Emily Stone, LICSW, social worker and Senior Clinical Strategist at Mightier
Reflecting on 2020 and all that has happened feels like a daunting task.
While most years, everyone spends the final days leading up to a new year reflecting on the past year and setting new resolutions for the year ahead, this year just feels different.
On past New Year’s Eves, exciting milestones come to mind quickly and are shared with family and friends. Events like moving to a new house, getting a new job, adopting a dog, and others would be reflected on and celebrated.
This year, these experiences seem to be harder to remember. “What happened this year?”, “What did I accomplish?”, and “What are my resolutions for next year?” are all questions that are running through my head as we wrap up 2020.
Perhaps this yearly ritual is particularly difficult this year because rather than focusing on individual milestones, the entire world is spending time processing a single, devastating, and shared experience. The year was clouded by loss and uncertainty which can make reflection difficult.
Maybe instead of spending time asking “What did I accomplish?”, we can think about the strength and accomplishments of the communities and people that surround us. Despite a year of loss and sorrow- there have been wins, some big and some small for us. When I take time to reflect, I think about:
-My community rallying together to provide free meals to families who need them.
-Friends who are nurses and teachers stepping up to support the most vulnerable kids and adults.
-Kids hanging hand-drawn thank-you signs and pictures in windows to bring cheer.
-Drive-by birthdays, baby showers, and celebrations with people we love.
Taking time to think about our strength as a community can help us to find positivity and strength in places other than ourselves. While this may not be our typical kind of New Year’s reflection, 2020 has been anything but typical, so it may be time to just lean into it.