My year end wrap up looks a little different this year. I’m personally and professionally ready to send off 2020 and tip toe quietly into 2021 with low expectations. Below you’ll find a collection of lessons and appreciations from a unique and challenging year, brought on by a difficulty that 2020 has presented. Another difficultly? Fitting into this dress, so #2020.
My father in law had a heart attack on January 2nd, Five days later my mother in law ended up in the ER herself for some digestive issues. After two surgeries, three different hospitals, and a few rehab visits, we thought we had seen the worst of what 2020 had to offer. Little did we know it was just getting started.
The second week of March rolled around and the virus rolled in (or maybe it’d already been here.) Panic ensued. Toilet paper was in short supply, and I still can’t find Lysol spray 9 months later. We stayed home, and stayed safe, and as a team we didn’t even know what had hit us. At work, we postponed or cancelled over 10 events, and tried our best to calm the nerves of our clients. The state and local governments had no advice for us, other than “don’t gather” and even those rules were aloof. We walked on eggshells for two months trying to navigate everything with as much grace as possible.
Challenging times bring out the true colors in people. We don’t all cope the same way, and we don’t all grieve the same way. Navigating this in 2020 was exceptionally challenging. As a society, we were all going through the same crisis, but experiencing it in different ways. Clients praised us for helping navigate tough waters, while others accused us of “not caring” and even “causing this virus.” If we can take anything away from 2020, as planners, as individuals, and as a society, it’s that people aren’t perfect. A little bit of love and selflessness goes a long way when everyone is just trying to do their best.
One of my favorite things to come from 2020 is the bonding of our events industry. We put business and competition aside to unite with one another and help navigate the pandemic as a community. We shared staff, resources and communicated better than ever to lift each other up.
Personally we spent time walking the dog, doing yard work and appreciating the slow down. I am a girl that goes a million miles a minute and loves every second of it. Taking the time to relax, binge watch TV (hey, Tiger King!) and tackle some house projects was actually a lot of fun. I picked up baton again to twirl for a fundraiser, and I did most of it while not stressing about work, or constantly comparing myself to others on the ‘gram. A little slow down was exactly the lesson I needed this year to set my vision straight for 2021 and beyond. More, is not always more. (If you work for me, you can thank me for this later.)
The Fall came and brought more hardship. My best friends 22 year old brother passed away. Sam was an officer in the Navy and had his entire life ahead of him. His only goal was to become a Naval officer and protect his family and country. He was commissioned in May of 2020. In October, he was killed by a drunk driver.
If 2020 has brought anything, it’s been too much loss. Loved ones lost to the virus or a drunk driver, income and jobs wiped from hard working individuals, and the emotional loss of whatever “normal” was. If we can take anything out of 2020, it’s that life is fragile. The old “don’t take anything for granted” saying never seemed so fitting as our world turned upside down. So this NYE, kiss at midnight, say I love you, and get rid of toxic people in your life to make room for those who will love and lift you up. Our time if fleeting, so let’s make the most of it while we can.
On the events side, the fragility of life has made celebrations even more important to me. I want to bring more to the table than just a pretty party.
Celebrating the “why” for our clients pushes will push us for 2021. As a company, we will continue to create epic memories for our clients and their guests, so they can spend every second living in the moment. You shouldn’t take a second of the time spent with friends and family while celebrating for granted, and that’s why we are here.
I was driving to a coffee date and knew that bad news was coming. While on my drive, it was raining and I hit “suggested for you” on Spotify. The song “Smoke Clears” by Gabe Dixon came on, and I realized that nothing about 2020 has made sense, but soon it will, and we will be better for it. Here are some of the lyrics:
Every day it’s taken more, tryin’ to do it different than we did before.
Are we gonna make it to it even better place?
We’ll only really know,
When the smoke clears, and we can breathe again.
When the smoke clears, yeah, we’ll see it all then.
What’ll we do with all this settled dust?
What’s the truth, what it says about us?
It’ll never be the same as it was.
Every day I wonder when
When the world will even start to turn again
Are we gonna make it off with something?
We’ll only really know, when the smoke clears.
Throughout the entire pandemic I have continued to tell myself “you’ll never get this kind of time in your life, what will you do with it?” so being the planner I am, I made to do lists, and conquered them. I re-vamped our entire website, and helped clients navigate events and postponements. My husband and I built a backyard patio, and other than one mental breakdown – I continued to see the glass half full.
For those of you who know me, even I was surprised that I didn’t take “the world is ending” approach. But looking back at 2020 I can now say I am proud of what I did with my time, and to have all of the lessons learned that I just shared with you.
I hope moving into the new year we can continue to see the glass half full, and that some of 2020 will make sense to you, and I, when the smoke clears from this year.
All my love, and Happy New Year!