January 16: Let’s Celebrate “Nothing Day”!

Because of the pandemic, sometimes it feels like we’ve been standing still for 10 months, almost frozen in time.

What did you see when you looked back at 2020 on New Year’s Eve? I know most people were just ready to move on.

2020 was the year we didn’t vacation. It was the year our holiday tables were much smaller, our birthdays a little quieter, our get-togethers much Zoom-ier. Our school buildings were empty. There was no back to school shopping or going on field trips or building gingerbread houses at winter parties. It was the year of cancelled plans. It was the year of social distancing. It was the year we stayed home.

Sometimes because of EVERYTHING going on, 2020 feels like the year of NOTHING.

But what if all the NOTHING amounts to SOMETHING we wouldn’t have otherwise experienced?

Because we finally had the time, we were at home on the couch with our families, binge-watching shows on Netflix and accumulating catch phrases to pepper into conversation (I see all you “cool cats and kittens”!).

Because our vacations were cancelled, we explored our own backyards. We discovered parks and hiking trails we’d never been to, and even found dog beaches for our pups.

Speaking of pups, so many of us adopted dogs. I know in our case, if we hadn’t been quarantined at home, we would have never gotten a dog. But because we were working at home, we had the time to train a new puppy, and we welcomed Pearl into our family. Our home is much richer because of it.

I haven’t hugged my parents in almost a year. But because our visits have been few and far between, I’ve talked to them on the phone almost every day. We have a text chain full of memes and pictures of pets and screenshots of snarky tweets. My dad plays Uno over Zoom with my daughter, and we FaceTime with the dog. We may be apart, but 2020 brought us closer.

I miss my classroom. I’d give my right arm for a week at the beach. And, once we’re all vaccinated, I will curl up on the couch with my parents and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, even if it’s July. Because if 2020 was the year of NOTHING, then 2021 is the year we should celebrate EVERYTHING.

making a list of 10 things you are thankful for today.

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