I believe I speak for all of us when I say 2020 was not what we expected. January began with parties ushering in a new Roaring 20’s, but within a few months everything would be turned upside down—in some states you could not even have dinner with your closest family members, let alone a party. The year simultaneously flew by extremely fast and seemed to never end.
At my annual publishers’ meeting in January, we set expectations for 2020, something we do every year without consideration that our goals won’t be met. Well, little did we know that just a couple of months later, our expectations would turn into wistful dreams instead of achievable goals. Everything changed.
We suddenly had our lives put on pause. We lost loved ones; people that have been fixtures in my life and the lives of many others are no longer with us. Some survived the illness only to lose their jobs due to the economic shutdowns; some had their hours cut. Our older children missed out on parties, celebrations, trips, plays, and other extracurriculars. Our younger children had to adjust to learning from home and seeing their friends and teachers on the screen during digital conference classes. As for parents, well, let’s just say we all learned the true meaning of multitasking. We won’t even discuss political battles; I think we can all agree that this year was unique on that front, too.
We heard new phrases, and particularly interesting to our jobs here at The Examiner, new words were formed. Terms such as “social distancing,” “COVID-19” and “self-quarantine” and many others are now found in the dictionary and can be defined by our youngest students. Who could have guessed one year ago today that so many people would look for their phone, keys, wallet and MASK before leaving the house?
Since March, we have been told “two more weeks,” “two more months,” “ a bit longer” and so forth. The entire year felt like the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day when no one really knows the schedules for school, businesses, banks or anything else. This year, the December week of limbo was just another part of our “new normal.”
Yet, when I look around Grimes County, I see more than just a new normal; I see us doing what we do best. I see family and friends coming together to help each other through everything 2020 threw at us. Our county never closed down like so many others did, and our towns kept their doors and their hearts open. We may not have been as free with the hugs this year, but we still helped our neighbors and our local small businesses in every way we could.
I have friends and family whose children were the 2020 graduates hit hard by the shutdowns and cancellations. Many of those parents agree that it was hard to watch the kids lose out on so many senior moments, but every parent was incredibly happy that they were able to spend more time (albeit some of it in teenager sulk) with their big kids before they headed off to college and their new adult lives.
Events we are so accustomed to were canceled. And in some cases, these are the places we meet up with family and friends. We missed those in 2020 and can only hope and pray we can start planning for these in 2021.
But on the flip side, some of us were able to spend more time with our most immediate family especially our kids. Personally, I tried to spend as much time as I could with my son, Jason. He is only getting older, and one day, he will not want to come to work with his mom; friends and extracurriculars will take the place of sitting on my office couch playing video games or pretending to be “the boss” of the office. It was wonderful to spend more quality time with him before he entered junior high this past fall. My hope is that he looks back on this year, not as the year when everything was cancelled, but as the year that he and I were able to take spur of the moment vacation days — at the office.
When you look back over 2020 and start to make resolutions for 2021, I want you to avoid the knee-jerk reaction of throwing the entire year away. Yes, there have been hardships, sadness, political turmoil, and struggles, but there have been bright stories of love, kindness and family. Focus on those.
From our families to yours, may you all have a blessed 2021, and join me in saying, “Peace out, 2020!”
Ana Cosino is a Navasota hometown gal, Navasota High School graduate, Publisher of The Navasota Examiner but most importantly mom to her pride, Jason.