Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

People Remember 2020 While Looking to the Future

Irving—Every New Year provides us with a chance to reflect on the past year and make plans for the future. With a pandemic, working from home, social distancing, and changing how we work together, 2020 was an exceptional year for lessons and reflections. Several Irving residents reported what they learned in 2020 and what they look forward to in 2021. 

Some people focused on self-improvement.

“My favorite part of 2020 was that the father of my youngest daughter came back into her life,” Haley Price said. “I look forward to working, making more money, getting my own place, and losing weight.”

“The best thing about 2020 was that, even though I spent a lot of time at home, I was able to learn so many things about life and people,” Shay Martinez said. “These lessons have changed the way I look at the world and the people in it. I want to continue this journey of learning and growth.

“I will never be done growing as a person and learning new things, no matter how old I get. I want to use what is given to me to make a difference for the better. I want to contribute in a way that matters. That is what I am looking forward to most in 2021.” 

Tim Gagen said the best part about 2020 was that it ended.

“Looking forward to 2021,” Gagen said. “It is not the s**t show 2020 was.”

Family was another common theme.

“The best thing about 2020 was that I was forced to slow down,” Kathy Whitgrove said. “I really had time to think about my son graduating and going to college. I was able to enjoy the days and weeks that would have normally flown by in a blink of an eye. We were also able to save some money this year.

“I am looking forward to getting a new normal this year.”
“I put much more effort in connecting with brother and sister, plus cousins and nieces and nephews all of whom are back in my home town in Canada,” Brian Neill said. “I also did genealogical research and found out lovely facts about my French Canadian heritage going back to Quebec City in 1644 and further back to Normandy France in 1551.” 

“The best thing about 2020?” Timothy Long asked. “A newborn. Everything else seems trivial, or it does in hindsight. Every year feels like that, doesn’t it? 

“The best thing about 2020 was focusing more on our family and watching my kids cultivate friendships and mature in ways that [I] might not have [seen] if our schedule had not screeched to a halt,” Heather Purviance said. “I look forward to continuing to focus on our family and learning what my kids are capable of when allowed time and space to explore. I hope I have learned more about what my kids need from me, as well as what they do not need from me, and I want to walk in that wisdom.” 

Some people spoke about their jobs, especially teachers.

“I appreciate how 2020 brought my family closer because of the quarantine,” Nafisa Gagen said. “I am hoping fall 2021 returns school to the traditional format that fills the classroom with laughter and learning.”

Kim Black said the best thing about 2020 was “getting to spend so much time with my kids and my husband, reading some books that I have owned for years.

“I am looking forward to being back in my art classroom full of students happily making art.” 
Community was another common theme. Mark McKee decided to give to his community in a big way.

“I hope you will remember #projectgiftback and A Taste of Irving,” McKee said. “This is an initiative that raised and distributed over $13,500 to locally owned restaurants and fed those in need. This was easily the highlight of my year, and I’d go so far as to say it elevated Aunt Cissy’s, Po’ Melvins, and Spirit Grille, among others.

“I delivered $50 gift cards to over 260 families in need. It was by nomination, gifted, not asked for. A pay it forward project, COVID or not, it was awesome.

“I am planning on a similar campaign [in 2021].We need to feel out the industry as the vaccine becomes available, but so many, all, in fact, are in need. So I am going to do an initial buy of $1000 gift cards in late February. Project Gift Back is not going away. It is a way to help the community from the ground up.”