2020…Winding Down

It has been a year.

More like ten years in 12 months.

We started off with an impeachment and rolled into a pandemic. Then we had a presidential election. Vote counting. Election fraud accusations. And recounts. Now we’re learning that the Russian government has hacked US government networks on an unprecedented scale. The only thing we didn’t have in the US is a ‘second wave’ of the virus. It started and just never stopped.

The toll on from this ‘one thing after another’ year on our psyche, spirit, and morale has been enormous. We are human. and see our shortcomings as a country clearly. We are human, and we remain optimistic for the most part. As Scarlett O’Hara said, Tomorrow is another day.

But today still looms large: almost 17 million people infected, about 200,000 people a day testing positive, over 300,000 dead. Hospitals full. Healthcare workers at the breaking point. An economy in tatters on a national level. On a personal level, millions of unemployed people facing an uncertain winter with little help on the horizon from the federal government.

As tired and ready for an upswing as we might be, we’re still not out of the woods yet.

But we must turn a corner. While positive affirmations aren’t going to put food on the table, we do have to begin ‘acting as if’ we live in a better world. We have to look for the good, talk about the good, and be a contributor to the good. I know: easy for me to say, sitting in Paris, waiting for the smoke to clear so I can get back to my daily grind at the sidewalk cafe. (I wish my life was like what people think my life is like.)

What I’m suggesting is this: we’ve got about 2 weeks to assess the damage and heal. We’ve got about 2 weeks to retreat from the disaster-laden headlines. We’ve got about 2 weeks to back off the vitriol and the hate for people who don’t share our opinions. We’ve got about 2 weeks to reassess our relationships with cable news and social media.

During this time, we’ve got to go into our closet and locate our Big Boy Pants. Then we’ve got to put our Big Boy Pants on when we step out our front door on January 1st and act like the adults that our drivers licenses say that we are.

We’ve got to smile when we want to cry. We’ve got to be polite when we want to scream. We’ve got to be kind when there’s nothing in it for us. We’ve got to put the complaints in a drawer, put the sarcasm on the shelf, and put civilized behavior on the front burner and turn up the flame. We have to, in short, suck it up and grow up.

The United States wasn’t formed by the Philadelphia Pity Party. The British didn’t survive the blitz by throwing their hands up and saying, What’s the use in trying? And the world isn’t going to pull out of the mess we currently find ourselves in by accusing or excusing, giving up or giving in.

As I said, we have about 2 weeks to get a handle on this. We’ve got time to extend holiday wishes to family and friends via Zoom or Skype. Open some gifts. Watch some television. Eat a little too much.

Then It’s going to be time to clock in and get back to work. The business of life is waiting. And there’s much to be done.

  • BGT




7 thoughts on “2020…Winding Down

  1. Thank you for putting in words many of my thoughts. You have the ability to capture what is important. Merry Xmas to you and yours.

  2. Thanks for this, Byron. I admit to being bone-weary of this whole year. But, on we go. Thanks for your recharging words! Sending good wishes to you, and to all readers and contributors. I love reading what other people have to say!

  3. I was driving through the city where I live and I was astonished by how quickly I was able to get through certain part of town that are normally clogged with traffic. I thought – the traffic and the stress of driving through the city will soon return.

    As we enter the final stretch of the pandemic, cities will spring back to life. My message is: we should also enjoy these remaining months before life returns to a new normal.

  4. Byron, I felt like quitting 3/4 of the way through my workout today and, having read this post this morning, heard you say, “The United States wasn’t formed by the Philadelphia Pity Party.  Put on your Big Boy Pants,” smiled, and stuck with it until the end. 🙂  Thank you for the inspiring words! Happy, safe holidays and the warmest of wishes for the new year to everyone.  I’ll be ready with my Big Girl Pants on.

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