Truly, 2020 was rough, probably for all of us, in the whole world. For many people, it may really have been the worst year of their life. For this, my heart goes out to them.

However, when I reflect back over the year–and previous ones–I realize that personally, 2020 was not my worst year ever. I’ve had worse years by far. As I look back now, I see many blessings that I don’t want the overall tone of the year to cloud out from my memory.

Even 2020’s Christmas was not my worst ever. My worst Christmas happened in 2019.

I got sick then. Really sick. For two weeks running, followed by continued weakness, shaky unsteadiness, and a lingering cough. I came down sick on December 22nd and missed everything I’d happily planned. I was also all alone. It felt different, this sickness, and one weird thing about it was… I lost entirely my sense of taste, and smell.

Yes. In December, 2019.

I also got a horrible case of hives (probably a reaction to the virus), accompanied by angioedema, which frightened me more than the sickness itself because it included my face, head, and neck, and threatened my throat with anaphylaxis.

I’d already developed chronic hives in that epic year, 2019 (epic to me), and had struggled with several severe bouts. A couple of times they were bad enough to make me go into hiding because I looked like a monster and might have scared the little kids, and maybe even the adults, who encountered me.

2020, however, brought with it many blessings. One was the wearing of facemasks, because a facemask adequately covered my face when the hives struck so badly. (Which they’ve not been doing lately because I think, and hope, Through 2020 I finally developed a strategy that seems to be keeping them at bay.)

Facemasks also helped shield my breathing from allergen-laden air during my high allergy times, and bitter cold, come winter. I could go walking and do other outside activities, face covered, and not look like a kook.

As far as health goes, in fact, 2020 may have been my best year ever. For me to go months and months without coming down with the latest whatever’s-out-there, was pretty phenomenal.

There were a lot of other things that were good about the year, as well—things that made it stand out in some ways as one of the best. I grew. I healed from things other than physical. I learned a lot. I saw God’s hand in many ways.

How about you? How was your year, personally, really? Was it your worst year ever, or did you have other years just as challenging?

I don’t want to make light of a year that spelled tragedy and loss for so many people. And the isolation surely has been trying. I have to admit that I was never so glad to see the clock reach midnight on any previous New Year’s Eve. I’m glad 2020 is over and a new year has begun. It gives us a sense of new beginning.  But let’s not forget the good that the bad might have obscured in the old one.  Let’s look and see clearly. For a year whose number we associate with perfect vision, that seems only appropriate.

So if you haven’t done it already, why not join me in taking stock of the past year’s triumphs as well as trials, of the new learnings, maybe even epiphanies, of the new better habits and areas of personal growth, of the times of seeing God’s hand of provision, help, and maybe even palpable presence, and… maybe you can think of some other areas to add.

And truly, with a thankful heart for getting through this past year, I wish you a happy, healthy, and hopeful new year!

7 thoughts on “The Worst of Years? Or not?

  1. 2020 was not so bad for me. Our church closed for while, so our prayer group could not meet. Pastor gave me permission to hold the prayer meeting in my home, and the members enjoy coming here. Our Church and a few others reopened, and our Police Chief and Sherriff, Mayor are NOT actively trying to close churches. We are obeying God rather than man, but using wisdom. Our facebook videos of Pastor’s sermons, and my FB videos of my messages continue to receive listeners and watchers. So the Gospel is going forth, even with a slow down of large meetings. My health is good and I am thankful for that. May you be blessed this new year, and keep using what works on your skin, and face. Love your blog.

    1. I’m glad to hear all that, Hazel. May you also be blessed with continued good health and and many other good things in 2021. Thank you for your kind encouragement..

  2. Sylvie, I totally understand that tension of being thankful for your good year, while not being insensitive to those for whom 2020 translated: chaos. We were blessed in many ways in 2020. My mother had had emergency surgery (nearly died) in Dec. 2019. She would not have been seen in 2020. Though the surgery was urgent, doctors would have considered it “elective.” All our physical needs were cared for since we are retired. We have been able to safe-haven at home without any needs, other of course, than wishing we were with family and friends and could attend church. But interesting that you should mention those masks. We love our masks when braving cold, winter air. And I, who am totally vulnerable to winter sore throats, colds, and flus, literally just yesterday considered how wonderful it is not to be sick! that NEVER happens in winter. I’m always sick. Anyway, yes, taking stock. On my FB page I posted Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” sometimes better known as “Ring Out Wild Bells.” It’s wonderful to take the words to heart and journal about what I want to ring out and ring in, in the New Year.

    And a very Happy, healthy NY to you!

    1. My, Lynni, what a crucial difference timing can make, as your mother’s experience shows! Sorry to hear that she had such an emergency, but oh, how good that it happened in December a year ago, and not a few months later!
      As for facemarks, I’m probably going to think of you every time I put one on now, knowing someone else actually likes them, in winter at least!
      And the Tennyson poem you mention, “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” of course I had to go look it up and read it. Wow. There couldn’t be a more appropriate poem for ousting 2020 and welcoming 2021, could there? And I see, in my Google searching, that someone has now set it to music. I wonder if it will go… (pardon the expression, but…) viral! I might just post it on my blog here. And a very happy, healthy, and otherwise specially blessed 2021 to you!

      1. Thanks about your kind words for mother. She was so brave to agree to it, but honestly, she had no other choice. She had a magnificent neurosurgeon and the greatest Great Physician! She’s so happy now. We’re trying to keep her safe from COVID. I wrote a little FB blurb about loving my mask, b/c I lament how few take them seriously. I’m trying to think positively and do my little part. Oh seriously? Set to music? I’d love to hear it!!!
        God bless you, and Happy New Year!

  3. Sylvia, Reading this account was very interesting. In late November 2019, both Mariah’s family and Lissa’s family all were diagnosed with pneumonia/ bronchitis…..6 people in each family which seems unusual for pneumonia….they wonder if it was actually Covid.
    2020 was very hard health-wise for me. I got sick in March, was at first diagnosed with walking pneumonia, antibiotics did not help, x-ray did not confirm pneumonia but the cough would not quit, blood pressure and heart rate went bonkers, up and down, BP meds did nothing. Because I had not travelled the doctors (I asked more than one) did not think I needed to be tested for Covid. I wondered if we even had tests here that early in March. I was so exhausted, so short of breath I could not do stairs, low grade temp some days. I lost 10 pounds, cannot remember if I lost taste and smell, I just didn’t want to eat, frankly didn’t care if I lived. I began to slowly feel better in May but got a tick bite and the tick tested positive for Lyme so was put on the third antibiotic and then a fourth which I broke out in hives– we think it was the meds. I changed my diet and am on natural supplements and have lost 20 more pounds without trying. I still have issues with swollen glands in my throat on and off and I have no stamina. Dale retired in September (a blessing) but also was diagnosed with a form of Lyme in the Fall and has not been his strong active self. We did have 2 new grandbabies born and another (number 18) is expected in May. Mariah’s family lived with us for 2 months which was a blessing in many ways , though difficult in others (one bathroom with 8 people!) My word for 2020 was “Grace” and I needed so much grace. My word for 2021 is “Restore”

  4. Laurie, what you’re telling me here is also most interesting. I want to email you tomorrow about your experience of sickness. It seems not only that you did meet up with the Covid virus, but also that you might be enduring the “Long Covid.” I will send you some links that may be interesting to you, and also, I hope, helpful. Meanwhile, Grace to you in the new year–and Restoration of health and stamina as well!

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