2020: More lessons from the longest year

It’s been a long year this month.

We’ve watched as spring turned to summer and lockdown became safer-at-home. We’ve transitioned from fear to chaos to confusion and now to bewilderment. We now live in an era of uncertainty about everything from school to sports to church to safety to finances to our future.

But Bob Goff has good advice: “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” We can choose to survive or thrive, but sometimes we have to get out of our own way.

Here are a few more things I’ve learned or noticed or witnessed or observed over the past few months. This list may seem a little more serious than my first list back in April, but have fear not, I’m still learning and observing, so more to come.

  1. Common sense is not very common these days.
  2. Now part of our lives: Face masks, reruns, binge-watching, takeout, more home improvement, Zoom, more privacy, less privacy.
  3. I miss church, shaking hands, the smiles.
  4. My Facebook friends’ list has gone through a transformation.
  5. Life is short, life is fleeting—Carpe diem.
  6. Still like the fact that my truck gets 3 weeks to the gallon now.
  7. Apparently, every state does have a governor — who knew, right? — and you hear each of their names over a week. And, unfortunately, some of their opinions.
  8. Reworking my “what is important” list.
  9. Hygiene: Don’t touch your face, cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze, don’t drink after someone, and it takes 20 seconds to wash your hands. And, learn to stand six feet away from everyone else. If you’re struggling to master these, there are now YouTube videos to teach you.
  10. Bad stuff can turn into the good stuff. God is at work in the heavenlies, even when things seem to be going not so good.
  11. Grocery delivery/pickup really does save money. That’s a huge tip right there.
  12. People you thought you knew… Were they like this before or has coronavirus made them this way?
  13. Opinions and agendas are the new facts and reality. Don’t believe everything you hear or read.
  14. There are more experts than flies on a cow’s tail.
  15. Stand by your convictions and examine your preferences. They’re different, you know.
  16. Loneliness, fear and anxiety are genuine today. Just look around you. Spread hope, not fear.
  17. You may not have more friends, but the relationships are more deep-rooted.
  18. It’s nice to have a goatee again. This one’s a little personal.
  19. People see things very differently. Most see what they want to see, and that’s scary.
  20. Protests, boycotts, riots, facemasks, quarantine, church attendance can be confusing. I don’t want to talk about it.
  21. I need to get better so I can help other people get better.
  22. As I’ve said before, haircuts are overrated. I’ve had one in six months. You?
  23. Can we just defund Congress and start over with 535 new members of the House and Senate?
  24. Or, at the very least, can we find better candidates? From dog catcher to president? Maybe you need to run for something since most of them don’t stand for anything!
  25. It’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and your family. That means, spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally and mentally. (1 Timothy 5:8).
  26. The things you find in bushes or other parts of your yard, especially when you trim, clear out or cut them back. Apparently, I upset a rabbit’s nest this week and we found an old newspaper (we don’t get the paper here) and an old roll of tape from our remodel three years ago.
  27. This is a time to save money, lose weight, gain wisdom, bite your tongue, maximize conversations, minimize arguments, limit social media, expand your library, be grateful and listen. And it would also be an excellent time to visit with God on a more regular basis. Just saying.
  28. Is it possible that the next 90 days will be worse than the last 90 days? Yes, and it’s likely. But it’s also possible that you personally can get better, find peace of mind and rise above the craziness.
  29. Actions follow beliefs.
  30. Three things we can control: Actions. Reactions. Mindset. You can’t control the rest of the stuff, so stop trying.
  31. Glance back, focus forward!
  32. Silence is a powerful thing.
  33. People are legitimately scared and hurting right now. Don’t just respect that, do something about it.
  34. Someone is waiting for you to become what God called you to be. How long will they have to wait?
  35. “Many men have robbed themselves of their destiny because they have allowed discouragement to rob them of their dreams.” ~The Monk and the Merchant.

What have you learned?

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