Brene Brown said it best: 2020 was a year of FFTs (“effing first times”).

If you haven’t heard her brief, yet insightful podcast episodes on FFTs, here are the links.

Brene on FFTs

Brene on The Queens Gambit, Revisiting FFTs and Resting Our Tired Brains

I heard the first episode just when I needed it, as I was trying to launch a legal ed-tech platform, and was feeling clueless and confused (and sometimes, still do). The first FFT episode put words to my discomfort and gave me perspective.

Many of this year’s firsts, sucked. Pandemic protocols, managing full workloads from home with kids in virtual school (mine are grown; I’ve never been so grateful for adulthood); canceled milestones, a year without travel (how do we even do a staycation in a pandemic?), holidays without friends and family, and so on.

And then, as I sat down to write this week’s Thrive Bite, I realized that this was a first in 2020 that didn’t suck.

I wrote the first Thursday Thrive Bite on April 30, 2020.

Yes, it was uncomfortable. I’d never written a weekly broadcast to a (pretty) large audience of lawyers and legal professionals that was a mashup of science, psychology and personal perspective, yet the times seemed to call for just that.

Doing this meant uncertainty, risk, even emotional exposure. On top of that, I was daring to presume that I had something to say that you might want to hear. Discomfort on steroids.

Yet here we are. You’ve responded to my emails and let me know that these words were welcome and sometimes even helpful. For that, I’m beyond grateful.

It’s been 38 weeks since I began connecting with you here (seven weeks after the stay-at-home orders went into effect in LA).

Curious, I looked back to see what I wrote then. Here’s an excerpt from that first Thrive Bite on April 30:

Regardless of your particular circumstances, we’ve collectively moved from the treadmill of life—steady, forward moving, predictable and manageable, with occasional uphill challenges, sprints and slowdowns—to a roller coaster of daily twists, turns, sudden dips, long slow climbs, and surprise pivots, with a few moments in which we’re able to catch our breath before the ride speeds up again.

Our Grand Plans have been placed on a Giant Pause.

And yet, between bouts of sadness and uncertainty, I feel overwhelmingly optimistic. So much is being revealed.

  • Our ability to pivot, to spring into action, to be nimble, to act in concert, and on behalf of others

  • Our willingness to replace competitive clamor with widespread sharing of knowledge

  • Our humanity, demonstrated by individual acts of kindness

  • Recognition of our shared predicament, which has led to greater cooperation, collaboration and solutions to tough issues

  • Much. More. Laughter—an antidote to adversity, and a massive immunity booster

 We can, and do, thrive even in adversity.

Since then, we’ve had wins and losses. We’ve experienced tragedy and transformation. We’ve changed, in obvious ways and in ways we’ve yet to identify. The pandemic isn’t over. Racial equality is still a dream. The election transition is as turbulent as the year it took place.

I don’t have anything to add except Thank You. Thank you for allowing me to occupy your inbox, share my thoughts, and travel 2020 together.

Wishing us all a thriving 2021,