Hindsight is 2020: Reflections on a Stressful Year


The year 2020 started for me like many before it – with me sound asleep in bed at the stroke of midnight. I am a creature of habit and it’s hard for me to break my routine of early to bed, early to rise, without me feeling the effects for days. So, as the longest year in the history of years dawned, I was snoozing away peacefully with no clue what lay in store.


I had no idea that I would go through the entire year without seeing my mother. The first year of my life that I haven’t seen her. She lives in England and, for obvious reasons, has not been able to come and visit as she normally would every year. I miss my mum.

I had no idea that I would start working from home every day for six months and counting. Pre-COVID, I was working from home once a week and loved it, but adjusting to full-time WFH was a serious challenge.

I had no idea that I would be trying to work while also solo parenting a 5-year-old and 2-year-old for over three months during daycare closure. As someone who has never had an interest in being a stay-at-home mom (seriously, I’m in awe of people who do this), it was a huge shock to suddenly spend 24/7 with both my kids while also trying to hold down a full-time job.

I had no idea that more than 200K of my fellow Americans would die of a virus that has only existed for 10 months. I have trouble even comprehending that this is the reality we are living in.

I had no idea we would have to cancel all travel plans. We had a trip booked to the beach in South Carolina for my daughter’s birthday and we had to cancel and stay home instead.

I had no idea that I would be trying to figure out how to make the holidays (Halloween through Christmas) fun for my kids without the usual festivities.

In reality, we can never predict the future.

What we can do is accept what happens and deal with it as best we can. I know many people are living a much more stressful existence than I am – maybe they lost a job, maybe they are working full-time and trying to figure out how to school their kids from home, maybe they are fighting an illness or mourning the loss of a loved one. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sad for all the things I never imagined would happen in 2020.

Despite the current circumstances, I will continue to hope that I’ll be able to make a trip home to England next year to see my family. I will continue to do what I can to make sure my daughter’s first year of school is exciting and fun. I will continue to protect my family and community by staying home as much as possible and avoiding crowded places.

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that 2021 doesn’t show up and say, “Hey 2020, hold my beer.”