As I open a new door into 2021, I give 2020 one last look back. Who could have ever anticipated the losses our world, our nation and our communities experienced this past year or the tremendous changes we were forced to make as a result. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about change. Personally, I welcomed a few changes in 2020 that were unexpected and unplanned. I don't think any of us are who we were a year ago. The resolutions I made in early 2020 were quickly tossed aside once the pandemic hit. I discovered what really mattered is how I show up each day. I can chose to be angry, miserable and full of self pity or I can strive to be the most patient, kind and compassionate person that I can be. No matter what each day has in store, there is always something good to find in 24 hours, no matter how small or trivial it is. I have so much appreciation for the things I took for granted before Covid came along. Life will always be full of uncertainty and unexpected events. The flexibility to roll with the punches can only be developed by living in the moment. And as always, the most powerful lessons are in those unscripted moments. I have struggled this year but ultimately decided to work hard on myself instead of being hard on myself. The girl I was in early 2020 is no longer the girl I am now. A more realistic girl has emerged who is able to celebrate, cry, laugh and love all while living in the present and remembering that kindness and genuine connections are what matter most.
One thing I am happy to leave behind is all the time I used to spend online. I have greater appreciation for stronger personal connections by finding other ways to stay connected. Stepping away from social media has given me more quality time to do more enriching activities such as spending time with my aging parents, creating new artwork, enjoying long walks with my family and connecting with others in a more sustainable way.
I also started doing things for myself. Everything involved in running my art business is now done by me, from updating my website, to writing my newsletters, to preparing each piece of artwork for shipment. My art is me. My pieces are created from my heart and they are more than just "products." They embody me, my inspirations as well as the hope and kindness I strive to exemplify. No one can convey these things more accurately than me.
My need to always be "doing more" and pushing myself harder to remain competitive was also lost in 2020. Instead, I discovered a better version of myself and honored this version. I began fitting studio time into family life instead of family time into studio life. I quit searching for the next big moment and I found the simple enjoyment of an ordinary day and the satisfaction of special little moments that can't be planned.
How did you enter into 2021? Did you rush in with excitement and enthusiasm anticipating a better year ahead? Or did you gently start the year with care and a bit of apprehension? I would love to know how you approached the new year. Any other year I would have celebrated January 1st with a spirit of adventure, wide eyed and ready for many new challenges. However, this year, that sense of wonder just didn't seem to fit me. I was more contemplative and reflective in bidding 2020 goodbye, promising myself never to take my health, my family or my friends for granted. Just like many things in 2020, seeing it end was complicated, bittersweet and marked by loss.
As I pensively shut the door on 2020 and gently step through the doorway into a new year, I am forever grateful for your support, your encouragement and your friendship. Thank you for allowing me the space to struggle, grow and evolve. May we go forward in 2021 taking one day at a time. Be safe and stay healthy! Happy New Year!