Just over a year ago in mid-December 2019, I was on an epic bike ride with a few friends up Mount Vision, a remote climb just north of San Francisco along the Point Reyes National Seashore. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, with amazingly clear views up and down the coast.
Never one to turn down the opportunity for cheesy wordplay, as we were riding up the eponymous climb of the day I joked that 2020 promised to be a year of “perfect vision”.
In spite of all the turmoil we’ve experienced these last 12 months, 2020 did indeed prove itself to be a year of great clarity, but not for the reasons I ever could have guessed as we were grinding up that half hour climb.
It’s amazing how many people I’ve talked to that said COVID forced them to re-examine their lives in some fundamental way — changing jobs or careers, moving cities or to the country, questioning how they spend their time, and who they spend it with. By removing most of the distractions from our lives, we’ve been forced to take a long look at ourselves in the mirror, which in many cases has been uncomfortable, to say the least.
To me, it revealed what is truly important and how many simple things I take for granted in my life, most notably, good health and spending time with loved ones. I only hope that when things go back to normal (whatever that means), we don’t forget some of the lessons we’ve each learned this year, and that how much of what happens in our lives is truly out of our hands.
I’ve never looked forward to the start of a new year more than I have on January 1, 2021. Though my temptation will be to put 2020 firmly in the rearview mirror, I hope I will look back on it with fondness that I can’t imagine right now while its wounds are still fresh. I have no doubt some the things I’ve learned this year will benefit me for the rest of my life, and would never have been possible otherwise.