Planning for 2021

At last, we’ve come to the end of 2020. It’s been a very… interesting year. There’s a Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” and boy oh boy, has 2020 been an interesting year. We’ve faced a pandemic, a bitterly-fought election, and are staring down the barrel of a recession that’s going to hit many of us hard. As of writing this, we’re still in the election process, unsure what may come next.

With such an uncertain year ahead of us now, planning for 2021 is difficult. Although we can make our plans easily enough and look forward to seeing them come to pass, we’re making plans without knowing for certain what’s coming in the months ahead. Job security is not high. We don’t know for certain when or if COVID19 will be behind us. 

Perhaps the key to mastering planning in 2021 is to know how to go with the uncertainty. Perhaps it’s learning to scale back your plans and to leave room for change later. We have learned a lot about how to function in pandemic; perhaps the best planning for 2021 is in working on what we know, what we’ve discovered in the past summer about ourselves.

The best advice I think I’ve heard about planning for 2021 is that we need to work on the bonds within our families. Not just our nuclear families (the people we immediately live with), but with our greater families: the aunts and uncles, the cousins and nieces and nephews. 

The isolation of the summer and the letdowns of not being able to do the big crowd events we love to take part in have taken a toll on our kids and our spouses, and us, as well. It’s been hard being on a working staycation for months and months, and now with restrictions lifted but still around us and part of our everyday life, we need to take stock in how our kids are processing the lack of autonomy and privacy. And these are valid issues for ourself, as well. It’s a good time to talk in our families about how to come together and how to give each other the space we need to thrive in when we’re not sure what the months ahead will hold.

With the isolation, there’s also been a great deal of polarization. Politically, we’ve been split down the middle. And while there’s plenty of different opinions on how we should react to each other, the best kind of people in the world would reach out and offer each other humanity and kindness instead of demanding a sorry. We’re going to need to learn to forgive each other our differences if we’re to survive the uncertain road ahead. And perhaps in forgiving each other, we can find the common ground we can all live in.

2021 is a bad time to plan for elaborate, expensive weddings, vacation trips, and parties. But it’s a fine time to plan monthly events and competitions the whole family can enjoy while remaining safe in the pandemic. Planning a Family Olympics would be a fine way to spend our vacation time, filming events at local track and field locations and sharing the results online with our cousins and friends. It would get the whole family doing something physical and showing off a little at a time when it’s easy to feel invisible. 

There are vacations you can take that are closer to home, with smaller crowds to contend with. Some of our national parks rent out cabins for overnight stay, which is a good way to get out of your home and into a different space for a few days. And there are great hotels in the area, too, as well as bed and breakfast situations, if you just want to spend a few days outside of your home.

Speaking of your home, this is a good time to look at this space and consider making some changes. Adding furniture, gathering forgotten treasures for a yard sale, painting, big cleanings… these are things your whole family can do to feel better about staying in. Protect your house by setting aside some time to look after it, or at the very least, to inspect it for work you can give to licensed contractors. 

Just as your home needs some upkeep and TLC, so does your vehicle. Last month’s blog mentioned that the simple act of washing and cleaning your car makes it safer for you and your engine, too. If you’re driving less, you’re likely to need less service, but it’s wise to bring your car in for your regular checkups. Preventative maintenance is always your best option to protect your vehicle and your wallet. An inspection with your oil change will ensure that your car’s engine has faced some scrutiny and that you are aware of any wear or damage that could cost you big money later.

Whatever 2021 holds for us all, we hope you’ll keep making us your go-to service for auto repair. At American Five Star Auto Repair, we want to help you keep your car on the road for as long as you want it! To schedule an appointment for auto repair or preventive maintenance, make an appointment online today! American Five Star Auto Repair & Transmission is conveniently located at 2070 E. Apache Road, Suite 101, Tempe, AZ 85281. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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