This year will be one to remember, for many reasons.
While I’m happy to see it end, I’ve come to realize a few things that I’ll take with me into 2021.

  1. We need to follow the advice we give our kids on how to behave on social media. We tell our kids to be kind to others online, to engage as if a parent was looking at all their posts; to consider that once they post, it will be in the cybersphere for eternity; to only post what future colleges and employers would deem appropriate. And then I see adults on social media acting like children, having temper tantrums because the schools aren’t opening fast enough or they are opening too fast; because their food took too long to prepare at a local restaurant; posting a picture of a car because it cut someone off. I believe the perceived anonymity of posting online has caused some people to lower their standards for what is appropriate dialogue. I’m all for voicing concerns and sharing your opinion on a topic, but I also believe decency is still achievable. We need to practice what we preach on social media, and hold each other to higher standards for public discourse.
  2. I really miss going to the movies. I know there are options. I bought a projector and a huge screen and got a popcorn maker so we can watch movies outside on the patio, but still, I miss going to the movie theater.
  3. I have been overwhelmed with politics in 2020. I have learned that politics can change relationships, and I dare say, I think that is OK. It is often the discussions around politics that reveal who people are (for better and worse) and it is insights into a person’s character, how they view the world, how they want others to be treated, that help determine the value someone might have in your life. I don’t think it’s a good idea to employ a blanket statement that you don’t like anyone in a particular political party, but if relationships evolve because of the discourse around politics, I think that is a good thing.
  4. Being social is a lot of work in 2020. But it’s so necessary to make sure you’re getting social time — whether it’s in person (distanced and masked and sanitized, of course) or via technology. I do believe our health and sanity require us to make it happen. It has been way too easy this year to morph into a cave dweller who loses touch with people, stays in pajamas 18 hours a day and takes more bites of food than steps in a day. Push through, put on real clothes, call a friend (not text, call), take cookies to a neighbor … connect.
  5. And finally, and maybe the most important realization in 2020 is one I’ve always known: Carroll County is full of everyday heroes. It’s documented in these pages, but we can also see it playing out every day in stories we hear and all over social media. There are a lot of people doing deeds both large and small all over this community to make the lives of their neighbors a little better. Thank you to all our everyday heroes who make our county a safe and happy place to be.


Kim Byrnes