Ashes from the 2020 Dumpster Fire


If you are a follower of my not widely followed publication of “The World According to Carissa” you are acutely aware of my aversion to speeding through life, skipping over tradition, and missing out on the here and now. This won’t be a super popular sentiment but I am also not in favor of kicking 2020 to the curb too soon.

In many ways 2020 was a personal dumpster fire for myself. I met with very little professional success this year. I had to let go of many relationships, friendships, and acquaintances. I feel I almost lost my legacy. I felt helpless as I watched my family navigate isolation, major life events, and uncertainty. I experienced a level of anger and frustration like none other. Anxiety, depression, lethargy, and apathy ranged from skirmishes to daily battles. I am a bridge builder and that is a skill not many people were interested in. I struggled to understand large groups of people’s motivations for creating divides. However, I had my health. I had a job. I had a purpose. I have an intact family, marriage, and close relationships. And I had Netflix.

2020 was not what I expected this time last year. However, it did provide many life defining lessons that I think are worth sharing as we reflect on this past year and start to dip our toe into waters of 2021.

20 Lessons from 2020

  1. Allow grief in any form

2. Celebrate the little things anyway you can

3. Respect and protect your elders

4. Keep learning and don’t accept ignorance

5. Rest without guilt

6. Don’t take your health for granted

7. Accept change with gratitude

8. Play especially outside

9. Make and document memories

10. Enrich your friendships by adding new relationships

11. Fight for love and peace

12. Be proactive in spreading joy

13. Be grateful for each day of oxygen in our lungs

14. Start with courageous conversations

15. Assume the best about each other

16. Extend grace over and over and over again

17. Laugh, giggle, and snort as much as possible

18. Cling to your purpose and calling to give your life meaning

19. Stay in prayer and communion with God

20. Look for good and beauty and you will find it.

This year maybe classified as a dumpster fire but I believe the “ashes from the fire will be woken” and our best days are still in front of us. Comment below with some of the positive lessons or reminders 2020 gave you!

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