So 2020 was … a year. That happened.
No sense in reflecting back on the dirty trash bag stuffed full of days that it turned out to be. If I try and reflect back on anything, I will try and take away the positives, even as some at first seem negative.
- For example, The Dodgers won the World Series, LSU won the college football playoff, and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Now, how, you may ask, how can I, a fan of the Braves, Alabama and the Falcons, turn that into a positive? Well at first I didn’t. But that’s a natural reaction. Then I thought back to the times my teams have won big games. And I think about all the Dodger and LSU fans I have as friends. So they were happy, right? As for the Chiefs, yeah, I just like watching Mahomes play, and also I’m a Falcons fan so Super Bowls aren’t really my thing.
- I also reflect on the fact that I learned to cook a lot of new things this year. I used my airfryer and Instant Pot a whole lot more than I would have. And I found that pork chops coated in crushed pork rinds cooked in an airfryer taste just like ones that are deep fried.
- I reminisce about the fact that I actually did not binge watch as many shows as I thought I would. Granted, my wife and I probably watched more TV than we normally did, but we didn’t become totally sucked into it. And we covered a range, quality wise. We went from the low (Tiger King) to the high (Queen’s Gambit) to the Middle Road That I Took Alone Because My Wife Was Like, “Nah. Pass. I’ll Go Read” (The Boys and Umbrella Academy 2).
- We did a fair amount of purging. A drawer here. A cabinet there. A closet here. A basket that has sat on the top of the fridge forever there. And what we found is that, like plenty of folks, we have a lot of stuff we keep because … we didn’t NOT keep it. And this is where we had some deep, soul-searching discussions with ourselves. And just how many spare HDMI cables do you think we should keep on hand? And that broken vase you’ve been meaning to glue back together since before you had kids? Still on the docket? 2020 – The Year of Not Keeping It.
- My wife discovered that, for the time being, she is fine being without a car. Her car was very on brand for 2020, but that’s a column for another week. We sold her car a few months back, and she has been A-OK with it. When she needs to go somewhere, we just coordinate schedules so I can be home and she can drive where she needs to be. And you really can’t beat the car payments, insurance rates or property taxes on a noncar.
- I played Zoom bingo with my extended family on several occasions. We couldn’t have our family reunion this year, but it was a wonderful treat getting together for Zoom chats and the occasional Bingo. Also, when we played, rather than coins or chips, my son used shark teeth as markers, which I think is an unfair advantage and why he won so many more than I did.
I know these reflections are very minor and insignificant. And for that I am very thankful. My year has been mildly inconvenienced compared to those who have suffered great losses, in myriad ways. My heart breaks for them on a daily basis, and I try to go about doing my part to help the world get a little better, even if it’s just a single act of kindness at a time. 2021 is not going to suddenly have a magic switch that makes it all better. But each of us can try and make it a little less worse. And if I can somehow show some love and kindness to Dodgers and LSU fans, I know you can do something similar for others, too. Happy New Year.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.