Tips with Trish: Subplot to 2020

By Tricia Borelli (TheLorian)

Dear Trish,

It feels like 2020 has been a wildly plotted suspense novel or science fiction movie. The difference is, a book comes to an end and a movie to some completion. The story of 2020 is real and it is looking like there is going to be a sequel. How do we stay positive when it seems like there is no end in sight?

Signed,

Despaired in 2020

Trish says:

I agree with your analogy about a movie or novel filled with unexpected adventure but I believe no reputable author would have included so many plot twists or such an array of characters in a typical story. Who would have known that we would be dealing with so many experiences and emotions like the story that has become 2020? 200,000 Americans have died from a global pandemic. We had an inland hurricane right down the street. Protests have been happening nationwide and our presidential election was insanely close. It is all a bit much for the story of a single year. Yet, here we are.

Although depression and despair have grown to a significant level this year, there is also another story brewing. A story about hope and gratitude is quietly surfacing. It definitely depends on perspective and may feel like a subplot, but it really has to do with where we place the focus of our story. We can choose hope.

The pandemic has given us an opportunity to be optimistic and help us appreciate what we have. Besides decreasing the carbon footprint, making us more efficient in business, being more prepared, and appreciating our health care workers; we have also learned that family matters, living in the present is important and having a “less work, more play” attitude really leads to more joy. The inland hurricane put Iowa on the map once again for seeing how Midwesterners have got it right in terms of loving our neighbor. The country has shed more light on the issues of social injustice and we are being reminded and called to practice kindness. Although the country is still very divided politically, the record for those heading to the polls to make their voice count has hit unbelievable levels. Lots of good things are happening.

So as much as we can, let’s focus on the positive. Let’s have gratitude for the good that has come from suffering and let’s get back to the basics of loving one another. Life is hard but we have gotten this far together. 

What will your 2020 autobiography say? 

Signed,  Trish

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Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address tricia.borelli@loras.edu. All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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