2020 Year In Review / 2021 Word of the Year

Once again a year has come and gone at a pace that seems to increase the older I get. For 2020 though, there were plenty of reasons; and many of them were not good. My intention to choose a word of the year for 2020 was lost in the churn.   

An inevitable journey we will all one day make, set its course for my mom during the summer of 2019 and came to its natural end in March just as a worldwide pandemic was gaining strength. My 2019 word, Persistent, aided me throughout the year in several areas, pushing me forward through tough days that increased in number and speed through the end of the year and well into the next. The lessons that I have learned in my continuous effort to master 2018’s word, Balance, came in handy on numerous occasions, as I struggled to juggle my personal and professional life while maintaining households in two states.

For 2020, the best word to describe the year for me and most likely many others is not something that could’ve been foretold. It’s not one that envelops a guiding power, but one that contains a life lesson that we all will participate in, most likely, in one form or another, many times during the course of our lives.  It is one that is clearly seen in hindsight and embodies so many aspects of life in general, but especially so for me in 2020.  My 2020 word of the year is CULMINATE.  

It is a reminder to me of the natural rhythm of things – the ebb and flow, peaks and valleys, beginnings and endings of all journeys we take in life. It serves as an opportunity to reflect, or refresh before continuing on, hopefully more mindful that nothing stays forever so we must live in the moment, use our time wisely and appreciate the here and now, because it’s all we have.

2020 drastically changed life as we all knew it when the COVID-19 pandemic gained a grip on the world and did not let go.  Here in the US, we are still struggling, more than most, to regain some control, and return to life that more closely resembles life before the pandemic. We find ourselves deeply divided as a country, trying to find a way to hold ourselves back from the edge of ruin, dangerously disagreeing about the course our country should take, and reeling from the staggering loss of life in one year, that has now surpassed the US loss of life in the entire time span of the Vietnam war or World War I. 

The outlook was bleak then, as it has been for a while. But I have hope. 2020 has left me exhausted, bruised, and battered, but I believe that better days are coming. I choose to believe that 2020 was the culmination of many systemic, and underlying issues that were left to fester, untreated too long.  Many of these issues have been exposed now and can no longer be ignored. We must begin the work to address them and help them heal. My hope is that 2021 will be a year for new hope and healing. My 2021 Word of the Year is RENEWAL.