COLUMN: Looking at the positives in a challenging year; a 2020 reflection

‘I’ve learned skills and made progress that can only stand to help me improve in the future.’

Kevin

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Several words can describe the year that was 2020, and most of them are unsuitable for print.

This year has seen challenges that have not been seen in several generations, and those challenges have divided the world, polarizing people into those who believe the virus working its way around the world is a problem, and those who don’t.

Regardless of which side you take on this issue, there is not one aspect of our world that has been unscathed by the effects of the virus. I know it’s changed the way I work.

Most of what I cover for the paper has moved online, and the church I attend has started filming weekly devotionals for people to watch at home at their leisure.

Since all this started near the beginning of 2020, I’ve been finding it really easy to get down on myself for everything left unaccomplished.

I didn’t manage to take my fitness to the next level. I didn’t finish the book I’ve been dabbling at for a couple of years. In short, it’s really easy to find the faults with what I left undone.

However, once I begin to dig deeper, I realize that despite what’s been left undone I’ve still managed to accomplish a lot.

I’ve learned how to film and edit videos for my church.

I’ve learned how to edit photographs using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I’ve gone out, practicing my photography skills, and even developing enough good photos that I was able to produce a calendar sold at multiple locations across the region. I’ve even picked up a few photography clients along the way.

Even mentally, I have shown huge amounts of growth.

Despite a dip in moods resulting a short hospital admission in September, it was the shortest admission I’ve had in years, and going into the holiday season, when I usually have another mental health dip, I pushed through relatively unscathed.

In short, 2020 wasn’t the year I expected it to be, but it was a successful year none-the-less. I’ve learned skills and made progress that can only stand to help me improve in the future. No, 2020 wasn’t the best year ever. With the pandemic, quarantines, and mask requirements, it doesn’t even make top 10.

Yet, in looking for the positives, I know that 2020 has set me up with new skills and abilities I didn’t know I had; which will set me up well for the future when things hopefully get back to something approaching normal.

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