If Life Is an Etch A Sketch…

2020 turned it upside down and gave it a good, hard shake

It’s doubtful that any of us is sad to say goodbye to 2020. It’s been a year filled with twists, turns, ups, downs, zigs and zags and it’s finally coming to an end.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad. As parents it’s been tough, for sure. Kids home 24/7. Schools closed, re-opened, closed then opened again. Homeschooling and online learning. Staying healthy, staying sane, and staying socially connected—from a distance. Calming fears, or trying to, in an uncertain and scary time.

But amidst it all have been the small special moments: acts of kindness, more unscheduled time together, lazy days, unrushed family dinners, more time outdoors, playing games, reading lots and starting new hobbies.

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Skies are bluer, personal hygiene’s improved, streets are quieter, and even the dolphins—if you believe the Facebook myths—have returned to the canals in Venice.

All of that aside, this year has sharpened the focus on what truly matters: our children, our families, our friends and each other. And it’s taught us that small gestures can have a huge impact.

The holiday season is the perfect time to pause after making it through the past year and to celebrate (in place!) with the small gestures that mean so much. Set up holiday decorations. Trim a tree outdoors for all to see. Create an advent calendar filled with activities leading up to Christmas day. Spread some joy by dropping off treats to friends, neighbours or at a local senior’s centre.

As 2021 approaches, take a minute to remember what matters most. Hopefully hugs, playdates, coffee with a friend, big family get togethers, visiting grandparents, travelling, summer camp and sleepovers will be the “new normal.”

Season’s Greetings & Happy New Year.

Sue Fast
Sue Fast
Sue Fast is the editor of Island Parent, Grand and ’Tweens & Teens magazines. Her writing has also appeared in Canadian Living and Vancouver magazines, the Georgia Straight and Monday Magazine.