Dear 2020: It’s Not Me…It’s You

goodbye 2020

Dear 2020, 

It’s hard to write this, since the thought of wanting to throw away a whole year seems foolish. But the truth is, it’s not working. It’s not you, it’s me… 

Actually that’s not true at all, it’s you. It’s all you!

You have been a year of heartache, stress, anxiety, separation, change, illness, division, and anger. The truth is, I can’t take it anymore. 

Because of you we have missed birthdays, weddings, and celebrations in general. We have spent more time in our homes than with our friends and loved ones. You have diminished our schedules to nothing, you have taken away our freedoms, and you have deprived our kids of in-person learning and time with friends. You have kept our elderly away from us, divided our country, and taken away so many things we previously took for granted. 

But we will not let you win.

We will take away the positives from this year and move forward. Because for all that was meant to divide us and break us, we still stand.

Your plans to diminish our schedules and keep us in our homes only made us appreciate the time we have together. We have come to realize that we were overbooked and rundown. And now place a higher value on family meals and time together. 

You took away a lot from our kids: school, playdates, birthday parties, and sleepovers.  What you failed to realize along the way, however, is that our kids are resilient. They took everything in stride and our teachers learned how to educate through online platforms.

Parties were canceled, but we rallied. We arranged car parades and drive-by parties. Although our kids weren’t able to be with their friends, they found ways to stay connected. They learned to write letters and used technology to stay in touch.

You kept us from our families over the holidays, particularly our elderly relatives. But we found ways to keep them included, whether it was through window visits to the nursing homes, Zoom calls, or phone visits.

We stayed connected.

You see 2020, you were brutal. You were challenging and at times, even debilitating. And as much as I would like to believe we rose above it all, some effects will linger forever.

And it pains me to think of all the damage you have caused.

Many people lost their lives. Those who struggled with mental health issues were left isolated and alone. For those kids and adults who live in abusive homes, you left them there with nowhere to go. People have lost jobs, and many are struggling. Really struggling.

But people rose above the challenges. Our doctors and nurses have worked tirelessly serving those in need. They have put themselves at risk and spent time away from their families to clean up your mess. 

Our essential workers showed up to work day after day.

While may of us were isolated in our homes, they suited up, adapted, and provided for us. They kept our families fed, safe, warm, and entertained. 

Our teachers, support staff, and daycare workers have continued to love our little ones as much as we do. With all the challenges, it would have been easy to throw in the towel. But they didn’t. They carried on. 

Volunteers continued to find a way to give to those in need. Serving food to those who were hungry and donating all the things (because we actually had time to declutter) to keep those without shelter warm. Any fundraisers that we would have in a normal year went virtual and were still able to make an impact on our communities.

Our politicians, administrators, and other leaders have persevered in a year of such divide on so many levels. They were tasked with making difficult decisions that would not appease everyone, no matter the choice. And although we may all have opinions on how they should have handled this year, the truth is none of us wanted that seat or be the one to have to make those calls. 

In summary, 2020, your hate, your isolation, your intolerance for anything we had planned this year does not leave us with a year wasted. It leaves us with a year of growth, learning, and hardships that will only make us stronger.

As moms we entered uncharted territory. We tried to work, teach, run the home, and watch our little ones. We tried to do everything simultaneously and seamlessly, which we learned to be an impossible task. Normally in times like this we would call on or moms, grandmas, or other women who had been in this type of situation to ask for guidance. But we had no one. No one had been here before.

And so we figured out what worked for us and stopped comparing ourselves to others. We did the best we could, where we were at. Some days we were great employees, some days we were great moms, some days both, and honestly some days neither, but we got through it.

Moving on from 2020

We have learned that we are resilient, we are strong. And although we stumbled and fell many times, we found our way back up. We will not let you win. We will look back on 2020 for the rest of our lives because yes, you were big enough to be a defining point in our journey.

And although we might not look back fondly, you were certainly memorable. But you are not the end. Our story continues, you were just one hell of a rough chapter.

Previous articleMoms: The Unspoken Heroes of 2020
Next articleFargo Mom Top Contributor Posts of 2020
Ashley is a North Dakota native and lives in Fargo with her husband, Zach, and their three sweet, energetic kiddos Ella, William and Charleigh. A full-time working mom in sales, Ashley constantly finds herself trying to find the balance between family and work. When she is not folding piles of laundry, playing taxi driver, volunteering to "make" cookies she bought at the store, or showing any given member of her family where the "lost" item is, Ashley is dreaming about the trips she will take one day and planning her early morning workouts that will happen once her youngest figures out the whole sleep thing. She also enjoys lots of family time, summers at the lake, and volunteering in our amazing community. Ashley's guilty pleasures are dry shampoo, Botox, coffee, and red wine. She loves her mama tribe and recognizes how important community truly is.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.