Usually this is the week when I review my success or lack thereof with my New Year’s resolutions from the past year and decide on my resolutions for the coming year. I’ve been doing this all my life; it didn’t start as a blogging exercise, I swear! However, in closing out this strange, unsettling year, New Year’s resolutions just don’t rise to the top of my list. Maybe it’s because just getting through 2020 seems like enough of an accomplishment, but COVID has temporarily killed my resolve to set resolutions.
The virus that has brought such life-limiting restrictions and grief to much of the planet for nearly a year has impacted millions of people directly, and now our family. Our extended family has just been hit with the cruel reality of COVID. An arm’s-length relative died of COVID on Boxing Day (aka Dec 26 in the U.S.). He was someone’s husband and caregiver, a father, grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. And in the U.S., where he lived, he was yet another victim of a virus that has been allowed to get out of control. His life story, and the shattered lives of those who mourn him, is just one of the nearly 335,000 individuals who have succumbed to COVID in the U.S. to date. If he had died in Canada his story would have been one among the nearly 15,000 people who are being mourned this year because of a virus nobody had ever heard of a year ago. God help us, please let’s be writing about this scourge as past history by this time next year. And please everyone remember, “God helps those who help themselves.” In other words, stay safe and help keep others safe!
Having given up on my New Year’s resolution tradition for this year, I decided to take a look at which of my blog posts this past year have had the most hits and try to figure out what lessons I can learn from that when writing future posts. First off, I have to confess to have written far more posts than usual this year; it has been my salvation in this year of isolation to be able to sit down and write … and write and write. I apologize if some of you have felt bombarded with posts; just ignore the ones that aren’t your “thing”.
When I’ve taken the time to analyze my blog stats in previous years, there’s always been an intriguing mixture of topics that have risen to the top. Sort of a “something for everyone” assortment. Not so much this year, but then again, as we all keep saying, this has been a year like no other. Hopefully this year has been a one-off as well.
So … my top 10 blog posts for this year fall into only three categories, all three of which are new topics on my blog this year: Map Mondays (I never would have guessed there were so many people out in the blogosphere who shared my interest in maps), COVID, and racism. And … drumroll, please … here they are:
- Map Monday: global trade is an ancient tradition
- Map Monday: what are map projections and why do we need more than one?
- Nobody is born a racist
- Map Monday: language, culture, identity, and world maps
- Why the U.S.-Canada border isn’t going to open anytime soon – or the Atlantic Bubble
- America’s issue with socialism, so that’s what it’s all about
- A White Woman, Racism, and a Poodle – FranklyWrite
- The pangolin and Mike Pence
- Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in 2020: give thanks, not COVID
- COVID life in our little corner of the world
Nothing too light there. Not much in the way of levity. No entertaining frivolity. And when I look further down the list, almost every post down the list is pretty serious. That’s the kind of year it’s been, whether trying to manage in a pandemic, deconstructing toxic politics, or addressing issues of social justice. Serious stuff, gut-wrenchingly serious. Let’s hope that sometime in this coming year we have cause to embrace a healthier, safer, kinder world. Let’s work hard to let the light back in, so that hope and compassion can reign.
I so look forward to returning to a more “ordinary” world where making New Year’s resolutions feels right and where writing a lighthearted post doesn’t seem inappropriately frivolous. Maybe even eventually not wearing masks, although that may feel strangely unsettling after all this time with our masks as our safety nets.
Enjoy the last few days of 2020, everyone. See you next year!
P.S. According to my blog stats, my blog posts have been read by people in 153 different countries this year. That’s kind of cool. Thank you, kind readers.