Gratitude…Closing the Book on 2020

December 14, 2020


By golly, has not this year been one heck of a ride?  How might you summarize it?  What words come to mind?

  • Dark
  • Troubling
  • Hopeless
  • Covid


And what about phrases?

  • Civil Unrest
  • High Unemployment
  • Political Tension
  • People Dying


A glass that perpetually seems half, if not fully empty.  Or is it?


In “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl provides his account of imprisonment at Auschwitz and other concentration camps for three years during World War II.  An eminent psychiatrist, he wondered why some of his fellow prisoners were able to not only survive horrifying conditions, but grew in the process.  His conclusion:  the most basic human motivation is the will to find meaning, which became the basis of a groundbreaking psychological theory, logotherapy. 


Though far be it to compare the experiences of 2020 to the atrocities faced by Frankl, each of us has at least felt shackled to some degree.  Yet in the imprisonment of our own minds, might there be a few things for which to give thanks and to find our own meaning?


  • What about technology?  Though much maligned, Zoom and FaceTime have connected us for both business and pleasure with friends, an amazing technology.  Perish the thought of what this almost 300 day period we’re now in would have been like in a more primitive era, such as during the Spanish Flu.
  • On the horizon is a vaccine.  Hats off to the scientists around the world who have worked tirelessly to develop such a promising anecdote.
  • Rest.  Being home is conducive to better sleep patterns.  A less frenetic pace has also diminished commuting, allowed for greater family togetherness, and deeper connection with loved ones.
  • Though many have been impacted by the misfortune of job loss, spending has also diminished.  Less travel, entertainment, and dining options have translated to greater thrift.
  • Likewise, confinement to the sanctity of one’s own home propagated a desire for remodels and a variety of other projects.  Home gardens are enjoying a renaissance.
  • Creativity and resourcefulness.  Without a doubt many of us have been caused to think differently.  Instead of having one source of employment, what has it looked like to cobble together two, three, or more part-time vocations?  International business takes place home-to-home rather than office-to-office.  Less jet lag.  Once avant garde ideas of commerce and enterprise are now ripe for action.     


As a Career and Life Coach, I have had a blessed year for many of the same reasons mentioned.  Foremost, I have been fortunate so far to evade Covid.  Further, people have been looking for answers, direction, and inspiration, a time for which coaches are well positioned.  More so, client connection has stretched me.  Those from different origins, genders, and ethnicities have provided fresh perspective.  Rich stories from others have presented learning from a wide variety of previously unfamiliar occupational paths and interests.


Personally, I’ve been immeasurably fortunate to be the recipient of friendship and fellowship.  The kind who can “take it” as well as they “dish it out.”  There are those who I have pedaled alongside of, either in a Spinning class or on the roads and trails.   Coaching colleagues, too.  Other couples, near and dear to my wife and me, both local and from our stops during the journeys of life.  The togetherness that’s felt during the times of laughter, and often the belly shaking and tearful kind not unlike what was experienced back in the days of adolescence have been of huge comfort. 


Finally, there’s the gift of family.  I’ve watched my daughter not only blossom into a responsible adult, but become the kind of wife and mother to be envied by other young couples.  My son daily lives out his love of country as a patriot of the armed services while devoting his civilian hours with honor as a father to his young son.


Then there is my wife of 40 years.  A light to all she encounters.  Possessing the highest degree of integrity and moral value.  Gifted with a God given ability to look at things from a different lens, which she applies in her work as a designer.  A soul who has stuck with and supported me through the darkest of times.  The love of my life. 


In wrapping up, if it is God’s will, I can’t wait to apply the lessons learned from this season of darkness, trouble, and hopelessness into a better tomorrow.   I offer my very best to you and yours for good health, joy, and a most blessed Christmas, Holiday Season, and pleasant and prosperous start to 2021.


The Seed Sower



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