Growing from what we’ve learned in 2020 — and being better in 2021

The last year has been exceptionally challenging for all of us. With that in mind, I’d like to share some resolutions as we turn the page on 2020 and look forward to what 2021 will bring.

Let’s resolve not to allow our frustrations make us lose sight of the big picture.

Let’s resolve to think before we speak, post or tweet.

Let’s resolve to think about the content that others speak, post and tweet and try to find some understanding and common ground.

Let’s resolve to hear others people’s voices more than we hear our own.

Let’s resolve to help our young people, elders and really anyone who is struggling to make it through the (hopefully) final, seemingly endless, difficult days as we wait for the vaccines to become widely available.

Let’s resolve to remember the things we have missed and appreciate them when we get to enjoy them again.

Let’s resolve to remember those we’ve lost, even if, like me, you were fortunate enough to not lose anyone in your orbit personally. Remember that so many others were not as fortunate and the loss of their friend or family member is painful and should be respected.

Let’s resolve to keep celebrating the people in our communities that we’ve come to know as the front-line workers – from the doctors, nurses and support staff in all medical settings, to the clerks working in grocery stores and gas stations and the countless other previously unthought of workers in our food supply chain and our mail and package delivery services.

Let’s resolve to continue to support our small businesses, from local restaurants to the local dog walker or specialty retail shop owner. Let us remember that even though we could probably find things on Amazon or in some other big box store, the fact remains that local businesses are an integral part of our towns. The charm and character that we love about our hometowns are due in large part to these small local shops and restaurants. Product or service, whatever a small business does on a daily basis, is what sets our little slice of the world apart from others.

Let’s look forward to the day when we can see the smile that goes with the nod we give to strangers as we pass.

And finally, let us resolve to take the experience life has given us and to make ourselves better from having lived through something that we hopefully won’t see again during our lifetime, or even in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren.

None of us has ever lived through times like these before and most of us probably never imagined that we would experience anything like we have in the last year.

Whether you learned a new skill during the stay-at-home orders, such as knitting, or became a pro at streaming video and had some interesting viewing as you got lost down the YouTube algorithm rabbit hole.

Or maybe you learned that making a sourdough starter is tricky, or that sterilization of your groceries can sometimes go too far, or you just realized that you found that you were an introvert who found the solitary part of stay-at-home orders was just fine with you.

Find something to take away from this experience and carry that new self-awareness into your future. Resolve to take this new understanding and accept it as a previously undiscovered piece of yourself into 2021, and allow it to make you a better person.

Carrie Haddon

Lake Orion


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