Will The REAL MVP’s Please Stand Up

Let’s just call it like it is… 2020 was hard and that is saying it gracefully. As we finish this year, we all will be reliving it from the month January until December. We will focus on our lives and how we have endured a year that has held challenges like no other. Where does this leave us? Where do we begin? Not just to recover, but find an opportunity to where if we are faced with another 2020, we can overcome?

So let’s go ahead and replay the year from the beginning.

January- We began like all other years. We set our goals, and we were determined to find a way to accomplish our resolutions. We were excited for a new phase in our lives to where we knew we were more than capable in our mindset to readjust and prosper without hesitation. Maybe you set yourself on a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you were dead set on thriving in your workforce to gain further knowledge to gain a promotion. Or you were focused on becoming a better mother, father, friend. No matter what your goals were for the new year, you had something no one could take away MOTIVATION!

February-March-April-May- We knew that there was a virus succumbing the world. We were sitting in front of the news, trying to obtain normalcy as our lives were at stake. Not just our health, but our daily lives were beginning to become different. We were making adjustments the only way we could, and as our ancestors before us, we were forced to come to the realization that we all were at risk. Our lives as we had always known it to be was changing. Were we really prepared for the changes? There is no doubt in my mind that we thought we were ready, but our lives were not prepared for what the year had in store for us all.

June-July-August– We knew changes were happening, but we didn’t know the extent. It was Summer. We tried our best to continue our lives as “normal” as possible. We tried to keep things normal for our children, for our family. But this time in the year was when our normalcy drastically changed.

We were seeing the chaos that Covid-19 brought. It hit all of us like a bolt of lightening striking one family to another. It was a hit like nothing this generation had seen. This was when we- for the first time- saw the emptiness of streets, that were once filled with family outings, laughter, music, and joy. There was an increase in business closings, which resulted in the inevitable- Permanent closings, Layoffs, and most crippling Job loss- across the World.

We were left fending for ourselves. Wondering where we could find assistance to pay our bills, Feed our children, and worst of all find our Faith. Faith that would lead us day by day, minute to minute, to remind us that we had to keep moving forward. We couldn’t hesitate. We knew that only the strong minded would overcome in this pandemic. And no matter how much we wanted to throw up our hands and simply give up, we couldn’t, WE WOULDN’T! We knew we were stronger than that, so we adjusted and kept going.

September-October– We saw every possible scenario playing out. People were finding strength at every avenue they could. We were seeking to prevail, even as we were seeing loved ones struggle. We were burying our loved ones, remaining 6 feet apart, and relying on technology to save our jobs and interact with others.

We watched our children being pulled from school, only to become teachers ourselves, and lets face it…(WE PARENTS WERE NOT EQUIPPED FOR THE CHANGE) The teachers were adjusting as they initiated virtual learning, while we were adjusting to find a way to make ends meet, finding work where we could, while making sure our kids were obtaining a learning curve. We were exhaughsted. We were stressed. We were undoubtedly struggling.

We again sought to prevail in all the changes being hurled our way. The force of impact was devastating. We were full of questions. How do we work and teach at the same time? How do we work to ensure our children are fed, when we have children at home needing us home with them? How do we stay safe? and again most importantly… How do we keep our faith alive when we have been knocked down at every turn?

Yet again, we kept moving forward knowing that there was light at the end of the tunnel, or the end of the year. We lived as best as we could while continuously adjusting, continuously praying, and continuously suppressing the urge to lie down and give up.

NovemberDecember– We saw a change. Not in the everchanging pandemic guidelines. No, they were still at an all time spiral. We woke every day knowing our changes with everyday life were inevitable. But the changes we sought seemed to come from within. The holidays have always held a semblance of reprieve. The world around us had gone through an intervention as a whole. We saw how it was defining who we were as individuals and simply spoken…WE HAD ENOUGH!

We were done living in the constant state of overwhelmingly fear. We saw enough in the year to know that life is never promised tomorrow. So where did that leave us? It left us seeking!

We were now seeking refuge in the most precious of places. We reinvented the dynamic of what life is, by standing still and taking away all the noise. We stopped all the things that was meaningless as we redirected of focus.

For me I found the old ways of life. I sought out a more simple time. For a reference I sought out my late grandmother. I knew that she cherished every living breath she had on Earth. I knew that she had overcome obstacles that would have broken any lesser woman. And I knew that she did so with PRIDE! Which had me sitting on my couch, and seeking the meaningful things within the year.

*I had the blessing of reconnecting with my heart. I learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to be great. I have to say getting to see my kids overcome their own obstacles with stride, allowed me to know that they are watching and learning from us. Proud is an understatement of what our children deserves this year.

*I saw my husband’s challenges and worried that he would crumble under the stress of life, but my worries were my own ignorance. All I saw was strength, devotion, and love to not let his family do without. He kept striving and ultimately he continues to prevail.

*I saw strength in healthcare workers, with lack of sleep and with limited supplies, they all overcame. They cared enough to love us at our worst, and loved us enough to sacrifice their own lives and families to let us know that they were not giving up on us.

*I saw teachers loving our kids from afar as they passed out lunches at the door for those who were in need, and called to make sure our kids knew that they were simply there for them.

*I saw families coming together to make sure everyone wasn’t drowning in grief, going hungry, or lacking in faith.

*I saw a world I was proud of. A world where we overcame the year, where love overshadowed the pandemic.

So no this has not been a great year- but it was a wonderful year nontheless. I sought out to begin the year 2020 with Motivation. Most of you are thinking that this was not your year, but I am here to tell you that it most definitely was.

You found yourself in a time where the odds were NOT in your favor. You see, you did it! Not only did you overcome every obstacle that was determined to bring you down, but you succeeded in every way. You prevailed! So where Time Magazine may have selected two people as person of the year, I say look in the mirror! We are all deserving of Person of the Year! So stand up- because YOU ARE THE REAL MVP OF THE YEAR! And 2021 is lucky to have us all entering the New Year alongside each other.

Author: Mary Swinney

Growing up in the Tri-Cities the love I had for the area tilted more towards how Id love to leave, rather than to see what the area had to offer. I didn't want to see at the time just how enchanting my hometown was. As soon as the chance arose my family and I made our way to Rhode Island. Once there we made some amazing life long friends, who took us in, and showed us just how proud they were of their state. It may be the smallest of all the states, but it was packed with charm and adventure. Each week we were visiting new restraunts, meeting new people, and visiting so many areas that I had only dreamed of. The residents were so proud of what they all had built together that it made me realize just how much I had missed out on back home. I have always been proud of my Southern Roots and I vowed that if God ever brought me back to my hometown I would make it my mission to explore the best it had to offer. I have been back for two years and have fallen in love with so many places. It is my mission now to bring my small town back to life and spread the word on how charming the Tri-Cities truly is.

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