The year 2020 was 365 days that none of us would have predicted.
The first 60 or so of them weren’t so bad. But, as we reflect back over 2020, every 24 hours that we moved closer to mid-March last year, things started get a bit dimmer and blecker as each day passed.
I’d been pondering over the last remaining days of 2020 on what type of retroreflective “gobbly-gook” I might be able to crunch out. All of this is assuming that I want to “crunch” said post out.
And then the “aha!” moment sprang forth.
2020 can’t just simply be about the dumpster fire of a global pandemic. News story of the year? I would suspect so. But, 2020 can’t just be that.
One thing that COVID_19 did for most, if not all of the world, was to slow down and stop.
Literally stop. Put the breaks on and go home.
Most of you reading this were involved in some type of lockdown; shelter at home; quarantine enforcement.
For many of us, the things we took normally for granted vanished more or less overnight. Big vacation plans, big events or simply time spent with distant family and friends evaporated like water sprayed on hot concrete during a scorching summer afternoon. Even going out for a meal – gone.
Most of us learned that what “might be here today could be and was gone tomorrow.” We learned a hard but necessary lesson in “taking things for granted.”
But, having said that we also learned or re-learned a few good lessons along the way.
I think one of the most important lessons to learn is that, at the end of all days it will be the simple pleasures we remember. Those memories not of the big events(don’t get me wrong, those events are vitally important), but the memories of the seemingly small and often perceived as insignificant events or things.
The point is to make memories. Memories falling out of big events or tiny coffee date with someone it doesn’t matter.
Let’s finish by saying this, ““your most valuable possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link our hearts together.”
The following was my retrospective look for last year. I’ve gone through and changed dates and updated a few things to make it appropriate for this year. Let the message of it, flow through your body and soul.
There is right this very moment, some exceedingly groggy and perhaps hungover bloggers that are unsteadily and perhaps with a significant level of befuddlement, typing away at a retrospective post on the year that was.
On the opposite side of the coin, however, given the expertise and professionalism found throughout the blogosphere, many of you will have your ever so thoughtful and sombre retrospective of 2020 done already. Written last week utilizing a sober-mind(or at least semi-sober) and now have it scheduled to hit the blogging world at some point today, if it hasn’t already been published by now.
I can confidently and with many self-indulgent congratulations admit, this retrospection was written during the week between Christmas and today, January 1, 2020. Having said that, it is entirely appropriate to recycle it again for looking back at 2020. And forward to 2021.
So, not so much groggy typing this morning.
Most “year in review” posts that I’ve read and I haven’t read all of them(insert your sarcastic voice here), often follow a semi-predictable pattern of focussing on highlights of posts throughout the year and then followed by goals, dreams and aspirations for the year coming up.
Realistically, in any “year in review” post, I’m not sure one can follow any other basic template, other than simply presenting a review of your past year. We may add to the mix life events that occurred and such, but in the end, it is still a review.
Honesty time here.
It’s the “basic template” and in some respects the whole “year in review” post thing that has my “pantaloons in a twist.”
And in that regard, I took a stab at starting to untangle my “twisted pantaloons” in this post last week(written in 2019).
Nevertheless, one thing that did come to me while thinking about putting this retrospective together was the word “theme.”
“Theme”, when used as a noun, has two meanings:
- “the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person’s thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic”
- “an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature”
Both meanings fit perfectly with a theme that seemed to evolve throughout this year – making memories.
As I scrolled through the posts, I had written throughout 2019 and 2020 for that matter, and while pondering each one(some had more pondering than others), the theme of making memories seemed to rise to the surface.
Making memories when stripped right down, involves people. Our spouses, our children, our families, our friends and perhaps those we don’t even know.
It’s the people we love that are the most important. In fact, people are the most important things in our life. Not the gifts, nor the house or the “stuff” we work ever so diligently to acquire through our lives.
It’s people and making memories with them.
So, here’s my retrospective look back on 2019 and now for 2020 from a theme of “Making Memories.”
Be sure to click on the highlight links to read the full posts.
This entry is important not just because I wrote it, but I believe it has a couple of universal truths attached to it.
And it is these particular truths and the meaning they hold, that one day we will either be thrilled to look back on them or exceedingly disappointed we don’t have them to reflect and celebrate on.
