It’s a fair bet to say that 2020 wasn’t the year any of us wanted, or even could have dreamed possible. We have all had challenges – some shared, such as pandemic restrictions, economic fluctuations, mask mandates, and social isolation. Other challenges have been all our own, the outer and inner struggles that may or may not be visible to anyone else.
Whether you choose to share your own challenges with the larger world is always up to you, as has always been the philosophy of Be Your Own Birder – we all have our lives to live our own ways. I choose to remain very private, but that doesn’t mean the challenges I’ve faced have been any less of a struggle for all they’ve not been intimately broadcast. For those who’ve noted the silence from Be Your Own Birder of late – why there was no wild turkey photo gallery to wrap up our featured bird in November, why there has been no featured bird in December or any holiday greetings, why there was no fun giveaway this month, why the other social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – have been equally silent, that is due to those private challenges. One in particular has stretched for weeks and has led to various medical emergencies, more phone calls than I can count, forced cancellations of promotional events, lost work opportunities, a missing wedding anniversary, and a holiday crush that stole much of the joy from what little of the season remained once the challenge was mostly, though still not completely, resolved.
Still, there are positive lessons here. Just as the minutes on 2020 are ticking down, so time moves on. Life will continue to change, adapt, and evolve, and we must move on with it. These aren’t easy steps to take, but just as the clock ticks away to midnight and the new year, so too do our lives tick on. We can stagnate, or we can live our lives. The challenges of 2020 have shown me a great deal about what I want to change, what has to be let go, what works, and most importantly, what doesn’t.
Will 2021 be immediately better? How we answer depends on us. Mine will be better day by day, because I’m going to make it that way. Will I always be successful? Of course not, no one can be, and that’s okay. All we can do is lift our wings, test the wind, and fly into the life we want. We all have our own choices, and we have to make the best ones that work for us. That doesn’t mean we’re free of the consequences of those choices, but we should make them with our eyes and our hearts wide open, which is exactly what I intend to do. Let’s make 2021 the best year ever.