What Gains Did 2020 Bring?

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what-gains-from-2020

The “causalities” of the COVID-19 global pandemic for our family include a cancelled 25th anniversary trip to Italy, cancelled plans for our younger son, virtual learning for our oldest and youngest, a cancelled trip for our daughter, the loss of a mission trip and youth camp, and missing our “Canadian son’s” wedding.

In the grand scheme of things, we have not lost our health or a family member, so our losses are minimal. While 2020 is the year where the hits just keep coming, what might we gain from all this?

Perspective on the Non-Essential    

Yes, we’re all missing the “precedented” things in life, but we can all walk out of 2020 with a fresh perspective on life in general, our habits, our norms, our relationships, and our priorities. This year is an opportunity to rethink everything.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter if my formal living room is now our gym, with a coffee table swapped out for a weight bench. With a cleared task list and calendar, my creativity has found room to grow, and I’ve attempted things I’ve always meant to learn. Since quarantine began in March, I’ve re-evaluated what is essential in life and let go of what isn’t.

With the clarity from quarantine, what non-essential things might you leave behind?

Resiliency

Moms worry about how all this will impact our kids in the long term, from a mental health perspective. What if we let 2020 be the opportunity where we lead our kids through processing the losses, and then teach them to pivot with new coping skills? This year could be a defining moment, gifting all of us with a resiliency to respond rather than react.

How can you encourage and affirm your children in lifelong coping skills?

Rethinking Education

One of the greatest gifts of all the 2020 conversation about schooling is the fact that conversations are happening. Parents, educators, administration, and lawmakers are being forced to think outside the box, to rethink the value of standardized testing, and to reconsider the way children are schooled. The emphasis on the whole child in our district is a breath of fresh air, considering the child’s overall wellbeing. In the wake of a success mentality that is driving increasing rates of anxiety and depression, 2020 is an opportunity to reset and reimagine childhood and schooling.

What steps might you take to bring about positive changes?

Listening and Learning toward Anti-Racism

Systemic and institutionalized racism have become an important topic this year. From police brutality cases to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases for people of color, the headlines are screaming for us to listen and learn as the first tiny baby step toward overdue change.

How can you be part of the momentum toward anti-racism and reform?

Loss of Frenzy

For far too long, our culture has sped up the pace toward a norm of a frenzied lifestyle. Activity has been shoved into every nook and cranny of life. In Biblical times, every seven years, the fields were given a year of rest in preparation for future harvest. A rhythm of rest is part of not only a productive life, but also a more enjoyable one.

How can you walk out of 2020 with a more leisurely life, with time to rest, have family dinners, explore hobbies, and make memories along the way?

Choose Gain over Loss

Choices must be made along the way of this windy, wild path that is 2020.  Will you react to the circumstances or will you respond thoughtfully in order to learn and grow?  These are unprecedented times, and our children are watching. When 2020 is in the review mirror, what legacy will it have created in your family? What gains might you find from all that’s happened?

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Heather E
Heather has called the Fort Worth area home for more than 25 years, after growing up as an Army brat and preacher’s kid. She’s married to her college sweetheart, Chris (Sic ‘Em Bears). They’re parents to three teens – Collin (age 21), Cooper (age 19), and Caris (age 15). Heather is an adoption social worker and her first book Chase the Kingdom: Finding Purpose Through the book of Esther was published in September 2019. She’s passionate about God’s Word, long conversations over a cup of coffee, cheering on other moms, and her organization Box Club, a community of moms learning to flourish with emptying nests.

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