Good Riddance?

I was watching TV the other night — back in Ohio with my parents…where they still have cable. haha (In addition to Apple TV, but they refuse to “cut the cord!”) But as a result, I was privvy to see….commercials.

And there was one in particular that really stuck out to me, and frankly left a bad taste in my mouth.

It was about the New Year, and the entire theme was Goodbye 2020, and GOOD RIDDANCE.

And with this commercial, they showed a bunch of people’s self-created social media content of very “2020” things that happened…everything from a bride slipping on a wedding cake, to nurses suited up in PPE fighting COVID19, to the wildfires out west. And the whole thing just had this, bitter — almost snarky — tone to it.

And watching it, I thought to myself…wow, that is not at all how I want to go into 2021.

And I’ve seen this “Goodbye, Good Riddance” theme over and over – from the news, to podcasts, to social media.

And I’ve got just two cents, quickly, to reflect on on New Year’s Eve.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned from anorexia recovery…and having had to literally pick up the shattered pieces of my life, and figure out a) who I am, and b) how to move forward, it is this:

It is impossible to move forward into newness, without first recognizing, appreciating and applying the (most oftentimes, hard) lessons learned from the past.

We’re so quick to just slough off 2020, and say “Sayonara Sucker!” But that is so foolish. A 2020 mistake, if you will.

You see, 2020 has been one hell of a teacher, I think we can all agree on that. What is wise, and prudent, is to take an inventory of the abundance of lessons we’ve gleaned from such challenges.

And I’ll give you a hint: a great place to start, is gratitude.

2020 has shone a big ol’ spotlight on areas of our life we have to be grateful for: family, our loved ones, our health, our jobs, communication and social interaction…going out to eat!

We have an incredible opportunity to kick off this new year, 2021 from a place of humility: of gratitude.

Gratitude is one of the ways I have stuck to my recovery. I have learned to appreciate how dark and low my life was — when I was isolated, starving, deceiving my loved ones and shutting the world out in anger and shame. Those were hard lessons to take inventory of. But knowing how truly bleak my existence was during my disease, allows me to live in such gratitude now, for the things I so foolishly took for granted. Things like enjoyment of food, feeling confident in my body, having hair on my head and mensturating.

But gratitude is just one of countless, countless lesson brought about by the hardships of 2020.

And funny, because, literally, as I’m typing this post out, I received a text from my dad in our family group text:

Good riddance? I think not. Good riddance is what you say to your last cigarette, or the pesky splinter that is caught in your foot.

I invite you to join me in trying a different approach. And welcoming 2021 from a place of appreciation for hard lessons, and the growth they have incurred.

I’ll let my dad’s wisdom take us out for 2020: May God bless us all with Grace in 2021.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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152 thoughts on “Good Riddance?

  1. Well stated! We can’t just cut off 2020 and stuff it in a box 📦 at midnight.

    2021 promises to be more of the same, especially if we refuse to learn its lessons.

    Hugs and love
    Oops, that’s your line!

    1. thank you so much David!! you’re right – or else we’ll just get more of the same! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  2. This is so true! I especially looovvveeee the picture! Life is definitely 10% what happens and 90% how you respond! May you have a wonderful and blessed 2021! 😃

  3. Beautifully written. There’s so much for us to be thankful for in 2020 than complaining. The year has taught a lifetime’s lessons for humanity. It’s up to us to pick up the pearls of wisdom it gave us and learn to be better people versus going back to what we were by simply saying Good riddance!!

    1. Thank you so much Rebel! Aw thanks for saying that! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  4. The whole good riddance thing has got old very quickly. People need to pray for a better 2021 and seeing an end to this virus. Energy better spent. Happy New Year, Caralyn! ❤️

  5. Very, very wise, Caralyn.
    In fact I have a great deal to be thankful for in 2020, especially the birth of my seventh grandchild, a beautiful little girl.
    Happy New Year!
    Penny xx

    1. Thank you so much Penny! I agree – much to be thankful for! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  6. Gratitude and faith are the only reasonable responses to all of life’s events, good and bad. I pray that the coming months see us taking better stock of life and deciding how to respond in God-pleasing ways.

    Thank you, Caralyn, for all you do. Have a safe night tonight whatever you are doing and a beautiful dawn tomorrow.

