We made it! I don’t normally like to use exclamation marks in my writing, but I think it is the only appropriate punctuation to express our joy in knowing that 2020 is confined to the pages of history.

There is no doubt that it was a tough year for many. We endured, and are still enduring, a global pandemic, many businesses closed up shop forever, and we ran out of toilet paper.

We also saw several weather phenomena including record high temperatures in Death Valley, extremely destructive tornadoes here in Tennessee, and an insane number of hurricanes in the gulf.

The Good of 2020

I can’t even begin to list all the struggles everyone has endured during the past year, but it hasn’t been all bad.

With a lack of options for entertainment and travel, our priorities have been reset. Many families are spending more time together, we finally have time to try that hobby we’ve been thinking about forever, and traffic improved over night.

In the business world, supply chain executives now know where the weakest links in their supply chain are, employees are being empowered to work in alternative workspaces, and the need for defined and enforced business process has never been higher.

The Bad of 2020

In terms of business, 2020 caused a massive economic shift. Businesses everywhere from restaurants to airlines have been severely affected. Some have shut down, others have run into problems in the supply chain or their operations that have caused customers to experience extreme delays.

Additionally, in person events have all but disappeared. We planned on attending several conferences in 2020, but they were all cancelled or held virtually. We even had to cancel our annual Christmas dinner because we didn’t want to put anyone at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it through their families during the holidays.

Finally, for the social butterfly, the downtown office is mostly empty.

What About 2021?

I should probably begin by saying there is nothing magical about the calendar rolling over to another year. We are hopeful but realistic. Many of the same struggles we were dealing with in 2020 have carried over into 2021, but things will get better eventually.

Every experience is a learning opportunity, and there were a lot of learning opportunities in 2020, especially learning from others’ experience.

Our team has been working from home for a long time, and we are benefiting from all of the recent discussion on how to do so more effectively.

There is always a silver lining. For example, we were looking forward to many in person activities and can’t wait for them to return. However, there are now many exciting virtual events that are starting to take place, and a lot of knowledge has been made more accessible than it was before.

It is important to note that 2020 has taught us a lot about thankfulness and contentment, which are two very important things for easing anxiety and increasing happiness. Everyone has dealt with struggle of some kind during the last year, but our struggle shows us how much we have to rejoice over.

What did 2020 teach you?