Monday, December 28, 2020

The Year In Review - 2020 Edition


Hindsight is 2020. With that sentiment in mind, reflection for growth, I've decided to do this post. 

On New Years Day 2020, I had friends over for an old-fashioned get-together. Remember those? They are my favorite form of hanging out. The beauty of this day was seeing our children, all at varying stages,  playing with board games and talking with each other. The TV was off, and it was not missed. It felt like a scene from another time, and I thought this may be the start of a new tradition. Well, that won't be happening this year, thanks to Corona, but I'm not mad. 

Because as Corona reared its ugly head, I remember being asked what's one word that comes to mind as you navigate this new reality; I replied fortification. At the time, I felt I was being strengthened for the journey ahead; I was being prepared in a new way to trust God for things that are out of my control; a prescient thought. This year, I've learned so much, thanks to Corona.

Thanks to Corona, I’ve rediscovered nature. Beaches, sitting and listening to the waves; stairways to heaven which provide a welcome workout; the miracle of bioluminescent waves; nurturing my garden.

Thanks to Corona, I know myself better. I know what upsets me, but I also know that I can choose my response. It’s harder when you’re in close quarters, and you’re constantly reminded of what upsets you, but my response is up to me. 

Thanks to Corona, it is clear that I’m a work in progress.

Thanks to Corona, my prayers are more honest; some days, I’m a mess, and God hears all about it. During one of these intense prayer times, where it seems that God's voice was audible, events unfolded that yielded a new professional opportunity.

Thanks to Corona, I’ve had some of the best conversations with friends near and far. I’m an honest person, but we’ve gone deeper with our emotions, maybe because we’re all stuck with no place to go. Thanks to corona, I know who my true friends are.

Thanks to Corona, I’ve had time to complete some projects, learn new skills, and pursue new ventures. The world is shut down, but I’m not.

Thanks to Corona, we can all see the ugliness in this world. The puss of racism and social injustice oozes from an open wound. Now the whole world can see how horrid life can be for those whose only "sin" is their skin color. I discovered my inner activist and proudly protested against injustice because the risks were worth it.

Thanks to Corona, I've seen faith in action. I completed my book, whose title is also my testimony. I have had many dark nights of the soul, and I know He is The Comfort of Night.

Thanks to Corona, I can see the opportunities in every obstacle. We don’t have to live in fear. Corona has shown us how resilient we are. We deal with what is and leave everything else in God’s hands. It’s all in his hands anyhow. Thanks to Corona, I know that for sure.

These questions provide some insight into my 2020.

What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
Host a virtual book launch for my second book inspired by Jesus’ Last Discourse. The Comfort of Night - How Jesus Makes Your Dark Times All Right. The timing is fortuitous.

Here's a snippet of the launch. 

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but I became a Grandma in 2019, and though I haven't seen my granddaughter since the pandemic started, we Facetime often. She is now a bundle of energy; I get tired just watching her antics but she's beautiful. She knows me, and I can't wait to see her in person.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My mother-in-law - my other mom, passed on.

What countries did you visit?
Unfortunately, none.

What dates from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
Friday the 13th in March - that's when the world shut down for the pandemic. 
May 25th, Memorial Day when two seminal events happened. First a white woman alleged a black man was attacking her in Central Park, calling 911. Thankfully the entire thing was filmed, and her lies were revealed. Later that day, the world saw George Floyd executed by the police. This was too much, and no one could turn a blind eye to the injustice in our world. 
Finally, 11/4 - the day my book was published by Westbow Press.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Starting a new job in a pandemic. Granted, I was in a professional rut and had resigned myself to the dullness of my current situation, so I was overjoyed when this opportunity presented itself. This position has restored my confidence, allowing me to play to my strengths and shoot my shot.

What was your biggest failure? 
My biggest failure is hard to quantify. Life is not perfect, and I've made mistakes, but I can't point to one particular thing as my biggest failure.

Did you suffer illness or injury? 
Besides getting one year older, thankfully, no.

What did you get really excited about? 
Publishing my book; pursuing new opportunities professionally; early morning walks; flying to Fort Lauderdale; weekly sibling zoom calls; virtual family reunions; breathing; laughing. You get the idea - everything!

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier! 
Thinner or fatter? I remain the same size – thin-ish!
Richer or poorer? We have what we need.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Be more assertive with offers of help by saying, "How can I help you?"

How did you spend Christmas? 
Home. Christmas in Cali is typically a pandemic Christmas. We have no family close by, so it's typically us enjoying each other's company.

What was your favorite TV program?
Married at First Sight - Woodi and Amani restored my faith in love, especially Black love. I never tire of seeing positive images of us when it seems there's a conspiracy to paint us in a negative light.

What was your favorite music from this year?
My favorite music genres are Gospel and reggae (I don’t think this will ever change).

What were your favorite films of the year? 
Parasite - go see it!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
I visited my BFF in Fort Lauderdale and returned home in time to celebrate. I can't believe I'm over 50; I feel good.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 
The ability to hug others outside the four walls of my house. Also, I miss going to the library.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Sophisticated loungewear.

What kept you sane? 
Good conversations with my husband and good friends, Marco Polo with my best friend, reading, writing, and working out. 

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.
Knowing that God is in control - always has and always will be, so I don't need to feel sorry for myself because of a pandemic. Every day I'm alive is another to give thanks and do what He's called me to do. I feel my mission field changing but as long as I can live in a way that pleases Him, it's worth it.

I know this year was hard for many, and the pandemic complicated it. But I also know many that thrived despite the pandemic, and it was simply a matter of perspective. I want you to know that regardless of how your year went - whether it was the best or worst year of your life, that you are never alone. God is with you each step of the way. Lean on Him for wisdom, understanding, and direction because he cares about every aspect of your life. I know with assurance that God is with me in the ordinary moments of life. It is He who is molding me into the person I'm becoming even at this stage of the game.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. John 14:1 KJV

This blog has weathered some storms this year, but it is still here. I am grateful for every reader, every like, every share, every comment, and email. Dear reader, you encourage me by taking the time to read what God has laid on my heart. Be encouraged.

If you love my writing, I hope you'll purchase a copy of my book - The Comfort of Night. I'll be working on new writing projects in the new year. Stay tuned!

May your days be merry and bright. Have a wonderful year.

--Nylse

Thanks for reading. Please take a moment to share using the buttons below. Like my Facebook Page and follow along on Instagram. Don't forget to subscribe. Stay Encouraged!

11 comments:

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  2. Me I'm the BFF in Fort Lauderdale. The visit was at the perfect time and what I needed to snap me out of the pandemic slump while staying safe. Loved the article. Q&A's are interesting.

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  3. Beautiful writing! God bless ya, Sister.

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  4. Beautiful recap of 2020. I enjoyed your Q&A's. Thank you for sharing.
    Visiting from Inspire Me Monday

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  5. I enjoyed reading your recap of 2020. Congratulations on the publication of your book. My condolences on the loss of your dear mother-in-law. Thanks for letting us get to know you a little bit better. Here's hoping for a better year in 2021!

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  6. I love the way you have persevered.in gratitude. We are all deeply blessed even in 2020, and it's good to be reminded to SAY it!

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  8. Love your Thanks list!

    Thanks to Corona, I had lots of time with my teens/preteens!

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  9. Hey Nylse! Love all your points of "Corona taught me...." Such a positive way to write about what is only seen as hard and negative. Thanks!

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  10. Thank you for the wonderful insights!

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  11. Beautiful recap of 2020.I enjoyed your writing.. Thnaks for sharing this Nylse
    i am also a small witter u can check writing

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