, it started off really bad. On January 13th, my father passed away, which for me like so many other people was a time of sadness, hurt and pain. Shortly thereafter, I had an minor outpatient procedure but ended up in hospital with an internal bleed. Then came the pandemic – shelter in place, wear a mask, don’t touch anyone, shortages of things like toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and even beans!
To be honest, I struggled through the year. I didn’t see my daughter and her husband for more than 30 minutes during the year and my grandchildren for only 10 days. Playing the banjo lost its appeal – and there are no sad banjo songs! We saw social events cancelled, charitable fundraisers moved to virtual, and then volunteering during the early voting and day-of voting in the Georgia general election and Senate run-offs was an exercise in restraint as people from both political sides tried to goad us into a wrongful comment or reaction.
I know that I didn’t have it as bad as many others who lost loved ones to Covid, the people who died alone because of social distancing requirements, and the faithful workers in our grocery, drug, and other stores. But I still struggled.
I hoped that 2021 would be a turning point, one in which we emerged from the awful year of 2020 with new hope, vigor and energy; but for me, early in the year, that didn’t happen. It seemed that 2021 would just be more of the same horrible 2020 but just a year later. Then like the lucky few, I qualified for the Pfizer vaccine. I got my two shots, felt like death warmed over after the second one (to which my doc said was a ‘good’ thing) and moved on. I have hoped that the distribution of vaccine would accelerate and spread throughout the world and we could get back to whatever normal is.
I took the picture at the top of this article at about 6:30am at Pawleys Island, South Carolina in the United States. At the time it simply looked nice to me. I think I was looking for light, for hope, for something, any damn thing positive. I now realize that like so many of my fellow citizens of the world, I spent the entire year of 2020 in a dark depression. I have thought a lot about what was lost this past year. We have been stuck at home with all of our possessions, the crap accumulated over a lifetime; whether 20 years, 65 years or 95 years. That stuff isn’t enough. We need and desire human connection. Not just with our family, but with friends, acquaintances and yes, even strangers. That is what is truly valuable. That is the lesson of 2020, forget (as George Carlin would say) your shit; because all the stuff you own is really just shit to other people. Remember what counts are human relationships and interaction. That is all that is important, really, that is all.
At the time that I took that picture, the image to me was simply…pretty, now it is a sign of hope and a new day. We have the ability as a world to defeat this virus that has deprived us of our lives for the past year. We have the ability to ensure that not only a guy like me can be vaccinated but so can the person in Kenya, India, Mozambique, New Zealand, Japan, China, and anywhere else in the world. We have the ability to set things right again, to come to our senses and place real value on what is important; not stuff (i.e., shit), not politics on either side, not on social media, not sports or entertainment, but on decent, real, and honest personal interaction. That to me is the lesson of 2020. It isn’t flashy or sexy but it is real and it is what we, or rather I, needed to learn.
I don’t know who reads my ramblings (if anyone) but it is cathartic for me to write them. If you have struggled during the pandemic, I hope that you get some positive feeling from my reflections and thoughts. I wish you the best in the brighter days that are surely to come. Don’t give up hope.
Peace to you all.
7 thoughts on “A New Day”
Thank you!! You hit the nail on the head. I feel like I learned about empathy. I think of the families in places like Syria. They spend their lives worrying about their children and if they can go out without being killed and I spent a year fearing an enemy I couldn’t see. At least now there seems to be hope for us.
Hope everything will be better for 2021.
We feel much the same. Very fortunate, and ready for this to be history. Missing our family members. But I’m so much more hopeful today, with one shot down and our new, competent leadership on board. Truly feels like a new day. Namaste.
Thank you Frankie. Namaste to you as well!
Hi Steve,Thank you for being candid, honest and genuine. This whole challenge of isolation and coping has been challenging on so many levels for all of us. Covid 19 has been Hell, no joke. Had it for 3 weeks. Grateful to have recovered too, thank God.Like you, I just want it all to be over with. And, will things ever truly return to normal? It’s a lot like the impact we all experienced when 9/11 hit – looks like things will not ever be the same as before.However, being a Christian, I can see how God uses these trials of life to refine us and turn things around. I see a greater respect and appreciation for our essential health care workers. People are more intentional now about staying connected. Less is taken for granted as well.It’s as though we had to lose everything in order to appreciate what we were so very blessed with all along. And now we are more intentional with relationships, not missing what really matters, making things count because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. I have gained a bigger perspective in light of our mortality. Time is shirt and there’s so much we can do to bring light and hope to others. Sometimes it’s just a smile, kind word or act of kindness. Yes, they’re small things – so simple to do. Yet profound in nature, breathing life, encouragement and joy.When we allow Jesus to work in our existence, miracles truly happen. Going beyond our comfort zones to help others, pray for them, bring a meal or any other service of benevolence. Here’s where God’s peace, His comfort and love are expressed to the hurting and in need. We can all be that catalyst for the right sort change this community and world so desperately needs.I am one person, and together we are many. All of us in a capacity of unity can bring forth the relief, calm and provision so dire to the existence of the human soul.🙂Blessings to you friend,Cristina Arcadi Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Praying the peace and power of God’s word be the mighty force of stability in the uncertainty of our world and chaos happening all around.Jesus said…………..”Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled , neither let it be afraid. ” ( John 14:27 )”I am the way, I am the truth and the life.” ( John 14:6 )”Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” ( Psalm 37:4 )”Trust in the Lord in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ( Proverbs 3:5-6 )”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” ( 2 Timothy 1:7)”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ( Phillippians 4:6-7 )Cristina Arcadi Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Thank you for your kind words Cristina. It is good to know that others have had the same painful journey during the past year. May the peace of God, which is beyond all that we could comprehend be with you always. Peace!