By Jane Dividio-Gagliardo
Hi everyone. Can you believe 2020 is almost over? Don’t know about you but I’m totally good with that. Lol. Do you reflect on the year past? I do. I feel that through the good, the bad and the ugly of this year, I have learned something about something. Lol. Or at least I tried, and I think that’s all any of us can do. But 2020… well let’s just say has been unlike any year I’ve lived through. And I’m a Queenager with a substantial amount of years under my belt. And, I have definitely been through a lot. Again 2020, has been a year like none I’ve never experienced or want to relive. But despite the harshness of the challenges we have all had to face, endure and overcome, I’m still going to embrace it. I’m going to do the deep introspective reflecting on what I have learned and even had to relearn. Sometimes the things we think we know change and transform in ways we never expected or imagined. I’ve realized that there is still much to learn and much more growing to do, despite my age.
Normally I love learning. I love all the new things that I have experienced and learned over my lifetime, thus far. But without a doubt 2020 has really knocked me on my ass and I know I’m not alone. I think we have all learned a lesson or two this year. One of the things I really didn’t like about this year is seeing all the hate and negative talk that has occurred and is still taking place. I even got caught up in a little myself. And for that, I am somewhat disappointed in myself. But I also learned that people who I thought were my friends, really were not. This realization has been one of the most disheartening lessons for me. I don’t know if those friendships will ever be the same or if they can even be repaired. This is a very sad realization for me. I believe the Covid Pandemic combined with all of the discord pre and post the Presidential election process created more hatred, violence, and chaos than any of us have seen in a very long time. Or just maybe this is what it took for us all to take a long hard look at ourselves and begin to make some necessary and, hopefully, positive shifts in both our thinking and behavior.
I’ve been protesting since the 60’s, the civil rights movement, women’s rights, education, equal pay and the list goes on and on. I was arrested, thrown into a paddy wagon and was fingerprinted. But even with all these past events and experiences, I have never seen such discord and distasteful human behavior like this past year. So, I’ve decided not to carry the worst of 2020 into 2021 with me. I’m going to let 2020 stand on its own merit and leave it there. I’m going to “let it go,” plan for 2021, embrace it, look forward to all the new beginnings, applaud and welcome all of it. My plan is to meet new people, learn more about them and do my best to elevate humanity from where it presently is to new heights of awesome for us all. And in the process, I resolve to be humble and kind to all… even the haters. Because no matter what the year or how much turmoil looms over all of us, there will always be people who hate themselves. And, in an attempt to feel better, they will always attempt to throw off their self-hatred onto others. One thing that I’m definitely going to make sure I do is hold on to the “family and friends” who have become my lifeline. They have become “my go to” whenever I need a dose of energizing interaction. Sometimes they are my own reflection in the mirror. Sometimes I liked what I see, sometimes not so much. But true friendships, none-the-less, are family. The plus side of friendship is that I get to pick these family members.
So, I guess the point of this blog is to help you remember and appreciate the fact that you have choices. You can choose to love yourself and others, but the choice is yours. This is a valuable lesson I will carry into 2021 with me. We have choices and the choices we make are what determine the quality of life we get to live. The beauty of choice is that it is totally yours. What lessons will you take into 2021 with you and what will you leave behind? Stop for a moment and think about what you have learned about life and the value of being able to choose the people, places, and things you want to be a part of your life as you move from 2020 into 2021. As I close out, I leave you with this quote: “This is the beginning of anything you want.” (Unknown)
Stay Safe. Stay Strong. Stay Fearless.