At Thanksgiving, we were going around the table saying something good that has come out of the tragedy that become 2020.

I’ve thought a lot about this. It’s been a tough year. A really, really long, tough year. We have experienced the gamut of emotions. And just about the time I say that it’s been a good year, Steve reminds me of the moments when I was crying on the floor of the closet because some days were just a lot to handle.

But when we were talking about it at Thanksgiving – I knew exactly what I was grateful for: Time.

Back at the beginning of March, our family was traveling to Mexico for Spring break and Steve and I were discussing upcoming commitments. Our spring was busy and our summer was completely booked. Everyone was excelling in their areas of focus which was gratifying but it all took time. Steve was feeling the desire to pull back just a little bit. I think this is a natural feeling when you hit our stage because time magically speeds up the minute you have a child entering high school. But he really felt strongly that we needed to refocus on our home and family. But the next question was, what do you give up? That’s a hard question to answer because there’s not a right or wrong answer. I didn’t want to pull an activity from a child. I didn’t want to pull back the fun vacation we had with friends. When you start to look at life this way, you start to get defensive as to why this should stay or that should go.

We didn’t finish the conversation that night driving. It wasn’t meant to be “finished”. It was meant to be pondered. And I did. The whole time we were on the beach, watching the kids, I kept asking myself what was taking time in our life that I was willing to quit. I was coming up a little short but I had a few ideas that I could implement.

We drove back on a Wednesday and as we were driving back, word of the coronavirus and its effects on our lives started to take hold. On that drive, we learned that the general conference for our church that Steve and Hunter were going to fly up for had been cancelled. Great, I thought, we had a conflict that weekend anyway and now that solved one of our “time” problems. Silly me. It was a matter of hours before more things started to get cancelled. And within a couple days our entire schedule had been wiped: School, sports, vacations…all gone.

We ended up at home for weeks without any outside friends/activity influence and I couldn’t help but think, “Steve got exactly what he wanted!” Little did we know just how extreme the coronavirus situation would become. But oddly enough it ended up being my biggest gratitude for the year. Don’t get me wrong – it has come with some serious challenges. I don’t need another 2020.

But I am grateful for the time that corona gave us. It wasn’t always pretty, but time is time and it was just the reset our family needed. I didn’t realize how much we would benefit from a clean slate and this year showed me just how busy we had become and just how much we needed room to breathe.

Of course everything in moderation because you better believe we are now looking forward to any kids activity that ends up not being cancelled!