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Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

2020, we are so glad to see you go. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out. This is how many of us are feeling about this most challenging time of our lifetime. But 2020 taught us a lot too. We learned:
• Staying apart is hard, yet we’ve found creative ways to stay connected.
• Wearing a mask is not that bad – we can even make it a fashion statement.
• Two metres apart is further than we think.
• Singing Happy Birthday while washing our hands to get the timing right sucks the fun out of that song forever.
• Not touching our faces is really hard to do.
• Isolation can cause anxiety and depression.
• Our healthcare workers are the real heroes – while we stayed home in our pyjamas and complained about being lonely, they dove headfirst into the front lines of the battle.
• We are more resourceful than we thought.
• We live in a community that really helps each other in so many ways.
• Shopping local is way more fun than shopping online – but our local shops offer online shopping, too, if we prefer it!
• Take-out and eating in the park or at the beach is almost as much fun as eating in restaurants.
• Grocery store staff, sanitation workers, bus drivers, and all the other essential workers are heroes.
• Zoom is no longer a word describing speed but has become a place to meet.
• Our small businesses step up – when we ran out of hand sanitizer, they made us some.
• Going for a walk or a hike is a really good thing.
• Drive-by birthday parties are genius – there is no mess to clean up when the guests leave.
• Social media exaggerates – it is not a trusted source of information.
• To slow down and appreciate the small things.
• To practice self-care – to REALLY take care of ourselves.
• The value of a good long hug.
• Teachers are blessed angels – homeschooling is hard.
• How to cut our own hair.
• Pants with an elastic waistband are crucial when stress eating.
• And finally, there is no shortage of toilet paper.
I think we can all walk away from 2020 with a deeper understanding of our own vulnerabilities. And one undeniable need is community. It’s the feeling that we’re not the only ones struggling, and we don’t have to walk through darkness or fear on our own. It’s knowing that when something happens, good or bad, we have someone to share that with. We all need community. We need it yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As we head into 2021, I am grateful for the lessons we learned this year because they will help carry us through the next year. Yes, there is a vaccine on the horizon, but it will take months to vaccinate everyone. We need to take what we’ve learned and carry on as we have been: carefully, thoughtfully and with kindness.
As we move into the holiday season, remember – Be calm. Be kind. Be Coastal.

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