    1. You’re right about that Jeff! Me too – joining you in that prayer! God pleasing ways! Same to you! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love to you and your girls xox

  7. I agree 100%. Well stated and may God bless us all as we head into 2021 with optimism and endurance that we received from the year 2020. After all, in Romans, it states that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope. Bring on 2021.

  8. I agree with you, Sis’. The fact is that the year has showed all of us something new… besides the most negative and notable things (i.e. death, loss loved ones due to Covid-19, devastations, etc), but it also slowed us down as well. For example, instead of always being busy families, the family connections are closer since schools have temporarily closed and our lives as well. So instead of reporting to a physical business building to complete daily work tasks, we have our own homes as being our office work space.

    But of course, physicians, nurses, and other medical staff may have to report… to save us. Stay strong and stay safe. Chat soon. 🙂

    1. Thank you friend. You’re absolutely right. It slowed us down and brought us together! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  9. My studies of Richard Rohr’s writings, and the contemplative life as taught by Thomas Merton has me prayerfully considering that our truest call is to do our part for that which is at the heart of the gospel message – to be a part of building The Dive Community of love. We need to pitch in, listen to others, and stay open to the Spirit. We are the ones who The Dive has sent out. The gospel of love will not be experienced unless we live the deeply contemplative truth that our prayer leads to community, which leads to action to heal this fractured world. . . .that’s where I pray to start 2021. God bless you my dear blog-buddy. Happy New Year! Can’t wait to write 2021 along with you.

    1. Thanks Brian! You’re right – I’ll join you in that important prayer! Aw yay! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  10. Gratitude indeed! Well said *clap clap*…may our world not lose sight of all the reasons we have to give thanks for in the mad rush to put 2020 behind us!!

    1. Aw thank you Tonya! Same to you my beautiful friend! Happy New Year! 🎉 love you! Xox

  11. Certainly thankful for the lessons that came with 2020.
    Beautiful text message that really sums it up.
    Happy New Year to you and yours. May your 2021 be filled with joy, happiness, and lots of smile.

    1. Yes! So true! Thanks – my dad always has a wide word or two! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  12. So well said, Caralyn. Thank you for the reminder that, like every other year, 2020 belongs to God. And regardless of our opinions about the events of 2020, everyone has something (probably a lot of somethings) from 2020 for which they should be grateful. Happy New Year from the Heartland.

    1. Thank you so much Mike!! You’re right about that! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  13. 2020 was our BEST year since 1979, despite having lost all of our businesses, our home, all in it and left with what we could carry. Other years were tougher; in 2019, after four strokes that had caused a pronounced ataxia, 2020 was easy. 2019 saw me holed up in fourteen square metres, or 150 square feet, for 183 days solid. 31 Dec 2018, I had 4 major unstable angina attacks and the pain was so bad that I asked Jesus to just take me Home.

    In 2020, while listening to the global whining, we settled into a FREE 2-bedroom apartment, nice living room, all of it furnished, right next to a nature reserve. At 5am today, I saw the peregrine falcon hunt, heard the eerie call of the African fish eagle, maybe a 100 birds literally on my doorstep. Yes, we work hard and I do volunteer work on social media, marketing our community market. I have to walk a few miles each day and the town is steep, but that’s good for circulation.

    2020 was a great year, good riddance! hehehehe much love to yours

    1. Oh my goodness what a challenging year! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to walk that road. Thank you friend for sharing your story. Gosh / you have definitely navigated quite the challenging seasons!! Sending so much love – you and yours are in my prayers! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

      1. I need to write a book yet simply don’t know how to do it, need to encourage others without re-living the immense trauma.

  14. Hi,
    Your writing tenderly shows the love of life you have no matter what the year may be. It is an inspiration to all. It wasn’t a bad year at all for hermits like me. lol. I actually came out of my shell.
    Yours truly,
    —Penny Danger

    1. Thank you so much Penny! Oh gosh you’re too kind. Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  15. If we refuse to believe God is sovereign, loves us, and blesses us with everything from air to lessons, then we can deprecate 2020. Did I mention God loves us? How likely is He to try those lessons we haven’t learned again? Great post, by the way. Happy New Year!

    1. You’re right about that, Jon! Yes He does! Thanks! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  16. Loved the article. It’s my exact sentiments. I hate to disappoint people but changing a date on the calendar won’t change the world we live in only we, by the grace of God, can change that.

