The Virus Diary: The Worst Year Ever?

Recently a Facebook friend (meaning we've become friends on social media, but I've never actually met him face to face), asked all his friends online if 2020 had been the worst year of their life.  Surprisingly, most of them said that it wasn't.  I'd have to concur.  That's not to say that 2020 hasn't been a shitty year and, as a whole, 2020 is probably the worst year for our country and perhaps even the world.  However, on a PERSONAL level it comes in at #2 when it comes to awful years.

2012 goes down in my book as the worst year of my life.  (And that is NOT a challenge; although maybe 2020 took it as one.)  It was the year (in chronological order) that my husband's grandfather died, my brother died, I lost my job (which while I may  have complained about from time to time, I really liked), my parents’ home was robbed and Superstorm Sandy destroyed my family  home as well as taking most of what I loved at the NJ shore with it.  2012 has so many personal painful memories associated with it; I pray that nothing will ever top it.

Now 2020 runs a close second.  So many terrible things have happened...I'm not just talking about the pandemic and the nearly 2 million people who have died from it; although that would definitely top the list.  But there is so much more that has made this year a total (and yes I'm going to say it) SH*TSHOW. I'm not even going list all of the HORRIBLE things that have happened in 2020.  While 2020 has not been the worst year of my life, when I look at the bigger picture; 2020 IS the worst year for the world that I have known in my life.  The death, destruction and suffering that has enveloped the globe in 2020 has been mind boggling, earth shattering, and heart breaking.

While life is not going to suddenly get better when we turn the page on the calendar, it CAN (and I pray will) improve.  IF we want it.  IF we will work toward it.  IF we are willing to be kind and compassionate human beings.

It is kindness and compassion that have made 2020 NOT the worst year for me.  People who thought outside of the box; outside of themselves to make my life and the life of my family a little easier.  

So as crappy as this year might have been, my gratitude jar is still pretty full.  (Maybe some year when I empty it out, I will keep count of how many slips of paper there are and compare year to year.) On January 1, 2021 I will empty out that jar with my family and read what I have written.  (Or try to; I have lousy handwriting and although I've encouraged everyone to write down their own items as they happen it's pretty much up to me.)  Without even looking at the jar's contents and excluding the obvious gratitude for the (continued) good health of my family, friends and associates some things that I am extremely grateful for in this SH*TSHOW of a year are:

  • The high school musical ("The Mystery Of Edwin Drood") which went on ONE WEEK before everything shut down.  (I thought it was too early for a spring musical; I was wrong.)
  • GREAT new neighbors.  (Can't wait till we can actually HUG.  Warning:  I will squeeze you all so tight!)
  • Somehow managing to get our downstairs painted.  No one got sick and the downstairs looks great.  (Don't know WHEN we will be able to do the upstairs...that is sure to be an even bigger challenge even without a pandemic.)
  • Still having a job even when I no longer have an office. (
  • Being able to safely get away to one of my favorite resort spots , not once, but twice.  (Ok, I really wish we could have done a "normal" New Year's Eve there, but there's always another year...)  
  • Having one of my intros to What to Watch (on CBS This Morning) used; even though I kind of missed it.  (  While I have always been a CBS news watcher; this year I became devoted to CBS This everyone on the team there (I'm not just talking in front of the camera):  THANK YOU!
  • Zoom Bingo.  (Even though I lost every single time!)
  • The "Mystery Gift" of an air conditioner.  Working in the "office" might not have been possible without it.
  • Being able to SAFELY participate in a local rally for justice with my son.  You are never too old or too young to participate in peaceful protest.  I may be over 50, but I have learned A LOT this year.  (And I know there is so much more...may my education NEVER stop.)
  • Early morning walking to new places and locations.  I "explored" this year; places that I should have explored before but didn't and I am so glad I did!
  • Being able to spend some time with family; if not the way I would have liked it, I was able to do something.  (There will be so many hugs in the future.)
  • Getting deliveries.  (Love you Boxed.  "Discovered" Etsy   and some talented artists.)Making deliveries.  (I'm still shopping for others and I'm thrilled to be able to do it. Love that my local Shoprite opens at 6 in the morning.)

That's just a small sampling of what I have to be grateful this year.  When I really stop and think about it, even during this awful year there is so much to be thankful for.  More than I could ever write about; blessings small and large.  So let me just throw out to the universe one giant:  THANK YOU!  with prayers for a better 2021.

 Stay safe.  Wear a mask.  Get the vaccine (when you are able).  Stay well. 


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