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Retrospect: Objects in the Rearview

It is said that hindsight is 20/20 and well, 2020 is in the rearview mirror. Yet I remember that objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear. Sadly, the lasting impacts of this past year will resonate with each of us for years to come. As hard as it is during the trauma to find that beacon of hope, let us not forget the journey that strengthens us along the way.

Is “normalcy” a thing of the past? Some ponder this thought while others embrace the change and a new normal. For me, an unforeseen career change at the onset of the pandemic gave me priceless moments with my wife and children, an experience I would not have had otherwise, working 60+ hours a week. COVID-19 gave many an opportunity to explore family life from a whole new perspective: proximity. As educators, we are taught that proximity allows one to control aberrant behavior and foster positive ones just by being close to one another.

As you begin to look to the future, consider what changed in your life in 2020. Did you remove anything? Did you simplify your life to make it more reflective of personal happiness without all the “stuff”? But more so than culling, how did you enhance, connect, or cleanse your own environment? Did the proximity of others or the solitude of staying home give you a new perspective? I write from a position of experience, “doom scrolling” was a daily habit, and it took its toll. The impact on mental health has yet to truly manifest for so many.

Now, as you look back, how do you see 2020? It can be dismal and horrific, or as a time of self-discovery. Overall, we should cherish those lights burning brightly, even in the night, and never forget those snuffed out all too soon. We must build families: yours, mine, everyone who wants one…we must Push forward because there is no turning back.

2020 left a global stain, to say the least, but that stain does not have to become our scarlet letter. With the strength and ability, we possess as a people, no disease can stop us, be it biological, social, or political.


Dr. J.A. McLeeland

Guest Writer, Push


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