Oh, what a year, my friends! 2020 was not at all the year we expected or the year that we would have hoped for after leaving behind 2019. But, perhaps it was the year that we needed to teach us some of those life lessons that we often try to just brush off as we hustle from one thing to a next. One thing we can all agree on is that this year has taught us many life lessons to remember and to pass on to the next generation.
Buy the travel insurance
We often see travel insurance it as a waste of money, but 2020 taught us that it is a necessity. When the pandemic kicked into gear and countries were locking down left and right that was soon followed by each state shutting down too, many soon found themselves cancelling trips. While some airlines were quick to the game of refunding costs without issue, several held on that the pandemic was an act of God and not refundable without the travel insurance. Thankfully after several weeks, most travel companies allowed refunds or rebooking without the insurance or prior approved reasons. However, we did learn that its always best to spend that little bit extra to have the insurance as a just in case.
Make the back up plans
This can go for just about everything in life. Always have a back up plan. As we saw this year many were scrambling for a back up plan to vacations, holidays, and yes the already wonderful PCS adventure. Many families were caught in the stop move orders of the spring which left them having additional hotel expenses, delaying a PCS, or even PCSing in pieces to finally make it to their destination. This year we learned to always plan for the worst, hope for the best, and pray we don’t have to go past Plan #3.
Murphy will always strike
We know all to well our good friends Deployment Murphy and PCS Murphy. This year the cousin – just good old’ Murphy showed up, and many of our civilian friends got to meet him first hand. We saw Murphy show up to close down schools, shut down small businesses, cancel vacations, and make those planning for a PCS be put into a bigger limbo as the stop movement orders were issued. It was a good reminder that Murphy will strike where he can, and we should be prepared to adapt and overcome as it happens.
Everything makes for a good story…later
Sometimes we don’t know if we should laugh or cry with everything that happens. While many were stressed and stranded this year in one way or another, we have come to know that this year will make for a good story for our kids and grandkids. We learned how to handle distance learning, pivoting a business to be virtual, PCSing in pieces, and learning how to let strangers grocery shop for us with curbside pushups. We may never fully understand the toilet paper shortage, but we finally have our version to our Grandparent’s “walking to school uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow” stories!
Be grateful for what we have
One of the most important lessons learned this year has been learning to be grateful for what we have. The birthday parties weren’t big as they usually were, holidays were celebrated with just our household, and while many of us wished this year to be bigger and better we were quietly reminded to be grateful for the roof over our heads and the food on the table. We learned how to make the most of our local area and staycations when we had to cancel the beach trips. The small things became more meaningful than the big things in life. In doing so we also became grateful for our communities who rallied around others to help support them, and became appreciative of the frontline workers from the doctors and nurses to the truck drivers and grocery store clerks who kept things running.
2020 was not the year that anyone wanted, but perhaps it was the year that we all needed.