toilet paper roll with message

How to End 2020

I’ve just read my 2020 journal entries and composed my Good Riddance list. We’ll burn the list … our worst of 2020 events … this evening. But is this enough to say good-bye to such a year?

It’s a start. 2020 featured my mother’s funeral, the death of a pet (Clarence, the sweetest cat on Earth, RIP), COVID infecting four family members, and lots of time in the house. We cancelled four vacations, and we didn’t get back all the money. I didn’t get to see my granddaughter in New York nearly enough. Especially hard at Christmas.

Re-reading the journal, I found a lot of blessings. For one thing, I’m seemed to clean the house a lot. More important, I did follow through on my efforts to use the year as an extended retreat. I took plenty of on-line workshops and read useful books. I followed my own Liturgy of the Hours, and I felt more consistently in prayer with Jesus.

Someday we will all look back on this time and … what?? I hope I can be grateful for the good. Do spend some time today counting your blessings, burning your Good Riddance list, and practicing the presence of God.

The Year’s End: Reflection & Good Riddance

We have many rituals on New Year’s Eve, and none involve partying.

During the day, I re-read my journals, which include prayers, to get a full scope of the year. As I read, I keep two lists: things to praise and things to which I say “good riddance.”

The “good riddance” list goes into one of our few remaining ashtrays to be burned. Illness and hurt and my husband’s career: Goodbye to all that.

I open a Bible where I keep the prayer that I wrote to God on New Year’s Eve last year. After reading it and reviewing my praises, I write another letter to God to be sealed away for 365 days.

Then, when we are home, we go to our church’s Watch Night service. Our church is diverse, and this service is a great gift from the African-American tradition. We sing, listen and pray for the return of Christ until midnight. Then everyone enjoys a dessert potluck. (We usually book it home, as midnight is an aspirational time in our calendars these days.)