The year 2020 is almost over. I can imagine everyone around the world heaving a deep sigh of relief. It’s been a tumultuous year on so many levels. As it draws to a close, I’m reflecting on my own life in this year and drawing out a few themes that have been woven through it. Perhaps you might wish to do the same.

If 2020 has shown me one thing about myself, it’s that I truly am an introvert. I really haven’t missed being “out and about.” I relish a slower, more contemplative schedule (though work has kept me plenty busy!). I’ve been quite content being at home every day (though I do get out for an hour-long walk, so I’m not at all feeling “housebound”). I have connected with friends through phone and video calls, but not as much as before. I certainly haven’t missed juggling work responsibilities and lunch dates. (And yes, friends, I do still care!)

Speaking of lunch dates, Henry and I have both bucked the pandemic trend, each losing twenty pounds this year instead of gaining them. We haven’t eaten out at a restaurant since March, and I know that has made a difference. We are also eating a lighter dinner much earlier (3 or 4 pm) than we used to. If you’re not familiar with this version of intermittent fasting, you might want to investigate. I’ve found it quite easy to adapt to (though our pattern generally includes a cookie or piece of chocolate about 5 or 6 pm!). I am ending 2020 feeling much more comfortable in my body and in tune with it (which can also be attributed to those hour-long walks!).

In terms of connecting with the broader world, I’ve found new ways to work for change in this turbulent year. I’ve reflected in this blog about opportunities to share my wealth with those who have been disenfranchised by our socioeconomic system. I’ve found ways to make a difference, both locally and nationally. I’ve continued to learn and grow in my civic awareness and am speaking up when God gives me the opportunity.

2020 has also forced me to recognize new levels of our inherent sinfulness as human beings, individually and collectively. I could not have imagined people putting politics before the health of friends and family by refusing simple steps like wearing masks. I could not have imagined how quickly our planet would continue to warm, generating horrific firestorms and hurricanes and making the lives of individual farmers around the world increasingly unsustainable. I could not have imagined how polarized Americans could become. We all have a long way to go to live into Jesus’ command to love one another.

I do pray that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. It’s not a given. Both prayer and action are needed. As you look back on 2020, what are you noticing? What is your prayer for your community and our world as we head into 2021?

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