Reflecting on 2020 with Gratitude
As clocks strike midnight on the eve of December 31, global communities step over the New Year threshold, one time-zone after another. This is a symbolic juncture in time, a “crossing over” from the past into the future. It is a significant moment of letting go and welcoming in. It represents the death of the old and the birth of new.
While this is a tradition that people of all ages and cultures celebrate with each passing year, the ushering in of 2021 was a particularly poignant experience.
Most of us would agree that 2020 was unlike anything we had experienced before. For the first time in history, we were all tied together by a common concern which started with an unknown virus. Yet, this year also brought attention to many other issues that have resonated far and wide from health care access, food insecurity, misinformation, censorship, racial discrimination, wealth distribution, political unrest, to the rise of the “cancel culture.”
The new year arrived at a time when many people were in need of reassurance that the future would be better than the past. They were hopeful that stepping into a new year would be like turning over a new leaf. Somehow, things would be different. While this has yet to be seen, the year is still young. Anything is possible.
While there was much to be discouraged about over the days, weeks, and months of 2020, it was not all bad. In the midst of chaos, there was also the unfolding of appreciation.
In reflecting on the year with many family members, friends, and colleagues, one thing was clear. In living through numerous days of darkness, we were better able to see the light. In other words, in the face of adversity, we were able to see what mattered most and what we were grateful for in our lives. For most of us, it was our relationships with loved ones, our good health, and having more time to slow down and be present in our lives.
When I think of the past year, I am also deeply grateful for the launch of Embodied Learnings. Not only have I had the pleasure and honour of working closely with my daughter and co-founder, but we are surrounded by an incredibly supportive group of people who believe wholeheartedly in our vision and mission. We have a wonderful Board of Directors who have cheered us on and guided our process. We also have committed community and teacher volunteers, and a number of passionate teacher candidates, who work tirelessly to help Embodied Learnings operate from resource development, editing, and formatting, to tech support and social media management. Plus, we have those who follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletters encouraging us to do more!
Embodied Learnings has been able to grow despite significant changes in education and how organizations operate. We adapted by making the best of every situation and by carving our own path in an effort to serve teachers through our newsletters, blogs, social media posts, Body Talk interviews, recorded activity demos, and innovative and evidence-based resources. Even though there have been challenges along the way, many of them have led to some incredible opportunities. Plus, we have had a lot of fun creating and taking risks! Without a doubt, 2020 was a pivotal year for learning and growing.
As we dance into 2021, we are excited by all that is possible and vow to remain positive. Even if the world around us feels uncertain, we are committed to our vision of thriving classrooms where students spend more time moving and less time sitting, so the whole body can be engaged in the process of learning.