What more can one say about 2020.  Many words have been written about 2020.  I know I have been yelling and screaming at the TV news for a couple of years now.  I have become one of those guys.  But with the 2021 just around the corner, we can have hope.  We can look forward.  We can live again.  If we survive.  The pandemic has changed much of the world and how we behave.  It is truly a world changing event.

My work has changed to remote work.  Not bad in my opinion.  No commute hassle.  Sleep in.  I have a hard time complaining about anything.  But I feel for those impacted directly by Covid.  Loved ones lost.  Jobs lost.  Insecurity and anxiety from many directions.  On top of the economic challenges of the last decades.  I find myself very fortunate in many areas and have a hard time complaining about anything.

Running and health are still top of mind a lot. Maybe not so front and center as years past.  But I can still run and cycle a bit.  Swimming is still not a regular habit.  But I blame Covid and get over it.  Races and events are cancelled left and right.  So trail running on Sunday morning is maybe the most regular activity.  My health is good and I write that with a bit of concern.  I want to knock on wood right now.  All around us, people are not in good health.  Physical and mental health maintenance are even more challenging.

Cycling needs to ramp up for me in 2021.  Gotta make plans and get out there more.  I would love to get a mountain bike and get on some trails too.  There is another world to explore.  Swimming needs to become habitual.

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence is not an act, but a habit."  This is much like a running metaphor.  Running performance is achieved through consistent action.  Healthy eating is a daily habit.  Kindness is a practice.  Devotion to the important things in your life is not a casual process.  These things are practices.  They are regular activities.  One and done is good.  But maybe it is not good enough.  Maybe better than grand gestures and a big show.  Maybe better than a flashy splashy glitter bomb.  A quiet habit or practice.  Habits save our energy.  We let our mind and body do it's thing.  Run, cycle, swim or work.  Create, think, build or smile.  Write, read, sing or meditate.  Clean, cook, wash or play.   We are fortunate to have these choices.  How do we spend out time?

"My main job is about people and taking care of people"  Our habits, if good, if productive, if positive will deliver us all we need and want.  And the right habits can even make those around us better.  Maybe the world can be a better place if our habits do more good than harm.  A deeper, more meaningful and thoughtful life is a worthy pursuit.  The world is full of people, books and theory purporting to guide us there.  Some of that is helpful, as a guide.  But at some point we have to take the steps out into the world.  Alone and maybe afraid.  But step out, we must.  The computer, the phone, the web, the social media and the virtual world are only mirages.  They may help us visualize.  But in 2021, it is us that matter most.  People.

"Are you interested?  Or are you committed?"  These questions will sort out your level of engagement.  How important is this to you?  This discussion is about goals.  Is it really a goal for you?  The busiest person in the world will make time for the things that really matter.  And it is us that can decide what really matters to us.  Once that decision is made, then the logical next step is to decide what are the next actions to take to get closer to our goal.  What habit do we need to form?  What more do I need to know?  Where do I go to put myself in a better position?  What changes do I have to make?  There are things we do now, time we spend regularly that help us get closer to what we want.  There other things we do, time we spend that does not help us get closer to what we want.  We need to spend our time wisely.  Make conscious choices and take small actions.  Everyday.

"Helping others or giving to others is really a gift to ourselves"  I am not talking about tax deductions here.  Giving can be a selfish act.  There are good feelings that come from giving and helping.  These good feelings are benefits that go to the giver.  I find myself with so much.  Too much?  My goal is to give more.  And it will not be a difficult thing.  There is so much need out there in the world.  The hard part is deciding, where to give?

"Forgiveness is a kindness to ourselves.  Hate only weakens us."  Here is an example of being kind to ourselves at the same time extending a kindness to others.  Grudges, bad memories, hate, prejudices and other negative thoughts can cloud our mind.  The world, the universe and God care nothing about petty grudges and injustices.  Being committed may mean we have to give up our baggage.  It takes energy to hate.  It take energy to hold on to hate.  While forgiveness and love only enhance our world.

So I hope to enter 2021 with these few thoughts in mind.  Make God laugh by making plans!

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