Honestly, I could use several unpleasant words to describe this last year. It's been a dumpster fire and a huge disappointment. But, in all fairness, it's also offered unexpected gifts. This year, many of us found ourselves with more time. Consequently, we spent more time with those we love and tackling house and personal projects we have put off for years.
Of all the words and phrases to describe 2020, I'm settling on perseverance. Twenty-twenty required each of us to keep going after several set backs. Often times our ideas of success, based on previous experiences, were never achieved. But, we continued to move forward and we adjusted our expectations. Now we find ourselves at the end of this dreadful year -- we survived 2020 literally and figuratively.
It wasn't pretty. Most of us saw and heard the worst in people, but we also celebrated the very best in humanity. We experienced the care of our overworked healthcare providers, the sacrifice of our essential workers and the love and commitment of our teachers. We took care of each other by donating to and supporting our neighbors who lost jobs, livelihoods and loved ones.
As we close out this exhausting year, 2021 offers some promise even though we face more uncertainty. For one, we have a COVID-19 vaccine. Our scientists never gave up this year -- they successfully developed and tested these vaccinations when many thought it might not happen until next year. It's hard not to watch the news or social media without catching a video or a photo of a healthcare provider, in real time, receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
So, let's take a moment to recognize that we all persevered. We never wavered, and that is something to celebrate. I believe 2021 will provide us with a much needed shift because we have hope, and sometimes that's all you really need.
May the burdens and challenges of 2020 prepare us for a 2021 that offers each of us a deep appreciation for that we have and a renewed sense of purpose.