    1. Thank you so much! So glad this resonated with you! Hugs and love xox Happy New Year! 🎉

  17. Too bad the majority don’t value the treasures of the Bible as that gives us a rationale for living and a path to happiness. May all the positives revealed in Galatians 5 Fruits of the Spirit be your to enjoy this year. 🙂

    1. I agree – it’s all right there in the Good book! Happy New Year Ian! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  18. Absolutely!! I agree with everything you wrote. My husband was diagnosed with a very advanced cancer January, 2019. With a team of the best doctors and G-d’s mercy and faithfulness to His Word, he is now completely cancer free. So every day is a tremendous gift and blessing!
    Read my blogpost for a brighter spin on the past year.
    Israeldreams.com
    Happy, healthy, holy 2021!!

    1. Aw thank you Tamar! Oh my gosh What a blessing! Praise God!! He is so good!!! Absolutely! Can’t wait to read it! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you David. You’re right about that. Not to be tossed! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  19. Hey Caralyn 🙂

    You’ve got me trying to remember a tune that was popular a while back … it goes something like “nothing … about me” — oh I think it’s “Sweet About Me”! 😀

    Maybe you could do a little song & dance along the lines of “Nothing commercial about me”? 😉

    A resolution for 2021? Do something funny & ridiculous? No way!

    Way??

    🙂 Norbert

    1. hahah oh that’s too funny Norbert! thank you so much! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thank you so much Sue. What a kind thing to say. Yes! I have two great fathers..one with a “capital F” and one with a lower case haha Happy New Year! 🎉. Hugs and love xox

      1. I’m happy for ya! BTW in case you haven’t heard on news over there all of UK is back in Lockdown again because of the new outbreak. I hear it has reached the US as well. Take care and stay safe.xxx

      2. Oh gosh you’re kidding?! Yes – the new strain had its first reported case yesterday…in New York. Ugh. Prayers! Happy New Year! 🎉 HJ

  20. Gratitude for the difficulties and pain, in order to appreciate the blessings now and in the future. I noted a couple days ago, when a young driver flipped me off when traffic was stopped and I wanted to move over and out of lanes. The appreciation for this past year, the reset, the opportunity to value what truly is important – and kindnesses shown all of us “fellow sufferers”, has concluded? I hope not! Thanks for your perspective, my friend. A better 2021 is hoped for us all.

    1. Hi Eric, thank you for sharing this powerful perspective. You’re right – hoped for us all! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  21. Be thankful for everything. Those events that happen to us are neither good nor bad; they simply are. It is amazing that people get upset about events beyond their control instead of focusing on what they can control — their thoughts, their perceptions, and their actions (reactions). Life is so much more meaningful when you’re thankful for everything and concentrating on what is 100 percent within your control.

    1. thank you so much JC! you’re right – gotta be thankful for everything! glad you stopped by! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  22. Great perspective on 2020, and great words of wisdom from your father.
    “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). That’s the Bible verse I’m taking from 2020 to 2021.
    My wife and I both had COVID early on, but it was minor. We survived. We learned simplicity. I think I’ve grown to better appreciate the things that are truly important to me. And, we have a new grandson.
    It’s so easy to miss the blessings when the news and internet keep telling us the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but life has been good.
    Happy New Year!

    1. thank you so much Michael! yeah, my dad really does have some powerful insight. i am very blessed to have received his guidance throughout the years! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  23. So true, Caralyn! On Thanksgiving, our oldest said, “I feel very guilty saying this with all that has happened this year, but 2020 was the best year of my life.” She mentioned graduating from law school, passing the bar, and GETTING MARRIED! But the thing that meant the most to me that whole day was that she also mentioned spending three whole months locked down with her family, the first time she’s spent any significant amount of time at home since Christmas break of her senior year of college. I will end this year remembering that that’s what 2020 was all about in my book.

    1. thank you Amy! awww, sounds like your daughter really did have a stellar 2020! good for her! i pray even more blessings come her way in 2021, and for us all! thank you for sharing that! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  24. “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” (Winston Churchill) There are still more “lessons” ahead. Get ready for a bumpy ride. More to come this month in my blog. Love and prayers for both you, Steven and your wise father and mother. c.a.

