Insights — What's Good From an Otherwise Crappy Year

What's Good From an Otherwise Crappy Year

Thought leadership , COVID-19 / December 22, 2020
Jason Simon
Jason Simon

2020. As soon as you say it, the wave of crappiness is upon you.

It's been a year that has simultaneously felt like its lasted forever while also being a bit of a blur. It's like the wise adage for young parents — "the days are long, but the years are short." 

If I try hard, I can remember a time before Zoom and sweatpants. Personally, the first three months of 2020 were packed with activity—being named CEO of SimpsonScarborough as well as trips to Seattle, Columbus, New York, D.C., and Hawaii, all within the first ten weeks of the year. Seems like a lifetime ago.

I'm typically a pretty unflappable optimist. But that's been tested this year. Reflecting on what's good from an otherwise crappy year, I know that I've come away with a deeper sense of empathy and gratitude.

I am thankful for the chance to work in higher ed, where the work we do truly makes an impact and has a deeper meaning and connection. I'm grateful for the spectacular clients SimpsonScarborough enjoys. They give us an opportunity to make a difference for their institutions while being fun to work alongside.

I'm thankful for a terrific team that rolled with the punches when we went remote full time, when we were presented with unforeseen challenges, when we tried new and different things throughout the year, and when we just needed a smile or to say hello.

Amid that gratitude, I'm empathetic to those same folks: clients and team members who've faced challenging circumstances, long hours, and mounting pressure. There's been less sleep, more loneliness, and a months-long juggling act of parenting, teaching, and work — to say nothing of trying to find a bit of normalcy amongst the chaos of an uncertain year.

And in a year when our world was united in this terrible pandemic, it seems we're more divided than ever.

It's my optimism that fuels a hope that 2021 might be an awakening to the possibilities to do more. To take chances and help others create those same opportunities. To notice when a client or colleague needs an empathetic ear or a helping hand. To have a greater impact in the things we care about the most.

There's no big plan or resolution in the year ahead. Just the hope that we can take that extra bit of empathy & gratitude and look toward brighter days ahead. 

All of us at SimpsonScarborough wish you the utmost happiness over the holiday season.

Best wishes for a much better 2021,

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