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Well. Goodbye, 2020.

Some of you are gearing up to celebrate Christmas, wrapping up your Hanukkah celebrations, preparing for Kwanzaa, or simply counting down the days to the solstice, when the light returns. And I think all of us who follow the Gregorian calendar are feeling some relief at the prospect of a brand new year.

No matter what you are preparing for right now, I have no doubt that 2020 was weird for you. Maybe you’ve celebrated—milestone birthdays, newborn babies, religious holidays, civic holidays. Maybe you’ve mourned and grieved. Maybe you’ve raged and protested.

Whatever you’ve done, it’s been within the context of a global pandemic and all its attendant restrictions, isolation, and loneliness. It’s made everything so strange and difficult.

I am setting aside time in the lull of the holiday to reflect on the immensely challenging year so many people around the world have had, to honour the struggles and worry and pain. I send out my love and gratitude to the people who have carried me through it. I wouldn’t have made it through without my incredible team that propped me up, my friends who held space for all my big feelings, and my family, including its newest member.

I also need to acknowledge some of the hopefulness I feel now, as we prepare for the return of the sun and the promise of a new year. On a broad scale, we’ve learned what this world can do when we work together—the vaccines rolling out now are no small feat. We’ve seen people rise up together against injustice, specifically anti-Black racism, in a way that was surprisingly heartening, and I am hoping that momentum continues. Nationally, we’ve seen the potential of a country that places health and safety above the economy, and I hope that sets us up to recover our economy more quickly while also protecting our most vulnerable. Community-wide, I’ve seen more people outside, being active, greeting strangers, than ever. Personally, I have a host of courageous clients who took a huge leap of faith to keep working with me online, and the nosedive my business took in March pulled up to soaring heights again.

We’ve been more gentle with each other, through Zoom mishaps and burnout. We’ve worn masks to protect others; we’ve accommodated parents worn ragged. We’ve found novel ways to connect while apart.

I see potential here. I see potential for a more humane culture and in turn a more compassionate workplace, for flexibility and adaptation. I see potential for a brighter world.

As we move into 2021—have I ever been happier to type a new year?—I am honouring the capacity in every single one of you to keep adapting, to keep learning, to keep caring. You’ve done so well to survive this year. Here’s hoping next year is less struggle, more celebration.