    1. thank you friend for this powerful response! you’re right – more lessons ahead, and lots learned along the way! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much! hope your 2021 is off to a wonderful and blessed start! Hugs and love xox

  25. Yes!!! So many things to be grateful for! So tired of the pessimistic view! Yes, a lot of bad things happened but a lot of good things happened too. Especially that way people came together to help one another this year . 💖

    1. thank you Cristal! there’s so much hope for 2021! lots of blessings in disguise for sure! glad you stopped by! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  26. Beautiful truth-gratitude rocks! Having come from some dark places as well, I try to never forget (for long) how much an attitude of gratitude can help me overcome obstacles and ENJOY life.

    1. Thank you Teresa! I agree – gratitude rocks! amen! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  27. What a healthy outlook, I have left 2020 and entered 2021 with negative feelings, Your post as made me stop and think, I am thankful for last years lessons.

    Stay safe and Bright Blessing

    1. thank you Tilly, I really appreciate that. yes! lots to be positive and hopeful about! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  28. If you were able to see 2021 come in you should’ve had uplifted hands to the Almighty. Becuase it was by His mercy and grace we are still here! I heard somewhere if it doesn’t kill you—it will make you stronger and that is what 2020 did for some of us. That’s why we can look at 2021 with hope for the miraculous in Jesus Christ. Happy New Year! Blessings and Peace.

    1. Thank you so much for this powerful perspective! You’re absolutely right! It’s by His mercy and grace! big hugs to you xox Happy New Year! 🎉

      1. Thank God we made it through another year! Good to hear from you and glad to see you are doing alright. Blessings and Peace.

  29. Although as a nurse in the UK I still feel somewhat stuck halfway between 2020 and 2021, I agree that it is a little foolish to not appreciate the growth we have or could have had from such a year. I feel it would almost be a waste of twelve months if we didn’t try and find at least a few silver linings or golden nuggets to cling to, and possibly that belief comes from my own faith that we are presented with opportunities for growth and change. After all, if everything stayed the same and comfortable we would never move – with all the death I have seen this year both as a nurse and in my own family its up to me to live as much as I can. Thanks for such a great reminder to count blessings.

    1. Hi friend, thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. you’re right – we need to learn from the immense hardship of 2020, but cling to the golden nuggets and have hope! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  30. I welcome 2021, but am very grateful, for our refining fire, that has taught me much, about my selfish desires that still need pruning. Happy New Year, Carolyn.

    1. yes! thank you so much!! that refining fire! big hugs to you xox Happy New Year! 🎉

  31. Well said! Grace…yes…that I think is a very good word for 2021!
    Keep wearing a mask, keep washing your hands, be safe, and I pray there will be enough vaccine to go around to help kick this virus for good!

    1. thank you so much Shauna! yes! grace indeed! joining you in that imporatant prayer! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. aw thank you so much Carly! yes, he is! i look up to him so much! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much! let’s look ahead with hope! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  32. I saw that same commercial and it made me cringe a bit as well. For some folks 2020 was a horrid year. For others, it may have been the best year of their lives in many ways. I agree that we should be grateful for each day the Lord grants us, even those days that seem the absolute hardest. Solid post. Thanks for sharing your insights. Blessings.

    1. right? cringeworthy indeed! amen – gotta be grateful for every day the Lord has blessed us with! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thank you!! Yeah my dad is full of a lot of great advice! And oh my gosh congrats!! So wonderful!! Hugs and love xox

  33. 2020, I lost my father to covid, he fell @ home, had to go to the hospital and got covid there, which took him (he was 84). I don’t post that for pity in any way, I post that to back up your point. Struggle and strife reminds us of the absolute miracle that is our lives… the gift we are given in every breath. The universe has been around billions of years… and chose to have all of us here now, that is a blessing, a miracle, regardless of any religious belief anyone may have. what 2020 felt like to me is a blur… no holidays… none… they all just went away… or passed. That is what I remember… no holidays.

    1. Oh David, I am so sorry for your loss!! My heart breaks to hear. Gosh so tragic. Know that you and your family are in my heart and in my prayers during this difficult time. Yes – every breath is a gift. Hang in there. Hugs and love xox

  34. Amen! I think we learned a lot from last year. Beyond that, good things happened last year. We should celebrate the positive events from 2020 rather than just dwelling on the negative.

    1. You’re right – celebrate those events! I’m with ya! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. me too, thanks for all your support and love today Amanda! i hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Yvonne for sharing your heart! Glad this resonated with you! Hugs and love xox

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