Fresh Start

As we leave 2020 behind us, it can be beneficial to reflect on positive moments and events in order to enter the new year with a grateful and joy filled heart. There were plenty of negatives throughout 2020, personally, nationally and worldwide however the true beauty is in seeking the positives. Being able to pause and find positives is critical in moving forward – amid hardship, allow yourself even a moment of joy. Here are twenty (and one for good luck) moments to make you smile from 2020.

  1. We learned that life goes on. Despite it all, you are still here. You have persisted, continuing to live, love and laugh – learning each day that you can persevere. No matter the struggle or challenge, life went on and it continued to get better. Sometimes even the simplest message such as this can be hard to recall in challenging times. You did it.
  2. The Supreme Court protected LGBTQ+ rights ruling that no one can be fired for being gay or transgender.
  3. We went back to our roots. Family-owned and small businesses were supported more than ever in 2020. Celebrating community and focusing on purchasing local in order to maintain our small business community.
  4. The United States launched astronauts to the International Space Station on a U.S. made rocket – after years of dependence on Russian technology. The reusable booster was effective and returned safely, potentially opening us up for a future of more cost-effective space travel.
  5. Taylor Swift gave us not one but TWO remarkable albums.
  6. There was a historical turnout for voting in our national presidential election.
  7. We saw music bring us together, from Alicia Keys bringing us comfort following Kobe’s death, to song filling the air during lockdowns across the world as seen here in Italy and here in Boston.
  8. We learned an appreciation for those around us. Acknowledging the efforts of truck drivers, grocery workers, postal staff, sanitation workers, and our healthcare staff. These individuals risked their lives daily to keep our economy from collapsing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of these workers historically have gone thankless in their day-to-day however 2020 brought them moments of spotlight for their service.
  9. Our Earth recovered in an exceptional manner due to our lockdown. Less car travel, less air travel and less toxic emissions into our atmosphere – we noticed greener grass, clear blue water and radiant skies.
  10. We elected the first female vice-president, first black vice-president and first Asian American vice-president – Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
  11. We saw brands and companies, despite lost revenue amid the pandemic, provide support to our healthcare workers by developing masks and sanitizer. Many companies donated such supplies to healthcare facilities!
  12. HEALTHCARE WORKERS. There are no words to speak to these heroes. Their efforts continue today and we owe them a debt we can never repay. Endless gratitude.
  13. We celebrated LIFE. We refocused on the joy and blessing that is living. Hospitals played music for COVID discharges, celebrating their victory. Many patients being awarded parades of cheer in the halls as they left their medical units!
  14. We saw the true good in our world. Many weddings and events were cancelled in 2020, many of these funds were then donated to those in need amid the pandemic (here, here and here). Wedding food funds donated at Thanksgiving to provide dinner to those going without, funds redirected to support local businesses and more! I saw community members come together to support those in need more than ever, despite the economic toll this pandemic took on each and every one of us.
  15. We saw science take place through the development of the COVID vaccine. Plus the first COVID vaccine dose was given! Here comes our future, bright and beautiful.
  16. We were re-focused on connections. This year allowed us to reconnect with those important to us in new ways. We zoomed, skyped, and facetimed, we did drive-by parties and parades and we learned to savor moments. We rekindled connections and improved our existing ones. We realized that these connections can save us in our darkest moments.
  17. Community made a comeback! We returned to drive-in movie theaters, we celebrated graduations with yard signs and parades. We saw teachers embrace their local communities and show their students love from a distance.
  18. We realized the connection between mental and physical health. The pandemic had many of us questioning how we show love to our bodies and minds. We started new self-care practices in order to cope with our circumstances and we implemented fitness into our routines to support our physical health. Many people realized that in order to feel our best, we need to move our bodies. Google trends revealed that “staying healthy” had a spike during the lockdown as COVID-19 raised our awareness of our own health.
  19. We saw our favorite Bitty & Beau’s franchise, expanding their love and influence further than ever before – while we also welcomed new businesses including the Special Kneads Bakery!
  20. We saw our businesses get creative and forge ahead. Here in Boston we saw restaurants create their own outdoor spaces and revamp their restaurants to support social distancing. We were given more takeout options than ever before including cocktail kits. We saw brands get creative on social media with how to recreate our favorites! We saw our fitness community come together and create beauty in hardship, allowing for outdoor classes and new spaces.
  21. Smile for a SEC was born and is so grateful for each and every one of you.

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