Well, I am certainly still giving myself some grace. I meant to be writing in this blog throughout the year, but the year seems to have slipped right on by while being busy with everything else in my life. Remember when we thought this year was never going to end? Some of that may be because the time spent trying to teach my seven-year-old in the spring made every 10 minutes feel like an eternity. But, when we returned to school in the fall (in person), it began to feel more normal, if still stressful. Fridays came way too fast and weekends were not long enough!
We left school for winter break on December 22, and this is the first semi-work related task I have done in the last week and a half. The physical experiences of stress are just now starting to fade. I am sure I will be hit with a tidal wave of it when we return to school on Monday, but I think my body will be ready to take it back on by then.
I think many (most/ all?) of you will join me in the anticipation of seeing 2020 in Hindsight. However, I think it is important to take time to think about any and all good that happened in the past year. If we hold onto those good thoughts from 2020 as we head into 2021, we may start 2021 with the positivity we will need to combat the parts of 2020 that will follow us into the future. (This pandemic is not over yet!)
But looking back, despite all of the out-of-my-control events such as the pandemic, the election, losing a friend (to cancer) and an aunt (to diabetes complications), 2020 held many events that were personally and professionally rewarding. We started 2020 helping my parents buy a car. In August, we purchased a new car of our own, refinanced the house, and paid off half of our unsecured debt. We were able to purchase a new dishwasher when ours quit, without adding to our debt. We had a wonderful Christmas in which we purchased a lot of new technology items, and those expenses are all paid off as well. My mom and I have started walking together every morning (via treadmill and phone calls--she lives in Ohio, while I am in Wyoming). These things are all fabulous!
Professionally, I started the year in January at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, spending time with my people--other school librarians--and looking forward to a fantastic year. In April, I was elected to the post of AASL President-Elect, and our virtual board meetings have been highlights of my time! The behind-the-scenes work that I did during the pandemic closure, as we worked from home did not go unnoticed, and when we returned to school, our Assistant Superintendent told the new teachers to seek me out with technology questions because I am a great go-to person. A few weeks ago, our Superintendent even told me I was indispensable and that she believes there are a lot more ways I will be involved with the district in the future. Also, fun masks have become a wonderful advocacy tool!
I know that my 2020 was way easier than that of many. I am very blessed. My heart hurts for those who were hit harder with COVID with job loss, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and loss of loved ones. They are always in my thoughts as I make decisions for my family and my learners. My purpose in sharing my joys is to encourage others to look back and search for those things in the past year, large or small, that brought joy, calm, peace, or comfort. There is usually something mixed in to all of the crazy. Find that, hold onto it, and carry those thoughts into the new school year.