2020 is half over, this is a good time to reflect on where we’ve been and gear up for what’s to come.
The month of July always excites me. I love summer. I’ll take a St. Louis summer (humidity and all!) over any season over and over again. Another thing I love about July is that it signals the halfway point of each year, and can allow space for reflection of the first half of the year. I’m not sure about your 2020 so far, but mine has been unprecedented (how many times have we heard that word this year?!).
I recently decided to take a moment to think back to the end of 2019 and reflect upon what I envisioned 2020 to look like. I knew my year would reach a high point with the birth of our second child, a son, in May. Everything else on my radar for the year ahead was with this milestone in mind – we intentionally made no big plans for trips and planned to simply get by for the year. At this halfway point of 2020, we are in the early phases of “getting by” and navigating life as a family of four. It’s a lot like I imagined – sleep deprived, sometimes chaotic, oftentimes exhausting.
On the contrary, 2020 is absolutely nothing like I had envisioned. I would put money on others having similar feelings about 2020 not quite living up to the high expectations we had in mind as 2019 came to a close. One day everything was seemingly normal, and the next, we were forced into a quarantine lifestyle of virtual learning, working from home, and balancing childcare for young children, all while trying to make sense of a virus that is still very much present. Then, just as we were starting to emerge from sheltering-in-place, the death of George Floyd sparked a resurgence of important conversations and actions around race in our country.
I believe that we are always living in a moment of history, but 2020 will be, without a doubt, a historical benchmark.
However, with all the big, important, and life-altering events happening around us, it’s critical to make sure we’re taking a moment every now and then to check in with ourselves on a personal level. Do you remember what you wanted 2020 to look like when you were pouring champagne on December 31, 2019? Did you set goals, intentions, or resolutions for yourself? Did you leave 2019 behind and have high hopes and optimism for a better 2020 ahead? How are you tracking toward the ambitions you set for yourself?
Or, perhaps the better question might be, how are you reassessing and re-calibrating your goals and focus because of how the world has changed around you in the past six months?
Before 2020 comes to a close, we will continue to navigate a global pandemic and (hopefully) witness changes in our society around race. We’ll also have a presidential election that will, undoubtedly, fuel divisive commentary when now, more than ever, we need to figure out how to come together.
I’m the furthest from having the answers – or any answers – on how we move forward. However, I know that now is a good time to pause and think about how I want the next six months to look so I can look back with a sense of pride when this year comes to a close. It’s been a tough year, and might get tougher, but, if I allow myself the time and space to reflect, reassess and re-calibrate every now and then, I might have a shot of learning and growing just a little bit more in 2020 – which feels especially important now, more than ever.