I love to read books. It is always enjoyable for us to read a novel we just can’t put down. We look forward to each new chapter of the book.

In life, we create many chapters in our book of life. Each chapter is unique and may be filled with excitement or sorrow or anything in between. We may be reminded of a chapter later in life when feelings from a previous experience come back to us in the form of memories or we find ourselves in a similar situation or location.

My hope is this past calendar year is a once in a lifetime chapter for all of us. The first few months of 2020 felt “normal” to me. However, I had rotator cuff surgery in early March and then living in the COVID pandemic began. Schools, stores and restaurants were closing. Concerts and sporting events were all canceled.

Donna and I love to attend dance venues, which were also closed. We were back to dancing in the kitchen. Dancing in the kitchen reminded me of my childhood chapter when my mother taught me how to dance in our very small kitchen with a vinyl floor.

In June, after 35 years as a school principal and 43 years total as an educator, I thought I had started a new chapter leading into retirement. This changed as I was asked to become an elementary school principal. Thinking this was a calling from God, I accepted.

I always get nervous at the start of a school year. But this year, I was very nervous. It was my first experience in an elementary school setting, and we were all coming back to school from distance learning. I am reminded how much children and students of all ages love kindness and to be treated respectfully.

I start every day by temp checking each one of the 80 children who come to school. This chapter in my life is fun in learning from the young children and to watch the skill and artistry of teaching displayed by the remarkable teachers at Guardian Angels School.

I am enjoying this chapter of my life and it will hold some sadness as I turn the page to close it. I will be on to creating my next chapter, which will hold retirement. I am thankful and will treasure this chapter at Guardian Angels, along with many other joys I have been blessed with this past year.

As we move into January 2021, I am excited for a new president, longer days, and for all to receive the COVID vaccine by this spring. We have survived the worst pandemic in 100 years. We are a changed country.

Many have learned we can have fun as a family with less things, less money and less travel. We have appreciated the time to slow down, watch a movie at home, go for a walk, play a board game, read a book and ride our bikes.

What is your 2021 resolution? My resolution for 2021 is to continue to serve in some capacity. I know Donna and I will continue to enjoy life with both of us in our retirement chapters. Remember our living creates chapters in our big book of life.

Keep turning your pages. Create special times. Create positive memories. Spread joy. Be kind always. Have fun and leave a great book!

Chuck Briscoe is principal of Guardian Angels Catholic School in Chaska.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.