Love. Love is the word I want to think of when I reflect on 2020.
I have to admit, about 16 hours ago I had a completely different post written out. But then I saw a patient yesterday and I scrapped it all. My patient shifted my perspective on 2020.
This patient, a woman around my mother’s age, is a patient I have been working with all fall. We had a gap in our therapy between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but she came back onto my caseload yesterday. I smiled when I saw I would get to work with her again. She has a very long road ahead of her to regain her speech after having multiple strokes.
With each visit to her, I began to learn all she had suffered and experienced in 2020. The most obvious struggle she experienced was losing her speech and physical strength due to multiple strokes. Her daughter (also her caregiver) moved in with her to provide 24 hour care. Her daughter lost her job in 2020 due to the pandemic. Her daughter also suffered from medical issues, multiple surgeries, and several hospital stays. It became increasingly obvious that my patient and her daughter had experienced physical, emotional and financial battles every single week, if not every day. And as I reflected over our visits together, one thing became apparent – I never heard them complain; not once.
But despite all they have been through, do you know how they greeted me yesterday when I showed up on the last day of 2020? They greeted me with open arms, grinning ear to ear, and with tears in their eyes. My heart swelled and I almost cried on the spot (I’m a crier). Their warm welcome, the same one I get each time I come, made me pause. It made me realize that no matter what they have been through that month, week, day or even minutes before my arrival, they greeted me with love.
Then I started thinking about 2020 through the lens of love. The pandemic gave us and continues to give humanity the tremendous opportunity to love one another. Forced to be home, we were all given the opportunity to love one another in very close quarters. We had to shift from an “I” centered mindset to a “them” or “you” or “we” perspective. We had to show love, daily, to someone other than ourselves. Love wins.
Without the normal distractions of our day-to-day lives, the pandemic allowed us to listen when people needed our full attention. The Black Lives Matter movement was a large part of 2020 and had we not be in a global pandemic, I doubt we would have listened as well. But we did. For the first time in my life I saw people listen, learn, and love others even when it felt uncomfortable. I saw people question their own intentions or beliefs in an effort to learn and grow. Love wins.
Loss of Life.
This past year loved ones were lost. I lost my grandpa and it was hard. So many of us lost a loved one, and it was hard. But do you know what? Despite not being able to hug my grandma or gather with family to celebrate the life of one so dear to us, we rallied around each other and supported each other as best we could. Through phone calls, texts, prayers, Zoom calls, and hand-written letters, we were there for each other. Love wins.
It’s no secret that 2020 had it’s fair share of political strife. There was talk of families and friends being torn apart. But, what I witnessed was quite the opposite. I saw people make an extra effort to love those around them. I personally had to grow in my ability to listen to opposing opinions. To learn to see things through a different lens. To learn to have hard conversations from a place of love. I realized that when you come from a place of love, you can see the love in others. Love wins.
So despite 2020 being one of the hardest years we’ve all experienced, love won. The virus did not destroy us. Political strife did not tear us apart. Loss and hardship did not end us. Love won.
In the wise words of my cousin, 2020 was a “year of Job,” but we made it. In the end, love won.
A Reflection On My Word For 2020: Faithfulness
One of my favorite things to do as I look ahead to the new year is to reflect on my previous year’s word. Last year I chose the word “faithfulness.” Here is an excerpt from last year’s blog post:
“I want this new year, this intro to a new decade to be marked by my commitment to follow God’s will. To trust him fully with every area of my life. To be committed to starting my day with God. To be committed to my spouse, my family, and my friendships. To be committed to bringing you valuable information. To live out faithfulness no matter what is going on in my life, no matter how busy I am. Trusting God is one thing, and being faithful to Him seems to go hand-in-hand.”
Y’all, I got the chills reading this. As hard as 2020 was, I can honestly say I was more content with my life in 2020 than any other year in my adult life. I usually experience a certain amount of anxiety around finances, job security, my girls’, etc. But this past year? I didn’t feel anxious once! I felt fully content with our life and circumstances and never feared God didn’t have a plan. Through school closures, virtual learning, at-home working, you name it, I felt God’s presence with us every step of the way.
2021 Word of The Year: Dream Big
On to 2021! My word (or words) for this year is “dream big.” Last year I did a lot of work on myself and my business. It was fun and easy at times and hard and challenging at other times. I worked on further defining my strengths and my weaknesses. I clocked a lot of hours trying to better define my role in Fleurdille and how to best serve you all.
One of the things I’ve realized about myself is that I tend to talk myself out of big dreams. I get in my head and make all of the excuses for not achieving a big dream. I tell myself I don’t have time or I don’t have the right tool set. I tell myself it will be too hard or the dream is too lofty. But all that? It’s all crap. They’re just excuses. I truly believe we can do anything we set our mind to!
So, this year, I am dreaming big. One of the things I’m doing is creating 10 goals for my life in general – places I want to live, areas I want to visit, goals for my family and life. I listened to a podcast that talked about writing out your top 10 dreams so you have a visual reminder. They’re dreams that don’t have to be accomplished in 1 year. It could be 10 years from now or sometime in your lifetime.
From a business perspective, I’ve also created a list of big dreams. I have redefined my business plan, set new goals for Fleurdille, and have started to create actionable steps to achieve my goals. I know it won’t be easy, but that’s part of the challenge right? I have an accountability partner and an accountability group that will be there to encourage me every step of the way and keep me from veering off course.
I want to be an asset for you and a source of encouragement to you. I have big plans for our Fleurdille family this year and I am excited to continue doing life with all of you!
- Run a half marathon
- workout 5-6 times per week
- hike quarterly
- start swimming with the Masters
- Drink 60 oz of water daily
- Reduce processed food intake
- Meditate a minimum of 4x per week
- Learn about & start taking proper vitamins/supplements
- work on patience with my girls
- invest in things that interest my girls
- begin a devotional with my girls
- Daily time in the Word
- write a hand-written letter to a friend each month
- read/listen to a book a month
- Learn more about wood-working
- start a vegetable garden
- continue learning about clean beauty products
- move more toward clean home products/reduce chemicals in home
- 1 DIY Home project per month
I have very detailed goals related to Fleurdille that I have already shared with my accountability partners. They’re probably not of interest to you all, so I’ve included some of the bigger ones below and spared you the more detailed ones.
- Launch my new site & new avenues (pick new word)
- Meet with Accountability partner weekly
- Meet with Accountability group weekly
- Be consistent
- Monthly & Quarterly check-ins with goals