Hindsight is 2020!

In popular culture, we use the phrase ‘20/20 vision’ to mean that we have perfect eyesight, or as a metaphor to mean that we have a clear view of a situation. Sight is what you see with your eyes, vision is what you see with your mind.

📷 djkopet

The History of 20/20 Vision

When glasses were first invented, the corrective lenses were mostly available as just a “one size fits all” option; reading glasses with convex lenses for close up vision, and concave lenses for seeing into the distance. The ability to correct vision was rudimentary and inexact, because no one had devised a way to measure visual acuity accurately. Various doctors had different eye charts and their own methods of eye testing, but there wasn’t a standardized version, and so the studies and results of eye tests were often inaccurate.

But that changed in 1862, when Dr. Herman Snellen, a Dutch eye doctor, created the Snellen chart. The original chart used a combination of letters and numbers, but in 1959, the chart was changed to use 10 letters in a font that was specially created to represent an acuity test called The Landolt Broken Rings. The font was created by Dr. Louise Sloan and was designated as the US Standard for acuity testing by the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Committee on Vision in 1980.

Of course, as eye doctor's technology and knowledge of how the eye works became more sophisticated, they began to realize that even though the standard E chart testing used today is the primary measurement of visual acuity, it doesn’t include other important measurements of sight such as depth perception, night vision, peripheral vision or color blindness. Today, our expectation of having 20/20 vision goes a lot further than it did in the 1800s.

As we approached the year 2020, many people referred to this as the year to see things more clearly, like 20/20 vision. But I think this year exceeded those expectations. For me, I knew 2020 would start off with challenges because I was scheduled to have knee surgery the first week of January. But that struggle turned out to not even be the worst part of the year. A few months into the year, we heard of a virus called the Corona Virus (COVID-19) that was affecting people all over the world. When I first heard about it, I had no idea of the severity of this virus or how it would affect myself or my friends and family. In mid-March, our state (Louisiana) pretty much shut down and everyone was told to stay home. This came just weeks after I went to Mardi Gras and Family Gras, attended several American Idol viewing parties for our hometown girl, Faith Becnel, took Karter to see the dinosaurs for his birthday, went to Dancing with the Stars Live with my cousin and then to Bourbon Street afterwards, I celebrated my birthday with Faith and then a few days later had the "Most EPIC Birthday Ever" party, which turned out to be the last party of its kind until who knows when. Face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing became an important part of our daily lives, if we decided to leave the house for any reason. In May, I was sick and they were unsure if it was COVID. Luckily, my test was negative and I was diagnosed with pneumonia. It was scary because at the time I didn't know anyone who had COVID and because we weren't sure of the accuracy of these tests, I stayed home alone, sicker than I had ever been. Restaurants had very limited seating or take out options (most people relied on delivery services to drop off food at their doorstep), movie theaters closed down, concerts and live shows were cancelled or postponed, grocery stores had limited capacity and hours and inventory, churches were closed or limited, kids had to learn virtually, people had to work from home...everyone was affected somehow. It’s been almost 10 months and we still don’t know when things will get back to “normal”.

I’ve had friends and family affected by COVID. My Dad was hospitalized for 69 days with COVID. He was on a ventilator and we were told he may not make it. He has been home for almost 4 months and he is getting stronger every day but he will always suffer long term affects from COVID. I know people that weren’t as lucky and died from COVID. This has been such a terrible virus that has changed the lives of so many people. But this has also given us a clearer view on life. It has taught us what’s important, what we can do differently, who we are and how to survive during the toughest times, just to name a few things. 2020 has been the toughest year of my life. But I’ve also had some of the most amazing times and appreciated some of the little things even more. I feel like God gave me 20/20 vision without the need for glasses or contacts....just a clearer look on life. 2020 has definitely given me a clearer vision of what I want my life to look like now.

Things I learned in 2020:

1. Family - I’ve always been close to my family. This year taught me how unpredictable life can be so there are a few things that are very important when it comes to my family.

