Principle #4 – Activate Your Learning Gene

It’s that time again to reflect on the past year. I think about all the things we, as a country, have gone through in 2020. Our nation has experienced a global pandemic, civil unrest, the loss of civil rights activist Representative John Lewis and women’s rights hero Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an election with record-breaking voters, and a safe and effective vaccine for COVID!

There have been many sacrifices we have all made to protect the health of our loved ones and ourselves. The largest sacrifices have been from our health care heroes, scientists, essential workers, and many local and state leaders. They have kept our hospitals, cities, and states running as smoothly as possible during these challenging times. I guess I never really thought about the leadership it takes every day to keep us safe. I’m so grateful to them for their dedication and sacrifice.

“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.” – Margaret Peters

My priorities have changed in 2020. I’m more grateful for life and everything in it. We never know what the future holds, so I’m learning to live every day to the fullest. It’s funny how priorities change when we are faced with a deadly pandemic. I’ve also noticed that I’m more relaxed and don’t take things as seriously as I did. I think it’s because I’m learning to accept things that I can’t change. I’ve always been a worrier and have carried the burden of everything and everyone, whether I can change something or not. There’s a feeling of freedom that comes with carrying my own worries and not everyone else’s.

“Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience – ensuring we’ll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.” ~ Brené Brown

I’m grateful that my family and friends are safe and healthy. We’ve been cautious and continue to follow the safety guidelines. It’s been a long road for all of us, and the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter, so we can’t mess up now. I have hope that we will have normalcy by the end of 2021.

I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with my grandson during his winter break from school. He taught himself how to ride a bike. He was so determined to learn and had it mastered in one day. He’s so proud of himself and wants us to call him the BMX Champion…BMX for short. He’s an amazing little boy. I love to see his innocence and curiosity as he continues to learn.

He’s had a tough year, too. He’s anxious and is afraid to leave the house because he thinks he may get COVID. He’s starting back to in-person school next week for the first time since last March. I know children build resiliency and coping skills during tough times, but I’m still concerned about their anxiety levels. They need to be with other children for their social development. And kids, like my grandson, who are extroverts, have missed their friends. We want the transition from remote learning to in-person learning to be a positive experience for him. So, his mom and I are being upbeat and are reassuring him about returning to school as we keep our anxiety to ourselves.

“The key to life is resilience…We will always be knocked down. It’s the getting up that counts.”
– Dominique Browning

We are a divided nation. And yes, we’ve had a challenging year, but we are resilient. I think we forget just how resilient we are until we have to endure struggles. I believe we all have light in our hearts…and that light is hope. I have hope that our country’s new administration will unite us, and their compassionate leadership will stop our suffering. I also have hope that our world will be healthy again when everyone gets vaccinated. I understand that it will take time, but I have faith that it will happen. When we believe in the goodness that life has to offer, we can make positive changes. Let’s make 2021 the year of hope and change. We can do this…together!
Cheers to a Happy New Year!

Freedom is possible!


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