Can you imagine how cringe it is for my three kids, who are 20, 17 and 14 to watch my Reframe 2020 YouTube video?  I’m wearing cool 80’s shades, a fuschia dress with shoulder pads, my hair is an ode to the 80’s, sans the sky-high bangs, and I start out by singing Corey Hart’s hit “I wear my sunglasses at night”. After the first few lines I forget the words. I usually know about 2/3 of the words.  I’m sure my kids are stoked I forgot the rest of the words and stopped singing. 

I’m wearing cool shades because, well, I can, and why wouldn’t I? I’m also wearing them because we’re talking about reframing 2020. Reframing means “place in a new frame” or “frame or express differently”. Basically, reframing 2020 means let’s look back at this year in a different way and see what’s good and what we want to leave in the dumpster.

I can tell you, reframing 2020 is something we all need to do, but most of us, myself included, don’t want to talk about it.  Plus, what’s up with everyone acting like the very second 2020 is over everything will suddenly be amazing? We’re already in 2021 and that hasn’t panned out so far, has it?  We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and there are many other things causing unrest.  You all are still remote or hybrid learning and no matter how well you’re hanging in there we all have to admit that this pandemic has sucked the fun out of a lot of things.  But, there have been some positive things. For one thing, there’s all of the family time and family meals which I’m sure you have loved, loved, loved (just kidding). On a positive note, maybe rolling over and flipping on your laptop, hitting stop video after the teacher catches your face, then rolling back over makes life easier and is funny to look back on.  

So, let’s talk about how we can reframe 2020, and I don’t mean putting a fake layer of sugary denial frosting on it to cover it up. What I mean is taking the time for self-reflection or to think about 2020 and what the year was like for you, what was great and what was awful, and in what ways you showed up and surprised yourself.  

Let’s acknowledge that 2020 was a bad year in many ways. Instead of focusing on 2020, focus on reframing your view of yourself, so like applauding yourself for how you handled 2020 and adversity. Like applauding the ‘lemonade’ that was already there, and maybe 2020 helped you see it (BUT DON’T GIVE 2020 CREDIT), and how you can implement it in the future, rather than how 2020 strengthened you.

Your past self is just your thoughts about yourself.  Isn’t that interesting?  We know that there is always uncertainty in the world and things we don’t cause and are out of our control.  So, we aren’t in control of COVID or a lot of things, but we are in control of how we decide to think about 2020 and what we want to take with us moving forward.  Because, let me tell you, my whole goal for 2021 for every single thing I do is to have FUN!  I’m so ready for it and the reason I know I will deliver on that FUN is because I have been so intentional, thinking a lot, self-reflecting, and deciding on purpose what I want.  That doesn’t mean everything is going to be fun.  That’s too cheesy.  Life is 50/50, meaning we typically have 50% positive emotions and 50% negative emotions.  We can create fun on purpose and with intention.  One thing living in a pandemic has taught us is that we have to be intentional and create experiences on purpose.  

Take a look back at the happenings of 2020 and understand what you were in control of – your work ethic, your perseverance, your adaptability – and what you were not in control of and therefore should not blame yourself for. Ditch the sentiment of your 2020 self not showing any strength, and ditch the notion that you’re incapable of this reflection. 

So, your early 2021 challenge is to get some cool shades and reframe your 2020.

Ask yourself: 

  • In what ways did I show up in 2020 that surprised me?
  • What do I want to take with me?  What are the gold nuggets I’ve sifted out I don’t want to leave behind?
  • What did I learn about myself that’s valuable?
  • What do I want to leave behind?  
  • In what ways is 2021 the same as 2020?
  • In what ways is 2021 different?  Hint:  2021 is different when your thoughts about 2021 are different. 

Now, you get to move into 2021 and own it!  Next up is how to create community in 2021!