Dear 2020: Now That You’re Leaving, I Feel…

Dear 2020,

Now that you are leaving, I feel EXHAUSTED. I mean, what a roller coaster you had us on this year. Highs, lows, dips, twists and turns, and some nausea-inducing loops. And COVID-19 was only ONE of the life-altering events. Granted, it’s far from over, and will stretch well into 2021… but that wasn’t the only thing that had us on the edge of our seats.

While we were all adapting to life wearing masks, hoarding Clorox wipes, and cautiously stepping out of our homes to resume our routines, George Floyd’s life was taken and #BlackLivesMatter was born, albeit many decades too late. I listened to and read whatever I could. What began as an affirmation, eventually grew into a movement, one I pray continues on.

As August approached, the start of school was pushed back to September. Some schools started in person. Some were all virtual. Some were a hybrid of both. Infection rates soared. Learning modes changed…again, and again, and again. Everyone burned out, but we rallied and kept working to make the school year as productive as possible.

And the November elections…the ultimate roller coaster of emotions. Never have I been so excited for an event to arrive, but also so thrilled when it was finally over. But I learned the importance of actually getting involved, not just showing up to vote.

Of course, every event was underscored by COVID-19. It was an event itself, but also affected every other single thing that happened. I’m exhausted from watching dear friends lose loved ones, fiercely missing interactions with family and framily, and constantly worrying about making the right choice regarding EVER-Y-THING. But with all these lows, came the highs of finding forever friends to be in our bubble, appreciating the sweet faces I see over Zoom, and crossing shows off my must-see-TV list.

So, a very wise friend of our family once dedicated a year to “blessing and releasing” anything that didn’t bring joy or purpose. I use this mantra often, but never have I been so ready to bless and release 2020 into the annals of history. I know 2021 will continue on in true 2020 fashion for a bit, but our 20/20 hindsight will help us buckle up for the road ahead.

With release, 

Jen was born and raised in Overland Park. After going to Indiana University for college, then living in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, she grew exhausted of circling for a parking spot and headed back home to be near family. She and her husband Matt are parents to a 10 year-old boy and a 8 year-old girl. Jen teaches kindergarten and her husband teaches high school, so they wonder how they’ll relate to their kids during the middle school years. She spends her free time cheering on the Chiefs, Royals, and Hoosiers, hanging out with family, laughing with her teacher friends, and fostering a love/hate relationship with boxing. She also loves traveling, Target, coffee, wine, sunflowers and all things pop culture.


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