This is the picture of a sign at Times Square in NYC, December 31, 2020. It’s how many feel about the tumultuous year we’ve experienced. Please, just move on and go away! We are tired of the drama and are ready for a new year.
It’s been a year fraught with difficulty and challenges. I don’t know if you were devastated by the year or only inconvenienced. Maybe you’re someone who thought COVID19 was a conspiracy drummed up to “throw” the US election or you may be one who accepted it simply as a virus to be avoided at all costs. Regardless of how you view the virus and this year, you will benefit by taking time to stop and reflect on lessons learned.
What has benefited you? Can you find the good? For example, I know of a family (parents with adult kids living in 4 different states) who have “zoomed” weekly and connected like they hadn’t in years of seeing each other only once or twice a year at a holiday. Another family, also spread across the country, do a virtual monthly “catch-up”, cousins, uncles, parents, grandkids all join the call. Together on the video chat they sing and pray; they laugh and tell funny stories. What a delight for them to join in and be connected in ways they didn’t before 2020.
What did you do this year you hadn’t before? Maybe you’ve taken up bread baking or propagating houseplants. If you have school aged kids at home, maybe you’ve brushed up on long-division. Sure, there’ve been tough parts, but it’s nice to remember some of the good as well. In what ways has God has shown his faithfulness to you? Have you walked more closely with him this year?
“…for a little while you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine…” I Peter 1:5-7
You’ve faced trials and difficulties. It’s important (and okay) to face these challenges and evaluate what you’ve accomplished. It may help to write out what made you sad or areas you hoped for that were not realized. Take time to remember people lost to the virus. Consider the loved ones you are missing deeply right now. It helps to acknowledge the pain you’ve walked through and give yourself a pat on the back of how you came through it.
But as the sign says, “Move On 2020”. It’s time. Gauge how you did this past year in particular areas, and then make plans for a fresh start for 2021. Here are some areas to think about:
Spiritual walk with God – goals to grow, what to read, walk with others on similar path, allow help, keep as a priority.
Relationships – plans to deepen, forgiveness where needed, set priorities, start fresh, rekindle.
Finances – have a plan/work the plan, think about discontentment or greed, deal with bad habits, debt reduction, perhaps meet with financial expert.
Physical health – workout regimen (something new?), nutrition, regular checkups (medical, dental, vision).
Mental health – any issues with anger, bitterness, worry or depression? (Pursue help if needed). What books might be helpful?
Career or Education – what is end goal? Steps to reach this, new dreams, time management (not procrastinate, watch behaviors that distract such as social networking, tv, hobbies…)
The list isn’t conclusive, but simply a springboard to begin the thoughts. What matters is to take the time today or this week to write out ways you will move forward into a victorious new year. Make progress. This is the goal, not to attain perfection, just small steps forward.
This is one of my favorite quotes:
“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” (Karen Lamb)
Time to move on.