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About a week ago, I received a text from my daughter Meghan pointing out this graphic that I (like a gazillion other people) posted toward the end of last year looking forward to what was sure to be a spectacular 2020 LEAP YEAR!

Her comment: “LOL! IDK how I stumbled upon this post you made last year….but the jokes on us!”

9 Reasons Why Our World is Smaller & More Meaningful

We are all aware of how devastating this year has been and all of those expectations of fun filled holidays certainly did not occur. That Valentine’s Day Friday was probably one of the last times any of us celebrated in an indoor restaurant before the stay at home order was put in place. There certainly wasn’t any dining out on Cinco De Mayo and I remember waiting over and hour in a long car line for take out to get tacos from my favorite place to celebrate at home.(I was happy to do it-I am a steadfast supporter of local restaurants and small businesses!) There were no public fireworks displays this fourth of July and we watched them virtually in our living rooms or did our own in our driveways. At least in Florida, Halloween did occur, but in a socially distanced fashion and we also wore a different type of mask. We all  know that Christmas this year needs to be different. No large family get togethers indoors. There will be no large gathering in Times Square for the ball drop. 

2020 will forever be known as the year of the global pandemic. The entire globe has been hit by this tragedy. I am a glass half full kinda girl. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism to keep me sane, but when I look back on this year with all of the sadness, the loss of life and having our expectations completely dashed, I will focus on the positive that came out of this catastrophe. For me, 2020 will be the year that our world got much smaller and much more meaningful. Here are 9 reasons why:

  1. We were forced to slow down, stay home and in the process family life became much more meaningful. Many of us actually found our family lives to be happier
  2. We realize how valuable it is to have time with our parents and grandparents. Due to social distancing, many of us have had to stay away. 
  3. We love the great outdoors again! Outdoor recreation has become a priority! We’ve even taken our workouts outdoors!
  4. More than half of us, 63% used this extra time to get into better shape. The home fitness industry is booming.
  5. We’ve redefined and have begun to recognize our real heroes. Celebrity and high paid athlete worship has fallen dramatically as our lives changed. We see the true bravery and dedication of our health care workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, delivery drivers….the list goes on and on. We realize that “essential workers” are real heroes and deserve our respect and gratitude.
  6. Thanksgiving was saved for a lot of people. Sure we were advised against large gatherings and our celebrations were much smaller. But people who work for many big reatailers actually got the day off! Retailers that have been open in years past, Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Best Buy, even Walmart and quite a few more that were open in 2019 on Thanksgiving were not open this year. I personally hope that continues after the pandemic!
  7. We realize how important the restaurant industry is to us and we want it to survive this year. We embraced takeout and there was even a national take out Tuesday movement. We bought restaurant gift cards and a number of options for assistance arouse for those in the restaurant industry. 
  8. Shopping local, shopping small is a priority to us now more than ever. In fact more than half of us, 60% plan on shopping small this holiday season
  9. There is a renewed optimism among small business owners and 82% of entrepreneurs feel that they are much more prepared to handle a crisis in the future.

Yes, 2020 is the year when our homes, and our local communities from parks to small businesses became the center of our universe. We deeply felt the importance of family, and recognized the value of those who provide us with essential services. Values I hope remain after the vaccines and the pandemic subsides because they are important to us, our communities and the small businesses in them!

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