No doubt most are more than ready to ring in the New Year with the hope of putting 2020 behind us. The pandemic has left its mark on 2020. It seems when anything goes wrong, there are cries of “well that’s 2020 for you!” Between COVID-19, a tumultuous election and the passing of several legends, it is clear why this year has acquired a bad reputation.
However, the year 2021 brings hope. A COVID-19 vaccine has begun distribution, bringing an optimism that life may return to the normal we remember. There is still much unknown about when and how the vaccine will become available to the general public. You can stay current on vaccine information by following the website at https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/vaccine-information/
The vaccine will be rolled out in stages, which means there will not be a sudden moment when the pandemic stops and life returns to what it was before. You can learn more about the phases of distribution at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Allocation-Guidelines-for-COVID-19-Vaccine-During-Phase-1A-Recommendations.aspx
As we turn the page to a new year, it is important to give ourselves time to recover from what we have been through. Last year was an emotional and physically draining year for many of us. We cannot simply step out the door and pretend this did not happen. Once again, we will be reminded to have patience and take it day by day.
If ever there was a time for reflection and growth, this feels like that time. New years are an opportunity to reflect on the many challenges the past year brought and how we handled it. This act of reminiscence allows us room for growth, to decide on how to better manage change, and deal with turmoil in the future.
Many have said that 2020 gave them permission to slow down from their hectic lives and take stock of what is truly important. It allowed them to cherish the time at home without commitments scheduled every day. Moving forward, we all should think twice before overcommitting and remember the benefits of slowing down.
There is a sense that this new year will bring us all hope and joy. While optimism is a good thing, it is also important to remember that January 1st will not suddenly bring a huge change. Change comes to us each at a different pace, and we must be in charge of making those changes what we want them to be.
As we embrace the future, do not forget the lessons of 2020. The virtue of patience, the importance of family, and the strength in community. We learned the importance of keeping in touch with friends and relatives no matter the distance. We discovered the value in the little things that bring us calm like baking bread, taking walks and connecting with nature. We were able to overcome this together because of neighbors helping neighbors.
There have also been more difficult lessons learned as well. We may have had to manage a difference of opinions with our friends and families on important issues. But from this we have learned how to set boundaries for ourselves and focus on the things we can control.
As we ring in the new year, take a moment to reflect on this past year for all that it brought, the good and the bad. Make a conscious choice on what lessons you want to remember. Now is the time to find the light, find the good, and carry it into the new year with a fresh start for all of us.
Martha Shapiro can be reached at Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189 or by email at email@example.com.