Go ahead. Reach around and give yourself a solid pat on the back. You deserve it. While you’re at it, give whoever is next to you right now a double thumbs up. We all deserve hardy congratulations for making it through the year 2020.

Who would have thought that the year that shares a name with “perfect 20/20 vision” would pack so many punches, from East and Gulf Coast hurricanes to West Coast wildfires, the deaths of Kobe Bryant, George Floyd, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and numerous protests and demonstrations in a fight for racial equality. We endured a presidential impeachment and witnessed the renunciation of royalty by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Together we experienced a raucous political season, an extended election period, and a toilet paper shortage. These events are just the tip of the monstrous 2020 iceberg named COVID-19. 

The challenges have been enormous. Some of us lost jobs and income while others endured the tragic loss of loved ones. My intention is not to downplay any of these terrible experiences. But I do think a moment to celebrate the human spirit is appropriate. After all, despite the unexpected curve balls the year threw, we continued to adjust and kept swinging.

Truthfully, while I have no interest in a do-over, I believe the challenge-fraught year taught us a lot about ourselves and human nature. So, before we close the door entirely on 2020, let’s reflect on the lessons the year imparted. You may have a different list, but here are some of my takeaways.

Human beings are good at adapting. When the going gets tough, we don’t throw in the towel—we work to find a new way of doing things. The shift in how we worked and played in 2020 was fascinating to experience. From Zoom work meetings and Zoom cocktail hours with friends to back-patio gatherings with social distancing, being together was important enough to make it happen, even though it looked different.

I like myself better as a blonde. I started my life with blonde hair, so I shall aspire to honor those roots and keep darker interlopers at bay.

Stretchy pants are fair-weather friends. Your stretchy, comfortable clothes will deny even knowing you when your regular clothes with zippers reenter your wardrobe. 

Teachers joined the ranks of HEROES, along with health care, grocery store, and other frontline workers who kept us safe and the world moving.

Sadly, racial disparities and racism still exist. Conversations, listening, education, self-awareness, humility, and more efforts are necessary to accomplish a systemic change regarding racism. It is past time, y’all.

Slowing down to appreciate the simple things has great worth. The year forced us to consider the difference between needs and wants. This assessment and practice will always add value to our lives.

My goal is to see the upcoming year and decade through the lens of lessons learned in 2020. Perhaps the year of perfect vision can be redeemed after all.

I’m here if you need me. Until then, y’all behave.