Hasta la vista, sayonara, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, 再见, Hágoónee’. Whether in Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Chinese or Navajo, it all translates to the same thing. Good bye, so long, outta’ here. And I might add, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Right?
What can a 2020 year-end post say? I chuckled as I read letters received with Christmas cards this year, and suddenly found my inspiration. For the first time, I discovered a pattern I’d not noticed before and I wondered if they’d all stumbled upon the same template. “It’s been a year like no other. We were able to (fill in the blank) before everything shut down in March. Then we had to cancel plans for (fill in another long blank) and visits to (another blank). Instead, we learned (blank), cleaned (blank) and most importantly, found out how much we (blank). Lastly, I’m happy to say that despite all of the challenges, our (blank) is/are doing very well.”
Let me tell you, I loved reading every. single. letter. because it has been a year like none other. And these letters spoke to me. So my friends, here is my honest rendition of a 2020 Christmas letter, if I’d included one with my cards.
“It’s been a year like no other, and I never want to repeat it. Ever. We were able to visit Organ Pipe Cactus National Park in southern Arizona before everything shut down in March. It was nice, but had I known this would be the end of travel for the year, I might have chosen someplace far more exotic.
Then we had to cancel plans for almost all of the reasons we moved here (except the sunshine, of course). Clubs, concerts, dances, plays, movies, baseball – all gone. Golf and pickleball remained available, which kept Kathy happy. By June, she was promoted to Chief Morale Officer of the household.
Instead, we learned how to buy toilet paper online, sew our own masks, and celebrate Christmas on Zoom. We also learned exactly how many weather-related records they maintain in Arizona as we watched all of them get smashed, day after day, week after week, month after month during the hottest summer ever.
As a result, I had to clean up my vocabulary and attitude by the end of October when the weather finally broke and my days of being a pandemic shut-in were over. Plans to clean up computer records, boxes of photos, and drawers of quilting fabric all fell behind Netflix watching and cooking. Lots and lots of cooking.
Lastly, I’m happy to say our cactus are doing very well, even the one we had to nurse back after it got over-heated this summer. Yes, it was that hot.”
So friends, as I reflect on 2020 and get ready to kick it to the curb, I do realize how incredibly fortunate I am, and I don’t take that for granted. In the new year, I hope my social life moves beyond grocery shopping and that I’ll find new man-crushes to replace Dr. Fauci and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
But most of all, I hope 2021 brings you happiness and good health. Let’s do our collective best to make it a year like none other, in a positive light. Let’s use the compassion and generosity we rekindled during a time of sacrifice to restore the goodness so many folks have lost this year.
Peace be with you.