Back in August my friend Glenn asked a small group of us to list two or three good things about life during the Pandemic. The request came during a week where I had experienced three devastating losses; I had little to offer. Weeks later, on reflection, I came to realize that the months of the Pandemic had, unexpectedly, brought good things.

Much has been said and written about the consistent awfulness of the year 2020. Borrowing a page from Glenn's book, I decided to think back on the good things that had happened for me, personally, during that year. So, in no particular order . . .

. . . Learning and Growing were the guiding principles I set out for my quilting life in 2020. I especially wanted to focus on Y-seams and curved piecing. The conference where I had hoped to grow these skills was canceled. I did learn and grow in other, unanticipated ways, during 2020. I began to try hand-piecing with the Steam Punk quilt and was so happy with both the process and the outcome that I hand-pieced a Halo quilt and now have a second hand-pieced Halo in progress. 

. . . Health. I have not been sick at all during 2020. No head colds, no chest colds, and no bronchitis! I lost twenty-five pounds. I developed consistent sleep habits.

. . . Foresight. Back in the spring I had the distinct premonition that Blackberry wouldn't be with us much longer. There was nothing in particular that led to this; I just knew. In the months to come I spent more time intentionally enjoying my dog. When the end did come, I was glad that I had spent that time with him.

. . . Joy. Three months after losing one wonderful dog, we got another. The joy that Lizzy has brought into our lives each day seems immeasurable. What is better than New Life? 

. . . Church. Though I haven't attended a live church service since early Lent, my involvement in my church has grown in unanticipated ways. My work with our little food cupboard led to my joining the Social Ministry Committee (who hold the most efficient Zoom meetings ever). I completed a second year as a member of the Internship Committee. I was invited to join another committee that oversees ministry grants and that led to my being part of the decision-making process to revitalize our Stephen Ministry during the Pandemic. Most recently, I reactivated my participation in the Refugee project in a new way.

. . . Retirement. At the start of the year, about to turn seventy-five, I knew that retirement wasn't all that far off. My boss and I spoke about "five more years," and since I loved my little job, this didn't seem unrealistic. I was apprehensive about retiring; I didn't know how I would fill all of that time meaningfully. With the school's being closed from mid-March on, I had a foretaste of what it would be like to not be going to work. When school reopened on site in September, knowing that the health risk was too high for me, deciding to retire wasn't difficult. It brought sadness, as endings do, but the apprehension was gone. I knew I'd be okay.

. . . Baking. At the start of the Pandemic, I took up baking again, and did it with intensity. Cookies, muffins, breads, cakes all were turned out at least once a week. Joe and I enjoyed the fruits of this endeavor but didn't need all of those carbs all the time. Fortunately, our neighbors on both sides are women who don't bake for themselves, and they have enjoyed the assorted treats that appear at their front doors.

. . . Feeding the Hungry. This is something that had been on my Agenda for a long while, and having time available led me to be able to do more than contribute financially. I have loved my Thursday mornings at the big food pantry that serves our county and been happy to resume the work at my church's littler cupboard.

On 12/31/19 I posted on Facebook a graphic that proclaimed: "2020 Will Be a Better Year!" Little did I know. 

And yet . . . .


Barbara Anne said…
You certainly made the most of 2020 and I enjoyed reading about the good things you accomplished or were involved in. More power to you in the 2021!

I will have a think about the good things in my life in the past year.

Quiltdivajulie said…
I agree that there has been good amongst all the awful-ness. In our case younger son moved home which has brought blessings in oh, so many ways (not to mention a magnificent reduction in panicked phone calls and texts), we have had time to talk to each other more, we've played board games (something that hasn't happened since our newlywed days), our house is in better condition with repairs, renovations, and a lot of cleaning out, and we have stayed healthy with only 2 minor head colds between all of us. I hope others take your example and consider what goodness has taken place in their lives during the past 12 months (this should, perhaps, become an annual ritual in place of the whole "resolutions" nonsense).
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Nancy, for your positive spin on 2020.
Janet O. said…
I love your reflections, Nancy.
You prove that if we look for it, we can find good all around us--even when things don't seem positive at a glance.