As the calendar rolls over, I’m seeing the usual rush of recap posts. Most revolve around 2020 being awful and wanting it to go away; I’m down with that… but it may be oversimplifying. Plus, I’m in the mood to pick a fight, so here we go!

Look, I’m not going to deny some awful stuff has happened. The pandemic, with its horrible death toll (not to mention all the people who survived only to face long term medical issues). The economic trauma that ensued. The isolation of social distancing. The list goes on.

Here’s the thing, though – at this point everything is being assigned to COVID and that mean old 2020. For example, a wide range of celebrities passed away this year; it seemed like every time, the “2020 strikes again” comments would come. You can blame 2020 if you like, but Pro Tip: celebrities passed in 2019, and more will in 2021. Call me callous, but it’s true.

Credit Where It’s Due

My spark came directly from a different type of post by a good friend. She’s a remarkable lady with a great attitude; she talked about being thankful for the things she learned and realized in 2020. As I read it, I realized that’s what had been bothering me about all these other stories, memes, etc.

When it comes down to it, bad shit happens all the time. 2020 certainly had a big share of it – I won’t argue that. What matters, though, is what we learned about ourselves and others. What we take away from all this mess. How we changed and grew.

I’ll Bite – Hit Me With The Good Stuff?

This year, for example, I finally pulled the trigger and changed careers. To be clear, I love my former coworkers and clients. It was a great company and they took care of me – but it was past time. I wasn’t challenging myself and I wasn’t growing. I was too comfortable. “Comfort is the enemy of progress,” and I was a classic example.

That career change has me working from home, which has been an adjustment. Some days I get a little stir crazy, I’m not gonna lie. Still, the opportunity and flexibility are going to help me continue to grow while allowing me to spend time with The Boy, go to his games, be there for him as he navigates high school in a crazy global time.

I made major steps on my fitness journey; while my weight actually went up a couple pounds, my body shape is very different. I’m stronger and leaner than I’ve been since, well, ever, really. A lot of that took shape while the gyms were closed and I was doing virtual classes in the basement. Pro Tip #2: It doesn’t take a big fancy gym to change your life.

As event after event canceled, we were able to hold the 2nd Mileage Monsters 5k and I got to experience Savage Race for the first (two) times. That checked a couple new states off my list; there’s no official goal to race in all 50 but it’s a thought… Savage, I will be back for more, I promise that. Plans were made and scrapped and remade and adjusted and scrapped again – it’s a good thing I’m determined. (That sounds nicer than saying I’m stubborn as hell…)

OK, It Wasn’t ALL Bad

This is really all I’m saying. It totally could have been worse! Our family was fortunate; that’s a fact. We both worked all year. All three of us are healthy. But I didn’t stop pushing. New challenges were met and beaten.

Look at it like running hills with a weight vest. When you drop the vest, you feel like you’re flying and crush that hill easily! 2020 was one hell of a weight vest, guys, but you made it up that hill. Drop the vest, leave the bad behind you and take what you’ve learned to move forward. Happy New Year!

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash