Here we are at the end of 2020. A year that, by most measures, has been quite a trainwreck. This is a time of year where people generally reflect back on the prior twelve months, and wax poetic about all of the accomplishments they have made and all of the good times they have had. Normally I am excited to jump in and share everything we have done, but I feel different this year. This year didn’t just feel different, it *was* different, and I can’t escape that.
Simple Thread had a good year. It started off with quite a bit of uncertainty and trepidation, but as the year progressed we began to see that we were quite fortunate. Some of it was luck, as with all things, but most of it is the amazing work the team has done over the last few years. We’ve done a ton of great work this year, and we are excited to share some of that in the coming months, but right now feels like a more somber moment of reflection for me.
Instead of sharing all the things we have done, it feels more appropriate to reflect on what we discovered this year, and what we might take into 2021 to make us just a bit better than we were before.
We got to spend a lot more time with our families, but we discovered that as time passed we had to become more intentional about connecting. We discovered how much of our lives had been consumed by travel and meetings, but how important it is to see people face to face. We discovered how important our circles of friends are, but how much we took for granted the time we spent with them. We discovered how precious our mental health is, and how easily it can spiral into anxiety and depression.
We discovered how much hate there is in the world, but how much love we have for those around us. We became acutely aware of the prejudice still alive in this country, and saw a chorus of voices join the call for justice that has been silent up until now.
Community, family, and friends have held us together even as world events fought to tear us apart. We found ways to support each other, comfort each other, and let each other vent. We found ways to keep our relationships strong. We found ways to connect, even if it wasn’t ideal. We found all sorts of creative ways to give back and support each other.
In short, despite all of the tragedy of 2020, we found a way to become stronger, more caring, and more generous. Maybe not at a national level, but definitely within our own communities. We talked to neighbors we had never met before. Left gifts for essential workers. Supported our local restaurants and cheered on our healthcare workers who quietly and selflessly keep all of us healthy and safe.
We found a way to care more about those around us, even as the larger world seemed to be coming apart at the seams.
Going into the future, I hope we can each come away from 2020 just a little nicer, a little more forgiving, a little more generous, and a little more patient. Maybe we can’t change the world and all of its divisions, but we can choose to make ourselves, and therefore our tiny little corner a bit better. As Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, a book that came out of one of mankind’s greatest tragedies, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
So farewell 2020, you won’t be missed. Here’s to 2021, and all of the small changes that lie ahead.
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