June 28, 2021

Hope blooms, and 20 other lessons big and small from the year so far

Writing has long been an important part of my life. I write to explore, to understand and to learn. And of course, I write this blog to share.

And several years ago, I also started writing to create a record of my learnings through the year. It has been wonderful to look back, in the moment while writing and over time (find past posts on the site — winter 2020, summer 2020, winter 2019 and summer 2019, one of the most popular posts ever on this blog.)

Although we all came out of 2020 ready for a new and easier year, this one has had its own challenges. It’s also had poignant lessons and moments of extraordinary joy. Here’s my record of the year so far and the key learnings in my life. I hope they resonate with you.

If you would like to add your own, please share something you have learned in the last six months into the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!


  • A deficit of rest and sleep takes a while to catch up to.
  • Nature is deeply restorative for me.
  • Creative efforts nourish me.
  • I deeply miss being around people.


  • It is all too easy to fall back into habits of overcommitment and overwork. I must be vigilant.
  • My first crocus bloomed on 2/8. See photo below!
  • I must make time for actually working “on” my business, not just “in” my business.



  • A little hope goes a long way – thank goodness I planted flowers last fall!
  • I keep thinking time with those I love is something I have lost, but the opportunity to have that time may not look the way I expect. I have to open my eyes and see that it is happening in those unexpected moments – and treasure it.
  • Connecting with friends, even by Zoom, is a delight – I got to see some dear friends on video, and to talk with others by phone this month. I have to intentionally plan this time, but it’s worth it.
  • It is enough, and I am enough. It’s OK to rest awhile.


  • Launching a new website is a lot of work, and it takes a TEAM! Thanks to all who had a hand in it.
  • I am grateful for the technology that has led to a vaccine for COVID, and I learned a lot about Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her groundbreaking work. And she is a UNC alumna — Thank you, Dr. Corbett!
  • I’m not sure how to re-enter polite company as I begin the process of getting vaccinated. I know I’m not a hermit, but I may have forgotten how to drive in traffic!


  • Reconnecting with my family after 15 months was very good. I am so glad my mother weathered the pandemic!
  • Listening to my mother tell stories about where she grew up is a true privilege. So happy to capture that on video.
  • Watching the youngsters in our family grow up – from the 3-year-old giving me a hug to the 6-year-old wading in a waterfall, to the law student taking finals. There is also the first niece and her family buying a new home and another niece introducing us to her boyfriend. One other niece has welcomed a new child, and another is playing outstanding volleyball. Finally, my only nephew is finishing his Plebe year in the Naval Academy. This next generation is one to watch out for! So glad to see all of them this month.


  • Celebrating with friends is something I have truly missed. I am glad to be (safely!) back in the social fray.
  • I am realizing that I need to make time for creative work. There is a book I want to write, and it won’t happen if I don’t make time.
  • Resistance is a struggle when one is trying to make a commitment – to writing a book, to taking a long walk or to anything else that matters. I must START, if I am to FINISH.
  • Gardening requires patience – and a good appetite!

Your year so far

Do these lessons resonate with you? What have you learned this year that shifted your perspective? I hope you’ll share!


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