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Lessons for the New Year

By Elissa Dickey
January 2, 2021

The new year has arrived, and it’s even more welcome than usual. Most of us are very grateful to say goodbye to 2020—and hoping for a better year in 2021.

While a new year typically means making resolutions, things are far from typical right now. So perhaps for 2021, we should strive toward resolutions of a different sort. Instead of thinking of new challenges this year, what if we reflect on the lessons learned and bright spots that got us through a difficult time—and resolve to keep them going?

Let’s resolve to continue:

  • Showing Kindness: Despite the difficulties of 2020, I distinctly remember the moments people showed me kindness and grace—reaching out when they knew my family was stuck at home, setting up Zoom chats just to check in. It meant the world to me, and I tried to return the favor when I could. I hope to keep doing that this year.
  • Prioritizing Accessibility: In 2020, we saw numerous accessibility accommodations offered, including virtual meetings, remote work and telehealth. This was a wonderful, necessary change, and it’s something I hope will continue even after the pandemic. I know a lot of individuals, including in the MS community, could benefit from continuing these offerings, so I hope businesses and organizations consider doing so.
  • Focusing on Well-being: With so much fear and uncertainty in 2020, we all had to learn to do what we need to do to take care of what’s important: our health and our loved ones. I hope that, even if and when things go “back to normal,” we continue to make time to take care of ourselves and enjoy quality time with the ones we love.
  • Making Safe Choices: Speaking of “back to normal,” as much as people (myself included) are hoping a vaccine is a step toward normalcy, it’s going to take some time. We need to remember that it’s still important to take safety measures for the health and safety of everyone.

After all, one of the most important lessons we learned in 2020 is that we’re all in this together. It’s a lesson I hope none of us forget, in 2021 and beyond.

Elissa Dickey

Elissa Dickey lives in Aberdeen, South Dakota with her husband and children. A former journalist, she is now an author who also works in communications at a university. Her debut novel, The Speed of Light, published March 1, 2021, with Lake Union Publishing.

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