“When something hard happens to you, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You either get bitter, or better.” – Donald Miller

Before 2020 began, I thought it could be a pretty decent year. I’d set a few goals for the year and made a few plans. I had some fun travel booked and some ideas for cool new things at work.

Then, in the second week of January, everything changed. Michiel died and my world became so small. My goals became things like “get out of bed in the morning” and “don’t cry at the office.”

The day after I flew home from Michiel’s service, the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the United States. Within a month the first death had occurred. And, of course, we all know how things went from there. And so now we’re not even a third of the way through 2020 and it feels like the story of this year has already been written.

But I keep thinking that in December I thought the story would be one thing and in January another and now in April another. Which makes me believe there’s still time. I can still change the story.

Of course, like everyone else, I’m hoping the bigger story changes because of a miraculous vaccine or treatment. But what I’m talking about here is my story—or, in your case, your story. When I eventually tell the story of 2020, I don’t want the entire plot line to be “I survived it.”

I want it to be a comeback story because I love those stories—the underdog team that roared back in the second half, the person who fell down but got back up stronger, the one who came from behind to win the race.

When I tell the story of 2020, I don’t want it to just be about a year that happened to me. After all, I’m the hero of my story. Heroes aren’t sedentary and they don’t let fear stop them from fully living. I want to have done things that matter this year. I want my 2020 to be a story about triumph and hope.

I have some ideas about what this looks like for me. What does it look like for you? It’s a fun thing to consider. What could you do this year that would make it so that one day, when you tell the story of 2020, it will be memorable—not because of what happened to you, but because of the story that you wrote instead?

 

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