What I Learned in 2020

Congratulations!! If you were blessed to be able to make it to the end of 2020, then you should be grateful beyond words. Seeing the end of this year is like beating Donkey Kong, Jumanji, and Monopoly at the same time. In less hyperbole, 2020 has been rough, but in that there’s been blessings. Here are 5 lessons I learned in 2020.

5. Hug Somebody When You Can

At the beginning of this year, most people had high hopes. Major US holidays would be on Friday which means we would actually get to enjoy a long weekend instead of a single day before we head back to work. People had plans of travel. The turn of a new decade. 2020 was going to be good! Then we found ourselves in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in 100 years. All of a sudden fear griped the world and instead of living free we were trying to survive. We suddenly longed for things that were once considered basic. Handshakes. Fist Bumps. Holding hands. Hugs.

The idea of not being able to hug your loved ones for fear of unknowingly contracting a potential deadly virus would never even cross our minds in 2019. But this is 2020. Just utter those words and people will understand what you mean. So… When you get a chance? Hug someone! Remind yourself what is like to feel another arms wrapped around you. Revel in the comfort, warmth, reassurance, hope, happiness, and love that a hug brings.

4. Politics Should Not Rule Your Life

This one goes without saying. Right? No? Yeah. That’s why I wrote it. On top of the COVID pandemic which was unnecessarily politicized, the United States was in an election year. The entirety of the election process, campaign to voting to declaring a winner, was expected to be tense at the very least. There are myriad factors and avenues to explore with this lesson, but I’ll keep it brief.

Politics became even more divisive this year. From the Trump administration to Nancy Pelosi, it’s been a constant fight at the top of our government which trickles down to the attitudes of the people (editor’s note: This is the only time trickle down works). Quite frankly, people are ugly when it comes to their political affiliations. For social media sanity, I’ve learned to keep scrolling. I’m not going to change anyone’s mind arguing on Facebook. In real life?

Politics shouldn’t change how we treat one another. They shouldn’t change our love for each other. If they do? Then we need to re-evaluate our own hearts. Read that again.

3. Give an Abundance of Flowers

This year has been rife with death. It feels like it’s been more than previous years. Maybe that’s because we are constantly reminded that people are dying? For me… It started with Kobe.

Kobe Bryant became my favorite basketball player despite me initially disliking him. He won me over with his scoring prowess and ability to understand the game. Kobe was just a flat out monster on the floor! He retired in 2016. I was gutted because I never got to see him play in real life. I got over that and started to enjoy post basketball Kobe….. And just four short years later, at 41 years old, he was gone. I couldn’t process it then. I still can’t believe he’s gone now.

It’s weird. I’ve never met him in real life. Should he have still been alive, I still probably wouldn’t have met him. Talked to him. Anything. It’s not like I know him personally. So why am I mourning? We both loved the same thing. Basketball. Of course he was infinitely better than me which made me admire his abilities. But at the end of the day, we both loved the game.

Looking back, Kobe’s passing was the starting point in a year full of publicized death. I’m a pro wrestling fan as you all may know. In that industry Shad Gaspard and Jonathan Huber died. And how could we not mention Chadwick Boseman. These four celebrity deaths hit me hardest because they were all in their late 30s or early 40s. I’m only 36.

On top of all of that, my dad died this year. I don’t want to go into all the specifics with that. Just know this lesson here. Don’t wait until they die to give people their flowers. Love them. Cherish them. Appreciate them while they are alive. While they can feel it. In fact, give someone their flowers today.

2. Life Comes Full Circle

The day after my wife and I got back from my dad’s funeral I received the best news of my life….

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!

Talk about life throwing curve balls. In the midst of my mourning I found out I’m going to be a father for the first time. Life truly does come full circle.

1. Walk With Your Head Up

I walk with my head down too much. Not that I lack confidence. I’m usually off in thought. Or trying to make myself smaller because my size automatically brings attention. I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to stop this, and I decided that when it was walking into the grocery store.

My wife and I are currently in the Bahamas visiting her family for Christmas. We had to go to the g store for some items. As I’m the consummate American in an unknown space, I walked into the store with my head down as not to call any attention to myself. I realized what I did and gave it some thought. I was uncomfortable and when I get like that I drop my head.

No more.

Too many times we drop our heads causing us to miss life before us. It’s time for me to look up and see the world. It’s time for the world to see me. It’s time for us to walk with our heads up.

3 Comments Add yours

    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      Happy New Year to you as well!

      Like

      1. Thank you 😀
        I am your new follower you may also support me by following

        Like

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