Focusing On the Best of 2020


March 14, 2020 was the last normal day for me this year. I was a bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding, and we had just started to hear whispers of the pandemic. The suggestions were starting to come out to not gather in large groups, and about one third of the expected guests did not show up to the wedding. None of us knew to dance a little harder that night, as within 24 hours, I was deciding with my boss to close our business indefinitely. We watched all upcoming events being cancelled as stay-at-home orders were implemented. All I could think about was keeping my fragile loved one’s safe. I lost all inspiration and creativity those first few weeks. Fear and anxiety ran through my brain as the news focused on nothing else. I did what I could, but had to sit and watch as so many things that brought me joy ended. Festivals and events were all gone, seeing friends and going out was a thing of the past. Suddenly we were all stuck inside.


Stokes is pictured in the back row on the right.

I have chosen to focus on things I never thought would have happened to me. At the beginning of the year, I was named one of Cobb Life’s 20 Under 40 Young Professionals. I watched two friends decide to spend the rest of their lives together. I nurtured friendships and made new ones. I spent a lot more time with my family this year than I have in a long while (Tea Tuesdays is a story for another time). Taught myself how to macrame, did the things I wanted to and didn’t do things I didn’t want to do. I laughed, cried, sang, and loved harder than usual. Because even before this pandemic, not a single one of us was guaranteed another moment on this earth. So we should make the most of the time we have been granted.

2020 will live in infamy in all of our minds, probably for the rest of our lives, but let’s not just make it about the bad things that happened. Rather, let’s celebrate all we accomplished and experienced this year, no matter how small.