Ashland Town Manager issued this tonight, December 31, 2020.
ASHLAND – There are many words people could use to describe 2020 (“dumpster fire” is my personal favorite). And it wouldn’t surprise me if some ingenious Ashland student has come up with several new words that could be applied to this year. But for me, a couple of common words stand out.
The first one is “take”.
The year 2020 has taken a lot from us. It has taken away livelihoods. It has taken away annual traditions. It has taken away celebrations that many people look forward to for years. It has taken away security. It has taken away a bit of our momentum. And most importantly for many of us, it has taken the lives of our loved ones.
But the second word that comes to mind is “give”.
The complete opposite. It’s given us the opportunity to show our ingenuity with graduation parades and birthday drivebys. It has given us the forum to show just how much we can rally together as a community for those in need. It has given us a chance to spend time with loved ones; time that we might not have had before. It’s given us the ability to see how one woman’s dedication to holding a sign in the middle of town reminding people that “Kindness Matters” can have a powerful impact on a town (yes, I’m talking about you, Nancy). And I also feel it has given our employees a stage in where they can show just what they can do when things are difficult.
Personally, 2020 also helped me to see many things that I have taken for granted. I never knew how fulfilling it was to personally interact with residents & business owners, whether it was in a meeting at my office or events like the Farmers Market, or at their homes at a neighborhood meeting. That, building our team, and having a birds-eye view of our employees and volunteers coming together and making things happen are simply the best parts of my job.
While I am the first to say that we should focus on the future and not the past, it would be a shame to walk away from 2020 without gaining any perspective. That being said, I have never been happier to welcome a New Year into our life, and all the wonderful things it will bring.
I wish you all a joyous 2021 filled with hope, joy, and prosperity.