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FAMILY LIFE | Making plans for 2021 in pandemic times




HOW DO you make plans for yourself and as a family in uncertain times as we have? The year 2020 has shown us that we can make many plans, but no one foresaw how everything could suddenly go awry when COVID-19 became a worldwide plague that continues to the present.

With developed countries experiencing second wave or third wave and reapply stricter measures we have already been doing in our city, yet cases continue to rise, how do we plan to live with this scenario in 2021? Will things ever return to the normal pre-pandemic times that we know, or do we learn to adjust with the present situation as our “new normal”?

The fact is that COVID-19 is not something to be careless about. We know enough friends, family, neighbors, strangers, who got infected – some mild, some severe, a number passed away – that we do have to live responsibly, especially when there are loved ones you can infect once you catch the virus.

Research also shows that even those who had mild symptoms and were asymptomatic still had lingering health problems associated with the virus. With my hubby and I belong to the restricted age that is not allowed out except for essentials, we are bracing ourselves this year to be the same as 2020. So how do we approach this year 2021?

Prov 16:19 says, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” So here are some plans you may want to adopt for this year.

Plan to establish good daily habits. I mentioned these in January 2020 articles, “Getting Ready for the New Year 1 & 2” – building your body, soul, spirit – to remain strong in 2021. Character is developed in the dailiness of life with habits that become second nature to us over time. And good character is made up of virtues one has embraced and lived with daily.

Virtues, such as those listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love,” are worth growing in, relying on God’s empowering Spirit.

Plan to grow in certain areas of your life you have neglected. Do not give in to laziness, binge- watching, scrolling through social media, gaming, and many pursuits that use up so much time without contributing to building you up but rather get you addicted to them.

Instead, establish pursuits like reading a book a month, get into cooking or baking something you become an expert in (which you can also market eventually for added income), or take an online course that could add to your repertoire of skills.

Plan to meaningfully connect with people you care about. With social distancing, restrictions, curfews that may still be in place for half of this year, do not emotionally distance yourselves. Each of us has different levels of social and emotional needs, so know your capacity and level of comfort.

I can be content with just a few people like family, and go on with the things I have to do. But my husband, coming from a clan of about a thousand in their reunions, and his extensive network of people, reins me in once in a while beyond my circle that turns out mutually beneficial.

For myself, I have created a group of ladies in my senior age group to journey with every month to talk about issues relevant to us. Think of what works for you so that this year be a year of growth in character, skills, and relationships despite the limitations.

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