Everyone is so over 2020. What a year! Who could have predicted we’d face a global pandemic with economies in lockdown, schools shuttered and employees working from home. No one made this prediction in 2019.

What I find particularly amazing is that masks suddenly became this year’s fashion and values statement.

In the fashion world, the top fashion brands initially switched their manufacturing to face masks for frontline workers. Several months later, we saw branded masks introduced as another product category for luxury, logo-loving clients. And every creative and designer emerged with a line of masks  – a necessary first defense against transmission of coronavirus.

For an item that did not exist in these numbers 11 months ago, it is intriguing to see it now in almost every store and website.  It will forever represent 2020.

At the same time, others resisted the demand for masking up as an infringement of their individual rights to breathe and exhale, regardless of whether they may be carriers of the virus.

What I also find intriguing is the opposite, psychological impact that occurred during this year. Facing threat of illness, being forced to isolate from family and friends, dealing with economic losses and even death was traumatic. And in times of crisis, one thing emerges. Clarity. What is important become crystal clear as regular life slips away. As I saw the world grapple with this, I saw the Unmasking.

If we wore emotional masks before, hiding our true feelings, doing the unimportant and going through the motions of life, I believe 2020 unmasked us all.

Who could not help but process their life and choices during 2020? If you lost a loved one or a close friend, you surely felt the immediate grief and sorrow, particularly if you had to view an online funeral or, worse, had no way to say goodbye.

If your business had to be shutdown, or you were suddenly unemployed, did you question the work you were engaged in?  If you had to move back with parents or relatives or even care for an elderly person, did you see the fragility of life? Did this not make you question Why you were doing what you were doing?

Early on in 2020, I wrote a post, “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.”   A crisis is a time to refine – to purge the inconsequential and to become laser focused on your important assignment and goals. Let this be the ultimate impact of the corona virus of 2020.

Discard the doubts and fears. Shed the sorry excuses. Throw off procrastination. Turn your eyes toward your future and dream boldly. Do only what is truly important.

At the end of this 2020, be sure you have identified what matters and focus on creating a life around this as you go forward into 2021.