2020 Reflections & Musings #4 of 4 – Let’s not release the “Pause” button just yet.

In his book “Lonely On the Mountain“, novelist Louis L’Amour had this to say:

“There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

I find that to be very true, especially in this history-making year of 2020. Who doesn’t want to believe the worst will well and truly be behind us when we exit this awful year?

No doubt everyone’s eager to ease gingerly but quickly out of it. Many would be doing so after suffering much shock and pain; literally willing with every remaining fibre of their being for 2021 to be a better and kinder year.

With what looked to be a “whole(numbers)some” year (think 20/20 vision), 2020 should have been a great turn of the decade for the world. That certainly was what I had envisioned it to be when I left what was for me a dreadful 2019, and galloped delightfully into 2020.

And given that this year I both celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary and turned the Big Five-0, surely it ought to be my best year ever right?

Talk about the perfect setup for….

…The Perfect Storm!

focus photography of sea waves
Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

And what a storm 2020 proved to be eh?!

So much has been told, documented and re-told that it’ll be pointless for me to rehash any of it here. To do so would be akin to ripping off a tourniquet that’s just been applied on a fresh wound.


So let’s not go there again, shall we?

No doubt we all just want to put this dismal year behind us, forget it ever happened, and move on.

Besides, there already appears to be a silver lining peeking through these dark storm clouds, bringing some much needed light to push back the shadows of this awful pandemic year. Many are thinking that now with a vaccine finally coming our way, a chance to revert to life pre-Covid is well and truly within our grasp.


Yet, if all we want is to put all of this year behind us, might we not risk missing what 2020 was deliberately designed to do for mankind? You know. Press the universe’s equivalent of a ‘Pause’ button and make us re-evaluate what’s really important?

“Pause again?” Aww c’mon, no more please!

Photo by Castorly Stock on Pexels.com

Yes yes I know I know. You’ve heard everyone and their grandmas say this ad nauseam already:

Pause. Reflect. Consider. Slow down. Be present.

But I’ll bet what you don’t hear much of is what’s awaiting you on the other side of that pause. You’re probably inclined to go with it only if it brings you back to your original plans or dreams as to what the future ought to be: more of the past but better.

Well, I’m here to tell you that pausing and losing control was part of this pandemic’s “plan”. After all, before this year, no one thought they’ll be wearing masks each time they stepped outside. Or keep a safe distance from friends and colleagues and have no more than X number of visitors each time. Or work from home everyday while juggling kiddy school work or an elderly parent’s incontinence.

Yet that’s exactly what much of 2020’s looked like for many of us, including yours truly who by the way, actually had a head start!

2021: not the end of 2020 but the start of 2022

Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

The world’s “Covid 2020” was already “mine” a year before. So in a sense, you can say I’ve had a 12-months lead over everyone!

How so? Well, I discovered in 2019…

…when I turned Stay Home Dad, what it’s like to be ‘socially distanced’ from the relentless pulsating rhythms of a busy city that defines itself solely by industry and a constant buzz.

…when I left full-time work, what it’s like to “hide behind a mask” so no can see how broken I was by the defeat, and how fearful I was to be exposed for my failings.

…what it would be like when a 50 year old’s out of work with no stable income, long before Covid made many middle-agers jobless.

In short, I was already predisposed to see one year as a continuation of the previous.

Which is why I contend that 2021 will see the world continuing to battle Covid while trying to completely break free of it by 2022. Making 2021 a prelude to 2022, when the world will live a completely different “new norm”.

But, knowing how quickly people forget, all that took place in the world before 2022 would be but a distant memory, relegated into the pages of our history books.

So please allow me here to humbly plead:


Mark Twain once said (or maybe not) that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you found out why.

Giving that a modern twist, I would say that as the world moves into 2021, the two most important days of our lives would be the day we encountered Covid, and the day we understood why. We all know the first day, but in order to know the second, we must continue to:

Pause. Reflect. Consider. Slow down. Be present.

And when we know, then (as Louis L’Amour intimated) everything is finished, and real abiding change can well and truly begin.

So here’s wishing you a…
…Happy “Pause-filled” New Year!

man with fireworks
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Leave a Reply