I need to spend time with my family more. I let my work schedule and life get in the way sometimes. I

need to be there with my family because they are the most important part of my life. A few weeks ago I decided to take a Saturday off of work and bring my Mom and Karter to The Lights Fest that was in Mississippi. It was on my Mom's bucket list to see the lanterns and after the year we've been through, I thought this year was the perfect time to send off a lantern with our wishes. I'm so glad we went. It was unbelievable!

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Even the worst pictures or the ones that are hard to look at are important. I took a lot of pictures of my Dad during his journey with COVID. It was hard to see him so weak but at the time, we didn’t know how much longer we would have with him so I took as many pictures as I could. Thankfully he survived so these pictures actually show the amazing progress he’s made. And it’s beautiful to see him in our family pictures for the holidays. God is good!

I learned the importance of letting your loved ones how you feel. I know my family knows that I love them but I need to tell them more. The last time I saw my Dad before he was diagnosed with COVID was on Father’s Day. I was leaving the house and got down the steps and realized that I forgot to tell him that I loved him. But I was tired and didn’t want to go back up the steps so I just left. A few days later he was diagnosed and hospitalized and I had no idea when I’d get to see him again. The regret of not going back on Father’s Day to say “I Love You, Dad” was killing me. It would’ve only taken a minute and suddenly I didn’t know if he would ever hear those words from me again. Thankfully, I got to see him a few days later and I was able to tell him. I won’t ever leave without saying it again, though.

I have the strongest family ever. We have been through some tough times and this year was one of the toughest. But TOGETHER we got through it. I cannot thank my Mom enough for being the strongest woman I’ve ever meet. I strive to be as strong as she is. She is definitely the glue that holds this family together. And knowing what she went through while my Dad was in the hospital (and she was facing COVID by herself at home), she is definitely my superhero! Thank you, Mom! I love you more!

2. Changes - I don’t like change. I never have. But I’ve learned this year that sometimes you have no choice but to accept and adapt to the changes.

Music - I love music. I go to concerts and live music events every chance I get. So what happens when all concerts and live music events are cancelled or postponed? You rely on technology to help you and the artists get through the pandemic together. This year I’ve watched Zoom concerts, talked to artists and watched performances on Looped and watched many Facebook live concerts. Since the artists aren’t making money on ticket sales, I’ve put money in their virtual tip jars through apps like Venmo and CashApp, I’ve bought their products (shirts, books, cds, albums, soap...pretty much whatever would help them make some money to survive) and I did whatever I could to support them. I was also extremely blessed this month to be a part of Serabee’s release of her first Christmas single, “This Christmas”. Her song is on all platforms and her video is on YouTube. Being in the studio while she recorded the song and being involved in the release was a dream come true. Because she hasn’t been able to perform, Sera has spent more time writing new music and in the recording studio. So this change has actually been good for her and hopefully we will be able to release her EP in 2021!

Travel - I love to travel, whether it’s for music, fun or to meet people. I try to at least take one cruise a year but cruises were cancelled earlier this year when some bad outbreaks occurred (I’ll make up for it next year with my 1st Annual Live Like Lorie Cruise in September). I did get to travel a few times, though. Before COVID started, I went to visit some friends in Texas. I only stayed for a couple of days but it was the escape I needed. We had such a great time and I got to meet her new husband! Then I had the amazing opportunity to go to South Carolina to see Lauren Jackson TWICE! I meet her for the first time in September and we had a few of the best days ever together. I got to do goat yoga, meet all of the animals at Jackson Pine Farm, get our daith's pierced, meet her son and boyfriend and just spend time together! It was an unforgettable trip. (Read all about this trip in my blog “E-I-E-I-Ohhh!”) It wasn’t long after I got home that I was missing her and wanting to be back at the farm. Thanks to a great deal through Southwest Airlines and Lauren’s hospitality, I was back in December and we celebrated “Christmas in South Carolina.” I also got the chance to spend most of Thanksgiving week in Sevierville, Tennessee and go to Dollywood with some of my family, including my Dad. (Read all about this unforgettable trip in my blog, “Tennessee....I Will Always Love You!”)

School - School has been a challenge for so many students, teachers and parents. Most schools went to “Virtual Learning” which meant the kids were at home learning on a computer. For some kids, this was overwhelming. For some teachers, it was very challenging. And f