I have terrible eyesight.
My right eye is particularly bad. Every February, I dutifully go to the eye doctor for my exam and every year, I hear the same thing: “this might be the last year we can correct the right eye’s astigmatism with contacts with what’s available on the market right now.” I’m a candidate for lasik, but I keep putting it off because 1) lasers in my eyeballs scare me and 2) I’m not especially excited about paying for it out of pocket.
And so, I’m stuck with less than 20/20 vision.
When the calendar changed to January 1, 2020, there was a cry of “clear vision!” for the year ahead. 2020 was going to be our year. We felt it in our bones. How could it not be when it was 20/20 – the actual year of clear vision?
10 months into 2020, we all want a do-over.
I won’t bore you with a list of ways in which my 2020 hasn’t gone according to plan. It’s long and some of it probably would have happened regardless, but how I reacted to it likely would have been very very different. You have your own long list of ways 2020 hasn’t been the year you expected. You don’t need mine. You get it.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noted a shift in my thoughts on 2020 however.
Whenever I’ve been in a season of feeling attacked from all angles, something really sweet has awaited me on the other side of it. Several months of a deep depression laced with panic attacks led me to the University of Tennessee. A few months of hearing “no” time and time again while I searched for a new job opportunity led to another bout of feeling down and out. During that time, I realized I wanted to move back to Virginia and once I did, things quickly fell into place and I ultimately made some of my dearest friends and had some incredible experiences.
That’s what 2020 is doing, but on a wide, sweeping scale.
2020 wrecked a lot of plans. It destroyed businesses, made our homes our offices, turned many of us into teachers. 2020 made us forget what a weekend is as the days all run together now. It made going to the grocery store a special outing and living rooms became fitness studios. We’ve learned how much we miss people or else how much we enjoy solitude. We’ve tried to be okay, even when we are absolutely not okay.
2020 has sucked. Let’s call it like it is.
What if 2020 is one big upleveling?
I’m of the belief that you have to go through it to get to it. I don’t like how 2020 has gone down. I haven’t enjoyed having to cancel/change/postpone my plans. Since June, I’ve had a kidney stone and a probable ulcer (current dilemma) and we won’t even touch what this year, this summer especially, has done to my anxiety. But in my experience, to get to the next level, you have to go through the valley first.
2020 has a lot of crap to wade through. Politically. Socially. Personally.
But what if it’s the world’s way of hitting the reset button?
God sent a flood to push the “reset” button. He’s used famine, plague, and a whole host of other tactics to get His people in line. Regardless of what you believe on the religious front, you can’t deny that our world has needed a reset for a while now. Maybe that reset is now.
It’s not easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in it. I’ve been fumbling around in the dark with my hands out in front of me, searching for the metaphorical light switch since March. I’m not entirely out of the dark yet, but I think I found a dimmer switch – I think I’m starting to see the first hint of light.
2020 has challenged me. It’s challenged you. I’ve cried a lot of tears of frustration. I’ve told God a lot lately that I’m just tired. But I’ve also seen in recent weeks just how badly I needed 2020. I needed the chance to slow down, reevaluate. My body has been crying out for rest for a long time and in 2020, it finally revolted enough to ensure I give it what it needs. And in the slow down, I’ve found myself seeing things more clearly – the need to prioritize rest, to ask for help, to put boundaries in place and stick to them.
What if this is what 2020 wants from us? What if this is the year of clear vision? What if 2020 is meant to make us stop, reflect, reevaluate, and come out as better humans?
I’m not fool enough to think when the calendar flips from December 31st to January 1st, 2021, everything will go back to normal or rather, what we knew as normal. That normal doesn’t exist anymore. 2020 has caused too much havoc for us to go back to the good ‘ol days (you know, February). But 2020 has also given us the opportunity to figure out who we really are, what we really need, and what we really stand for.
As we step into the last quarter of 2020, I encourage you to stop and reflect. What has 2020 been trying to reset in your life? Where is it giving you 2020 vision?
Maybe – just maybe – when we look back at 2020, we’ll be able to see it was the year of clear vision after all.