The 2020 reset on relationships <3


Happy New Year’s Eve! Let the memes be rolled out in force today. 

One of my favorites from 2020 said —> I can’t believe we stayed up and screamed Happy New Year for this mess

I am so thankful for the humor of others that helped ease the tension at times and brought camaraderie. I am equally thankful for the option to snooze people for 30 days who tended toward less humorous reactions to all that was abuzz in 2020. 

So as we continue on with our review of what has been a year with the word “unprecedented” used more than other year in the history of forever, most likely….here are some more positives from my heart.

I am a fair weather girl. When describing life in the Midwest (and don’t get me wrong, this is my home and I love living here) I will tell people we have about two good days. My best temperature range is a little wider than my tolerance for humidity range and therein lies the problem with existing here in the heartland.

I can stand extreme heat and extreme cold as long as the humidity is low. Which happens, as mentioned, roughly two days out of the year. 

But thanks to multiple weeks sheltering in place and months of shut downs with no where to go, even this home-loving, self proclaimed introvert needed to get. out. of. the. house. 

So we walked. Biked. Walked some more. Hiked. And then…repeat. 

In allllllll kinds of weather. 

And so did the rest of our neighborhood. 

We saw people we didn’t even know lived around here. On our treks around the circle, we got in the habit of waving at the others who seemed to be on the same schedule for fresh air as we were. 

Children with freed up schedules apparently got tired of electronics and were out skating, biking, drawing with chalk and waving to us like refugees on the shore of a deserted beach when they see the rescue ship on the horizon. 

We waved back in like fashion as if to say, “Look! Small humans!!! There is life here!”

Like most people, we knew complete isolation would be more life-threatening than the Covid, so we decided on our small circle that we were willing to risk exposure in all directions and as best we could, we social distanced while fellowshipping. It was a lifeline. 

At one point I posted this from my heart, “It turns out I am not as much an introvert as I thought.” 

We needed people. 

We zoomed and we texted. We Marco-polo’d, instant messaged and What’sApp’d.

We learned how to use technology so that we could live stream our church services. 

We thanked God for artists like Michael W. Smith and Natalie Grant/Bernie Herms who just got on YouTube or Instagram and sang to us for free in their sweat pants and ball caps. 

We stood on sidewalks and talked towards the porch, sat in yard chairs in a wide circle or opened the door to a friend who was masked and handing us a small plate of goodies with a long reach….and we wept for the deep love of our people…in us and for us. 

This has been a hard year. 

We have lost much. 

Personally, our grandchildren have lived isolated from friends and school and sports. Russ has had to adjust to working from home as he navigates doing what he has always done in a workspace he shares with a woman who has spent most of the years of his career going about the maintenance of the home and the musings that spin out this kind of stuff at her own pace and noise level. She has had to adjust, too. 

Our friends have suffered losses. Some have been quarantined due to exposure and some due to a positive test. We have purchased more sympathy cards this year than I believe we ever have. I have used social media in record amounts as a way of connecting with people I cannot see. 

We have talked to relatives and friends via telecommunication that never would have happened if we were not in this pandemic. I have made phone calls to people who are not on text or facebook. Unheard of since I had defaulted to the easier typed/no need to carry on a conversation kind of awkwardness over the years.

So another thing I will take away from 2020 is a deep appreciation for a major pause in my busy, full life so that I could fill it with building relationships to a level that leaves me humbled. I am amazed how easy it was to live on the surface with people who are so dear to me. 

May we never get back to “normal” in that area. 

God bless you all…you have been a special part of this 2020 experience because we connect here. Your little notes of encouragement and your comments mean so much to me. You are precious to me and the reason I do this. 

Tomorrow I will wrap up this little review of the year…yes, I know, it is New Year’s Day…but I hope you will join me. PJ’s and all…<3

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