sunset on Jockey's Ridge

Why I Don’t Want to Forget 2020

How many times have you wished for 2020 to end? For this unprecedented, unwanted bitch of a year to simply get on with it and get out of your life?

I’ll celebrate the new year when the clock strikes midnight on the East Coast. But here’s the thing: I’ve never once wished for 2020’s early demise. Because if, at any point in the last 12 months, I’d had the power to make a wish like that come true, I’d have cheated myself out of any weeks, days and months still left in the tank.

I once heard a TED talk by a guy named Cesar Kuriyama. I’ve listened to hundreds of talks (I earned 15 minutes in that coveted red circle in 2017, and in the months leading up to my final audition, I wanted to understand how the best speakers delivered their message).

But Kuriyama’s stuck with me. The video maker shot one second of video every day of his life and edited them into a montage that helps him think about how to approach each day.

Taking a page from Kuriyama’s book, this morning I scrolled through the thousands of photos I’ve captured on my iPhone alone in 2020. I saved my favorites to a new album, then attempted to cull the collection down to 10 images that best tell the story of my 2020.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. I couldn’t possibly pick 10 favorites. 
  2. In past years, any “Best of” album would likely have leaned heavily toward races, travel and major milestones, such as my wedding or the birth of our son. But in 2020, images stood out for the way they depicted simple moments.
  3. Life isn’t lived in weeks, days or months. Real life is lived in hours, minutes and seconds.

My 2020 started off on the wrong foot – literally. I got injured on New Year’s Day and spent six weeks on crutches. We buried my grandfather on Valentine’s Day. Oh, and a novel coronavirus became a pandemic in March. Talk about a lousy Q1.

Life isn’t lived in weeks, days or months. Real life is lived in hours, minutes and seconds.

But while working from home for most of the year, I saved money by not commuting 40 miles round-trip. I spent more time with my husband and our son. I ate a healthier diet. I ran not less, but more, even though all of my races were canceled. I missed out on trips to Jackson Hole and Maine, but I spent six unforgettable days on the Outer Banks in my home state. I lost my beloved dog to heart failure in November, but before that, I worked most days with her by my side instead of leaving her in a crate each morning. I saw my husband get laid off from his job, but I also cheered for him as he earned not one, but multiple other opportunities. I didn’t see my own coworkers outside of Zoom, but I grew my career as a content marketer. I missed my little sister every day, but I’d like to think I lived my own life a little better because of lessons she taught me

Tragedy is relative, pain is personal, and I can’t speak for how 2020 has treated other people. I’ll never claim to understand how it’s made you feel. But no matter how much you’ve wished for a clean start, I hope you’ll look back and find some crazy good in this crazy year.

2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want to Forget 2020

  1. Debbie Lanier

    Beautifully written, Laura. At this moment we are driving home from Pompano Beach. We spent 5 days with John’s 95 year old mother. What a wonderful way to end 2020, with a strong woman! We learned to appreciate so many things on a deeper level: family, friends, nature, single moments. Thank you for this reminder.

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