The past year was difficult. In January 2020, we were growing excited about our two-week vacation in Italy. In March, we were cancelling and trying to get our money back. We thought, we’ll just go this time next year. That time is now and today, I hesitate in leaving the house much less getting on an airplane and traveling out of the country.
It wasn’t only the pandemic that rattled 2020, it was the election. It seemed like everyone in our country became angry and began the tedious process of trying to influence others about the “rightness” of their position.
As events – both pandemic and partisan – unfolded throughout the year, I was somewhat smug. With the exception of travel, our lives were pretty good. Our state was more open than most, we live at the beach, and we got aggressive in our fitness routine which kept us outdoors and healthy.
But I was impacted by the pandemic far more than I realized. I see that now.
I ask myself, would the partisan anger have been as loud if the virus wasn’t omnipresent? Would my personal anger be as overwhelming without the amplification of COVID?
As I look back, it feels as if the pandemic had a huge influence on an election year like no other. We had more time to read and watch the news which was pretty discouraging regardless of media outlet. Our relationships were confined to a computer screen. We lost the ability to connect with others through our eyes. We missed seeing reactions to our words, and perhaps became more empowered to be aggressive in what we said and how we said it.
I was sucked into debates and arguments, trying to understand what was going on in the world, and how some people could have such drastically different perspectives on our country. I began looking at people through the political lens they touted and found myself making harsh assumptions about a person I really didn’t even know.
I began to not like myself. I have always been a contrarian, ready to take on windmills I believe in, but suddenly, it became about the people, not the issues. I don’t want to do that anymore.
So, I am going to do my very best to let it go.
I’ll start with filling my time with things I love. Music, art, people, leadership, organization development, the outdoors, the beach…my family. I think that’s a good plan.
If you miss me in the partisan discussions, come visit me elsewhere – you’re welcome to take a peek at my jewelry art online – I may even post some pieces because every piece has a different story.
I may get back to sharing some of what I learned about leadership, learning, and organization development in my corporate America days.
Perhaps I can find an outlet for music as well – but I’m nowhere near ready for that.
Let’s keep in touch. Here’s to a joyful, productive, and happy 2021.