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Goodbye 2020... and Good Riddance

Joseph Fearn

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January 2020 was like many other New Years. I say this now with some embarrassment because of how actually good my life was at that moment (oh, hindsight). My family was healthy and happy, my professional life was established and predictable, and while not financially carefree, I was managing. I truly would have said things were fine. Fast forward nearly a year and things are much, much different. Like many in our country and TurfNet family, this past year brought about many changes in my life. 2020 ended up being a crazy, challenging, stressful year and truth be told, I’ll be very happy, and quite relieved, to see it in my rear view mirror.

...2020 ended up being a crazy, challenging, stressful year and truth be told, I’ll be very happy, and quite relieved, to see it in my rear view mirror.

Changes, Changes, Changes
In January 2020 I had heard of COVID-19 but wasn’t really concerned as it seemed a China-only issue. Unfortunately, as all of us know too well, coronavirus would end up spreading in the United States. In March, my previous employer shut most operations down. My team and I were deemed essential personnel so stayed working during the first “shutdown”. Over the next several months, and for the rest of the year, every aspect of my life would be touched by the COVID pandemic.  In July my position was eliminated to save money. By years end, my immediate family had been COVID tested several times, had one scary but fortunately brief bout of the virus, and several episodes of quarantining. As a write this COVID-19 is still a significant, if not dominant feature in our daily lives.

You Can't Know the Future
So, 2020 took me for a ride. I am now in a new position, a new state, a new house. Looking back, I wouldn’t have thought all these occurrences could all possibly be positives. I have been fortunate to improve my lot in all this upheaval. Each step of the way during the past year, my path has taken me in a new direction I would rather not have travelled. I say this not because I regret where I am now, but because change, especially involuntary change, can be difficult and uncomfortable. However, what I realize now is I can’t fully judge my present circumstances because I don’t know my future.

Looking back, I wouldn’t have thought all these occurrences could all possibly be positives. I have been fortunate to improve my lot in all this upheaval.

Hope for 2021
Surely things will be better in 2021. I say this not because of any specific effort or upcoming event, but because I believe that things are currently bad, yet probability dictates that things won't get worse. Mind you I’m not guaranteeing anything. There are likely to be unforeseen consequences ahead, and many difficulties are yet to be overcome. Fortunately, there are many, many people working hard to overcome our problems. Our everyday decisions matter also because not everyone can make momentous impacts. Little efforts add up. I suggest that even reading this blog illustrates that you are still plugging. These facts are why I have hope things will improve.

Spring ALWAYS Follows Winter
We are in winter both literally and figuratively. As all of us green industry types know, winter can feel challenging and interminable. But we know it isn't. Spring is coming. In the meantime, though, take care of yourself and those around you. Look out for your loved ones. While at work, or even at the store, look out for those you encounter. Remember what is important. The New Year harkens a time for honest assessment of where we are, but more importantly, where we might go. I am looking forward to trying to be better in 2021 and expect things will indeed get there. So goodbye 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

It feels so small to wish the usual sentiments this year. What I hope for all is health, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. Where there is loss, healing and warm memories. Where there is fear, comfort and faith. And in all, some rays of sunshine and love. Godspeed.

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Good post, Joe. I, too, am the product of forced change, albeit long ago. How we deal with it — whether to bounce or go splat — is key. Congratulations on having bounced!

Introspection and reassessment are always good and worthy processes, particularly at year-end and most especially of a year like this one. I'll echo your "good riddance", and add an "AMF" of my own!

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