When the years roll forward, as they inevitably will, will we look back at 2020 as the year of The Great Pause? The year that wasn’t? The year we stayed home?
Certainly there was enough grief, chaos, loss and sorrow to go around, that’s for sure. We lost friends, family, jobs, our minds. We hoarded toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We were scared to hug or kiss or be closer than 6 feet. Some of us used food banks for the first time. We taught our kids at home even though we knew nothing about how to teach. And everywhere was uncertainty and instant change and very little predictability.
But we also learned how to cook and bake and do all kinds of crafts. We cleaned our houses and fixed things we’d been meaning to take care of for years. We gardened. We learned how to use Zoom and shop online for just about everything. We got creative with masks. We hid our smiles, but learned to smile with our eyes. We protested in the streets for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and for all the black sisters and brothers who have tragically lost their lives for no good reason. We campaigned and voted. We donated. We wrote letters. We reconnected with friends and family we hadn’t talked to in a long, long time, and we did it all online.
Some of us wrote like the wind and were very productive. Others could not squeeze a word out past the swelled hearts and clogged minds that were undiagnosed symptoms of this pandemic.
Now we’re at the end of this difficult year. There are vaccines on the horizon that promise us a safer future. And a new president who promises us unity and sanity. But when a new normal arrives, how will it have changed us for the better or worse? It’s something to think about.
Once 2020 is done, the old man is gone and the baby starts a new year on January 1, will you dare to make a plan for your writing? Can you think of the future with hope instead of dread?
I hope that one thing occurs in the next few weeks. I hope you can take a few days out of your normal hustle and bustle and remember good times during holidays past. Good memories that might create the fulcrum to pivot to a kinder, more forgiving, more sharing time ahead of us in 2021. Gratitude. Softness. Peace.
Let’s stumble out of this horrible year and into the light of a new one where we all work together towards a brighter future.
Happy Holidays. And thank you for being a part of our community.
Laurie McLean and everyone at the San Francisco Writers Conference
(Image courtesy of Samantha Jo Phan © 2020. Feel free to visit her website, https://www.samjophan.com/, and check out her book: THE COLORLESS CHAMELEON https://bookstore.weeva.com/products/the-colorless-chameleon