This year was destined to test us

We need to take everything that happened this year and learn from it. 

 

Photography by Unique Photography

Well, here we are, bearing down on the end of what will likely be for a lot of the world, the worst year in a long time.  It seemed that this year was destined to test us as a species to see just how much we could take and how we would choose deal it.

There were dozens of awful events that combined to make this year such a sad and dreadful year.  The one that touched the most people around the globe was what we now know as Covid -19.  I myself had never heard the word pandemic until this year.  Now I don’t care if I ever hear it again!  Everyone was shocked and horrified to hear of this coronavirus.  But having a wife that is an RN nurse, I learned that we already have many coronavirus.   They are nothing new and have been around for a long time!  The common cold is a version of the coronavirus.  Covid -19 is just another version of a coronavirus.  Albeit a little more serious and tricky for medical professionals to figure out how to treat and prevent it but none the less it is still just another virus that will probably be around for a long time. 

As far as my personal journey through the pandemic, it has been a tough one.  My wife is a travel nurse. She travels all over the United States to hospitals who don't have enough nurses to handle the patient load of the facility and she works at that facility and lives close by in an apartment or hotel.  Each contract she signs is for 13 or 14 weeks, which means she is gone for roughly 3 months at a time.  We had been homeschooling our son for many years, long before the pandemic forced some to homeschool their children.  We decided that it was best for him and easier to school him if he and I stayed at home while she traveled for her job.  That worked pretty well until the pandemic hit.  If she was nearby, she would come home to visit when she could and if she was further away, I would take a plane trip to visit for a couple weeks every now and again.  But once the virus had made itself known to be very contagious and was spreading so haphazardly, airlines were shutting down flights and the hospital she was working for when the pandemic hit, which was in New York, banned all travel for any employees other than just to and from the grocery store.  So she was not allowed to leave and I was not able to go see her for more than three months. It's very hard to go that long and not be able to talk to and see your wife other than just through a screen.  On top of the emotional struggle we were going through, I’m a professional photographer and that profession also got hit in the other major place it hurts, in the wallet.  Everybody was so panicked about contracting the virus, any kind of close personal contact was deemed not safe.  So all of the photo shoots I had scheduled for the next three or four months were gone.  We went from a two income family to a one income family.

I think that we can all agree that the year 2020 has been a year that we would all like to forget.  But I doubt that we will anytime soon.  And if I'm being honest, we probably shouldn’t forget it! 

I’m sure that you’ve all heard the saying “History repeats itself!”  I'm no history buff by any means, but I am old enough to have seen that this is very true!  So what does that mean to us?  “History repeats itself”!  What do we do with that information!  It means that we need to take everything that happened this year and learn from it.  The reason that history repeats is because we think that once we conquer a problem and it is behind us that nothing like that will happen again.  Then once we have forgotten about that problem we end up making similar decisions that lead us down a path to a different version of that same problem.

So what did I learn from this excruciatingly horrible period of time that will be known as the year 2020?  First and foremost, stop taking life for granted. Even though we think we are not, we are all very fragile.  Our lives can be taken or turned upside down at any moment and by a multitude of different things. 

Love everyone and treat everyone with the highest respect!  It doesn’t matter what color, what race, what religion, what sexual orientation or what continent you are from, we are all human beings!  There is not a single one of us that is better or should be treated better than any other. 

It’s time that we live cohesively on this planet.  So much of this year’ problems could have been lessened had there not been panic, hatred and anger.  If we had just stayed calm, banded together and helped one another, it’s hard to tell how this year would have turned out. 

Finally, we need to re-examine our priorities! Everything had been going so good for so long, we had our faces in our screens and were living way too fast.  I think this was life's little way of giving us a reality check.  This was a sign that we need to slow down and realize what’s important. The way we were living was not sustainable.  We don't need to spend as much money as we do and we don’t need to be on the go as much as we were.  Family, friends, a healthier lifestyle and slowing down to enjoy our limited time on the earth is what’s important.

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