METNWS-12-31-20 COLUMN – 2020 VISION_MUG

Terra Temple

I was driving up Market Street over the weekend and the window with “What’s Your 2020 Vision?” written on it caught my eye.

Not that I haven’t seen it before, I’ve driven past it dozens of times this year. But for some reason, on this drive, it struck a chord, and I had to laugh and shake my head at the irony.

I can venture to say, for the far majority of us, we didn’t envision anything like this for 2020. What a year it’s been! In addition to this crazy we’re all working our way through, I know we’ve all had our individual crazy to deal with on top of it.

When 2020 began, I certainly didn’t picture that six weeks into it I’d be told my department was being eliminated. When I left the office “for the last time” on March 21, I certainly didn’t picture starting a lockdown the next day that would last some two months. And when the end of July rolled around, I certainly didn’t picture getting a call offering a reporting position, much less three weeks later when they called again offering the opportunity to come back to the Metropolis Planet.

Sure, 2020 has battered and bruised us. But it’s also provided some opportunities that many wouldn’t have otherwise taken advantage of — like getting more family time without having to scatter at X time to attend Y activity.

I finally got to take a sabbatical — something I’ve joked about since the seven-year point of my 25-year newspaper career. It was six-months where — when I wasn’t being a sloth — I spent time sorting through the remainder of the time capsule of a house I started working on in 2019, wondering how I had ever gotten as much done as I had while also working; I read a few books; I edited a book; and I traveled.

Granted the traveling wasn’t like it would’ve been under “normal” circumstances, but I did get to see half of our wonderful country — and mark off two more states from my list — over the 3679 miles traveled in almost 52 hours through some 14 states.

Coming back home at the end of that four-week driving excursion, I got a taste of what I’d read by travel writers, expressing how strange and ghost town-like airports and airplanes were during the start of the pandemic. This flight was in August and it was beyond weird; I can’t imagine what it was like five months earlier. Their activity had increased, almost dramatically in comparison, a few weeks later when I took my annual Girls Weekend trip.

In the few minutes I’ve had during the work day over the last week, I’ve started working on the annual year in review article for an upcoming issue of the Planet. Working on such articles is usually a stroll down memory lane, but for 2020, it seems even more poignant, noticing the weeks vacant of any mention of COVID-19. I also began to notice the number of 100-year-old birthdays marked in 2020. Looking through those back issues has been a reminder that despite the one huge, horrible event 2020 will be remembered for, it is a year — like all the others preceding it and all those to come after it — that holds is own special memories.

I hope 2020 brought you happy memories and you’ve been able to stay well mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually despite the craziness.

And, I pray that 2021 will bring all of us happy surprises!

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