The choice though is entirely ours to make.
The first is, that time marches on. It waits for no one. A bit of a cliche I admit, but true, nonetheless. Therefore, fill your time with things that won’t rust or fall away. Things that have true meaning and value.
The second truth is, people are the most important things in our life. Not work, not things, not “stuff.” People, plain and simple.
Lastly, this point is a kind of sub-set of the second one. And it’s a quote, “your most valuable family possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link your hearts together.”
That last point should make it simple and blunt enough that all of us should get the point here.
As you read through Making Memories, it goes on to highlight five elements found or important in “making memories” and why making them so important and necessary.
Get out there and make some memories.
Oh, where to begin with this one.
If I had to choose a post from 2019 that would make me the proudest of “hitting publish” it would be this one.
Not because of outstanding writing, content, layout or any of that stuff. It would be all due to the “spot I was at.” Which in all honesty, was and not a very good place.
The fall of last year was for the most part, not the best for me in terms of my own mental and emotional wellness.
The nub of it was dealing with anxiety issues on a daily basis, combined with feelings of self-doubt and “where do I fit in; not feeling like I was contributing much; my life wasn’t much to look back on” it all simply left me at a rather low point.
I had heard “Good Riddance – Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life” by Green Day several times throughout the fall months on the radio. Any lyrics, although written perhaps with a specific meaning originally, they can create a wealth of different meanings though to the people who hear and listen to them.
At that time, the song resonated for me along the theme of, “we only have one life to live; only one shot to do it in; so you better get it right.” And that when it is all said and done; and before you take your last breath, you can look back and boldly proclaim, “I did have the time of my life.”
Originally when creating the post, I planned to take the lyrics and intersperse a few pictures that would somehow correspond to the meaning of each verse.
It didn’t quite work out that way. In fact, it worked out far better than I could have ever imagined.
What made it a powerful and such a gut-wrenching post for me was compiling the pictures and I mean the many photographs found in the post. I simply started adding pictures I felt held meaning to me of past wonderful memories. And I kept going and adding until I felt I was done.
Some of the pictures were very important, like our daughter’s college graduation, to those of seemingly insignificant events like a hike along the Bruce Trail.
The point is, all of those pictures represent an incredible memory; lots of memories in fact. And that if today was that day I took my last breath, I could look back and say, not hope, but say, “I did have the time of my life.”
We often get stuck and spin our wheels in the present when things are at some low point. Digging ourselves deeper into some muddy bog, that we really don’t need to be in.
That was me.
So, I absolutely implore you to click the link for the post.
After that, start compiling your own pictures of those wonderful memories of days gone by. They could be from last week or ten years ago. Keep going until you either run out of pictures or emotionally you can’t select another picture.
Step back and take a look.
You’ll then see without a doubt, you “have had the time of your life” to this point.
This one is similar in most respect to the post above from February 6 – “Making Memories”
Where it differs is in the importance of Christmas traditions.
As I wrote in the post if there is one season or time of year that yells out “traditions” it has to be Christmas.
Christmas traditions, like any tradition, involves people. Most often it is those people who are nearest and dearest to us.
In fact, a Christmas tradition can’t exist without the energy and power found within the hearts and souls of the people involved.
Those Christmas traditions we dearly and often eagerly anticipate are fueled by the wonderful and heart-warming memories those traditions have created over the years for us.
Twenty years from now, not many of you will be to remember the presents and gifts you received, but I can guarantee you will be able to remember those Christmas traditions, that became the glue that has bonded the memories and souls of our families and friends together.
So, there you have it.
A slightly different way of looking back at 2019 and now 2020 from where I was sitting.
Obviously, there are other posts that are noteworthy(at least in my mind), as well as events in from last year that could have made the list for inclusion.
I didn’t include blog stats and such, because I’m not sure what they would add to the mix.
Having said all of this, one thing I pray you to take from this particular retrospection is simply this quote:
“your most valuable family possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link your hearts together.”
Go out right this very moment with your family/friends and get creating memories in 2021 that will last a lifetime.
Lynn and I thank each and every one of you who took the time to visit for a while with us at “justabitfuther” during 2019 and 2020.
We pray that you made it through 2020 healthy and well. Now, let’s look forward with hope and anticipation for a brighter future unfolding before us in 2021.
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —