I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir when I say it's been a tough year. 

Ema Sasic 2020.jpg

Bakersfield Life Magazine editor Ema Sasic 

We've seen those closest to us, maybe even ourselves, fall ill because of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we've also lost several lives from this virus. Many have lost their jobs because their business was forced to shut down. We've also seen cries for social justice from around the country following the deaths of Black men and women, not to mention a tough political climate. 

It's hard to believe it all happened in a year, but I think it's safe to say 2020 will forever be engrained into our memory.

I'm someone who likes to focus on the positives in life, and even though there have been plenty of bad days this year, I hope you've experienced some good ones as well. I may not have spent the last nine months doing exactly what I wanted, but I'm so thankful that I was able to visit my family safely. I may have had to cancel a trip I was looking forward to right when the pandemic was spreading across the United States, but I had plenty of time to take care of myself at home. Most importantly, my family and I have been able to stay healthy and safe throughout the year, which is my biggest blessing. My heart aches for everyone who has had a much tougher time.

And, of course, 2020 brought with it the chance to be your new editor. I'm so thankful for this new journey I've been on the last few months, and I'm looking forward to putting out even more quality issues in the next year.

Whatever year it may be, we all have our ups and downs. Maybe 2020 was an anomaly, but think back to years prior. Heartaches, financial problems, stress and everything else in between have a way of creeping in when we least expect. 

But that doesn't mean it should take away from the good moments. After all, you can't have flowers without a little bit of rain. Even though dealing with heartache is devastating, sometimes it brings us closer to others around us, making us realize just how important the people in our lives really are. And if there's stress in life, it pushes us to get over the hurdles, and once the hard work is done, there's no better feeling.

The biggest reminder I'm going to take with me from this year is to never take anything for granted. Traveling, taking the same commute to get to work and even getting together with friends and family are never guaranteed. Even mindless tasks like going to the grocery store and buying toilet paper and disinfecting wipes are ones to appreciate to the fullest extent. 

Another important piece of advice is to focus more on the positives. It's easier said than done — trust me, I know — but it gives us a better mindset, especially during the times when we need it the most. 

I hope the rest of your 2020 is filled with good moments and happiness, and fingers crossed that it's over in the blink of an eye. Here's to a brighter 2021.

Ema Sasic

Editor

661-395-7392

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.