As 2020 finally draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the events of the past year and set resolutions for 2021.

First, let’s do some reflecting at this last year. For many, it was a cluster, not much positive to talk about. I disagree, while it was a year we were told to socially distance from each other, stay home as much as possible, don’t gather for Holidays and to cover our smiles, there was good to be found!

While we had to stay home, it was an amazing time to reconnect with your family. You know the ones you see every day but really had no idea what was going on in their lives. We actually sat down and had family dinners, got to watch movies at home together and came up with creative ways to entertain each other! Board games made a resurgence at my home, something we will continue to do even once we go back to school, to theaters and family gatherings.

Virtual school has been a godsend for some and like my household, a nightmare. While my kids didn’t mind working from home, their grades and attitudes said otherwise. Not being able to spend quality time with their friends, teachers and mentors has had a bigger effect than we can possibly understand at this point. How they bounce back will really be

determined by how quickly we can get them safely back in school on a consistent basis. What are school sports going to look like moving forward? What about all the kids with scholarships? Do we scrap this last year and just have everyone start over from scratch? Our learning gap compared to other countries was big before, but how will this last year really affect us moving forward? I understand that fighting this virus is the top priority, but these questions need to be answered and soon! The longer these lockdowns and restrictions continue, the further behind our children get and clearly we need the biggest and brightest brains to help defeat this virus. Forcing our kids to try to learn under these circumstances is creating a scenario that we just cannot possibly fathom at this time. Not all of us can work from home, so our children are fending for themselves and it’s showing.

Mental health, this was an issue before COVID and has really been exacerbated by the lockdowns, the social distancing and just the general exhaustion of constantly being afraid. I fortunately, have not yet lost a close friend or relative to COVID. I have however lost friends who couldn’t deal with the isolation, the constant battling between friends and relatives, the loss of a job, home or vehicle, the daily barrage of how many people are sick and how many have died. I don’t believe there is a “right” way to handle this situation, but I do believe we have made some poor choices, wrong moves and bad decisions, which is leading to more stress and less hope from people.

My resolutions, first and foremost to continue to provide hope for our future! We have one, yes we do, and it will get better with every day that passes. We will have moments when we go backwards, only to be followed by 3 steps forward. We are in a much better place then we were 9 months ago and will continue to improve. We have vaccines now; we have treatment options and we have learned so much about how this virus works. Do we have a lot to learn yet? You bet, but with the best and brightest minds working on it, we will get there.

I am beside myself that my son’s school is allowing them to come back January 28th if the student and the parents are comfortable with it. I am really happy that they are offering options because if you don’t want your child to be in the building and want them to continue virtually, they can! We are social creatures and for as much as people claim to want to stay alone, we are suffering in isolation. I resolve to continue to support him and get him back on track so that he will be ready to graduate and do great things in this world. Our children are our future and if we don’t figure out how to show them hope and how we are going to be ok, we are going to lose more of them as well.

In business, I resolve to continue to come up with new and innovative ways to make connections, grow relationships and generate work for my company. As difficult as this year has been, I feel like I have made stronger connections, brought in

more jobs, and just generally had an amazing year business wise. At first it was difficult, how are we going to do this? Will we be stuck Zooming forever? When can I see people in person again? When can we network in groups bigger than 10? I want to get back to my route marketing but most offices are still under restrictions! I think most people are reaching their breaking point and it won’t be an option, they will have to open or close their doors forever and we have seen way too much of that already this year.

What are your reflections and resolutions? Do any of yours line up with mine? I would love to hear your thoughts, shoot me an email to diane@accent24hr.com

I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year and look forward to a much different 2021!