“Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between” — Johnny Mercer
Let me start off by saying I know there were a lot of bad things that happened in 2020 and I’m not for a moment discounting what was truly a tragic year for many. But while it’s easy to jump on the “I hate 2020” bandwagon (if nothing else because everyone seems to be on it), those of us fortunate enough not to have lost a loved one to COVID, or who aren’t struggling to keep a roof over our heads, really don’t have a lot to complain about. In fact, I’ll even go a step further, and say we have reasons to celebrate. There were positive things that happened in 2020 — they’re just taking a backseat to all the negativity.
Why should you look for the positives? How about for your health and well-being? According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can increase your life span, lower rates of depression, and provide greater resistance to the common cold. You may have to think hard and do a little head scratching to come up with a few affirmatives, but I can almost guarantee that everyone had at least a few good things happen in 2020.
As proof, I came up with a list of the 2020 positives in my life, and I’m sharing my top 10. Notice that most are actually changes that came about as a result of the pandemic and the precautions surrounding it.
- Plank Breaks. During lockdown, I decided to live-stream daily plank breaks as a way of encouraging myself and others to get off the couch and stay motivated. I started with a minute, worked up to five, and I’m still doing them five days a week.
- Working from home. At first, working from home was hard for me. I like getting dressed up, going to the office, and mingling with co-workers. So when the lockdown forced us to work remotely, I was resistant. But guess what, I actually like it, and don’t plan on working at the office everyday again — even when COVID does go away.
- I now use my home office. Before COVID, my home office was a catch-all for just about everything that didn’t really belong in an office. Thanks to the lockdown, I now use my office as an office — everyday — and love my little work space that now has a purpose.
- Hip Replacement. Granted, the hospital stay during COVID was less than desirable, but I feel lucky that I was able to get my new hip during our lockdown while my husband was home to help with my recovery. The surgery was a success, and the persistent pain from the constant grinding of bone on bone has been eliminated.
- New grand baby. The circle of life continues! We were blessed with our third grandchild the week before Thanksgiving. Baby Gabriel is healthy and thriving and we couldn’t be happier.
- Better technology skills. Because of the lockdown, we were forced to stream yoga classes on Facebook and conduct work meetings using Zoom. My first attempts at streaming were rather comical with my video sideways, poor lighting, and camera malfunctions. But now, I can livestream like a champ and can Zoom with the best.
- My Marine sons came home. After serving several years away in different countries, states, and timezones, both of my Marine sons left the service and came back to live in our area. I love that they’re now close enough for pop-in visits, weekend dinners, and family gatherings — small family gatherings. Ooh-rah!
- We had a live Christmas tree. It was because of COVID that we had a live tree for the first time in years. I reasoned that since we’d be home more (remember I’m working from home in my cute little office), I’d not only make sure it was watered and cared for, but I’d be here to enjoy and appreciate it. And I did. Every. Single. Day.
- Appreciation for what I have. I gotta admit that before 2020, I took a lot of things for granted — concerts, large family events, yoga workshops, walking around without a mask — but all that aside, I still have so many wonderful things in my life (my health, my family, running water, a roof over my head) and when the aforementioned things do finally come back, I’ll never take them for granted again.
- My handstand is better than ever. What to do with all that extra time during the lockdown? Duh, handstands! Instead of day drinking or overreating, I was kicking, drilling, and most importantly, improving. Thanks to COVID, my handstand advanced more in a few weeks than it normally would have in a few months.
What positives happened in your life during 2020?
One of the best positives of 2020: Our new grandson!