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My Lessons From Last Year


I’m not a patient person by nature. I like things to go my way. When I pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” I prefer the new abridged version, “Thy kingdom come, my will be done.”

Well, 2020 taught me the error of my ways. Much as I had believed that my will controlled the course of my life, I had to step back and submit to a will greater than my own. I think it’s called humility, a quality that is lacking in most of us who were raised in New York. In the process, I learned patience.

Plan ahead, set goals. Throughout my life, these were the instructions that I lived by. One day at a time, live in the ever-present now, were concepts that I had dismissed as clichés. Yet here I was in the midst of a never-before pandemic and there were no definitive rules to rely on. The rules changed daily as I navigated, or rather was pushed by the unknown.

Slowly, I realized that my mindset had to change. Unable to predict the course of the future, I had to surrender and go with the flow, another cliché that grated on my nerves. But then, a thought came to mind, a lesson from my Spanish teacher.

Amy como estas?

Estoy Fluyendo con la Vida.

I’m flowing with life. The words came forth like gently rolling waves. Speaking them, and adding hand gestures, gave a certain flair.

Estoy Fluyendo con la Vida.

Yes, that’s my new mantra. Using these words removes the feeling of cliché, and with it comes reduced pressure to plan ahead and be in control of my future.

And the process led me to another conclusion. I had the mistaken idea that once you’re a grownup, you’re grown, coasting on a steady, predictable course through your retirement years, with no need for further growth required. The twists and turns of 2020 offered an unwelcome opportunity to prove me wrong. Whether I like it or not, the world has kept growing and changing, and I’m expected to do the same. The lesson? Resilience.  

So here they are, my lessons from 2020: patience, fluyendo, and resilience. As for humility—nah, I’m not quite ready for that.

written by Amy Bryant, Safety Harbor resident blogger
Author of You Can Go Home Again


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