When I think back to this time last year, and all the plans and intentions I had for 2020, I have to laugh—or as the old song goes, laugh to keep from crying. I was going to travel! Go to more live shows! Host dinner parties for friends! Stay offline and away from screens for whole days at a time!
Needless to say, I did pretty much none of those things. Maybe you also fell short of your 2020 goals. Maybe you also found yourself eating cereal for dinner some nights, binge-watching TV instead of reading, doom-scrolling instead of meditating, and getting screen-time reports revealing you’d somehow managed to spend more time on your phone than there are hours in the day.
To that, I can only say—and I mean this earnestly—congratulations! Because here you are, awake and alive. Whether or not you feel like you’re thriving, you’re surviving. And in a year of so much loss, that’s not nothing—it’s actually everything. For whatever else you’ve done or not done this year, you’ve achieved the goal that matters most: simply getting through it, one uncertain day at a time.
As we head into the new year, I find myself thinking more about the idea of balance. Ever since my friend Pete Davis and I founded Getaway in 2015, “finding balance” has been our primary mission, the central value around which we built the company. We’ve often talked about balance in terms of unplugging from digital devices and creating firm boundaries between work and non-work life. I still believe in these values. But what does it mean to “balance your digital life” in a pandemic, when our screens have become the primary vehicles for interacting with loved ones? What does it mean to “balance your work life” when—for those of us fortunate enough to work remotely—our offices have moved into our homes?
“Balance” means something different for every person, and after this year, it’s clearer to me than ever that it’s a fluid state, always shifting in relation to our own changing needs and desires. It isn’t just about setting limits and boundaries—putting away your phone, logging out of email after 6pm, having no-work weekends. It’s also (perhaps more importantly) about making dedicated space in your life for the things that bring you joy and comfort, whatever those may be.
Over the last year, many of you have sought out that space as guests at our Outposts, whether you visited Getaway for the first time or have made a habit of returning to nature to reflect and recharge. I’m so grateful to all of our guests, and to our incredible team, who’ve continually adapted to changing circumstances in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community. This year, we’ve opened four new Outposts, planted over 25,000 trees, and dedicated 365 nights of rest to folks fighting for change in our country.
As painful and difficult as this year has been, I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the new year, including—let’s be honest!—the vaccine that will enable us to gather safely again. Until then, stay safe, and be well.