No one saw anything as huge as a pandemic coming as we bade farewell to 2019, this time last year. At least I hadn’t. Ushering out one year and welcoming another hadn’t seemed like that big a deal.
But, now, in the final hours of 2020, I don’t want to wholesale dump the year as a big fat failure, only to be forgotten or ignored.
Important and good things happened this year. I’ll share some of mine here:
- Back in January, I sang “O Mio Babbino Caro” at a voice recital.
- A local, award-winning Japanese restaurant in town, Sushi Den, hosted a photo contest back in February. I took a shot at it and won.
- Twice this year, I enjoyed taking walks and conversing with a dear childhood friend, who had come to Colorado to vacation with family.
- In June, I connected with a dear friend, who’s living in Mexico, who I had met back in our Texas days. We hadn’t seen or spoken with each other in well over 10 years. Yet we video chatted for quite awhile, smiling and catching up.
- My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year!
- I participated in a “40 over Forty” Photo Shoot, done by the wonderful Jeremy Rill, who wanted to capture and show that women are not any less amazing after they turn forty. I went all out and had my hair and makeup done. Being a model was no easy feat. Given that on any given day, I don’t wear any makeup, I felt so weird being made-up. I even had false lashes on. And I had to freeze in the most awkward positions but appear relaxed. That was no easy feat. But, I did it!
- Though I didn’t get to spend time in-person with family living in different states across the country, we saw each other through some Zoom parties.
- I have a kiddo who has struggled so much with any type of visual learning. I mean, really struggled. He sees letters and numbers not only backwards but also upside down and from right to left. After years of researching, calling, talking to, and advocating for him, I finally got him on an IEP (individualized learning plan) in school. But, with COVID-19 restrictions in place and doing remote learning, his growth was thwarted. Through incentive-laden challenges I offered him, our working together a lot one-on-one, and his hard work, he went from recognizing only seven letters of the alphabet to writing and recognizing the entire alphabet in June. Just a couple of days ago, he thought of, wrote, and read some 61 words. What a tremendous accomplishment, and I couldn’t be more proud of my son.
- I’ve cherished spending time with the kiddos. We’ve had our “don’t breathe in my space or die” moments. Times where four people were doing remote-learning under one roof presented rough days. And I had trouble balancing everything without sometimes getting insane stress headaches. Still, I love the time I have had with my kiddos, all of it. Wouldn’t change a thing. Whatever happened, whether funny or frustrating or infuriating, we did it together, as a family.
Christmas Eve and Christmas took the prize. Given the circumstances, being separated from family and not participating in parties we’d normally attend, we had a good time. I fretted over what to put in the kiddos’ stockings, like I do every year. But this time around, I felt less prepared for any giving, whether for stockings or presents.
I was taken by surprise when everyone loved what was in the stockings. Even my super picky kiddo, whose love language is not gifts, said there wasn’t anything she didn’t want in her stocking. Guess I didn’t mess up after all.
Another ‘win’ for Christmas included a gift for a dear friend, who dearly missed a book that deeply impacted him when he was eleven or twelve. The only information I had was: a boy got into an accident and woke up as a cat. And this young lad had to figure out how to live life as a feline. I found The Abandoned, by Paul Gallico. The novel arrived in time for Christmas Eve. And I got the right book! His reaction told me so. Making his day made mine.
The kiddos also enjoyed their gifts. That pleased me so much.
As for me, I didn’t expect much. But, I was taken by surprised. I’ve gone on forever. So, I won’t go into all the details.
Lily Chang © 2020
The stage is yours.
What good or important moments happened in your life in 2020? I’d love to hear from you. Post something in Comments. Or send me a message or text.
Goodbye, 2020. We had good moments, together.