We’re about three weeks into the New Year and a lot has developed but not a lot has really changed. As we continue to navigate our current climate I want to explore how our previous year isn’t one that we should totally “leave behind.” 2020 was a trying year for everyone. For many of us, it is a year we would like to forget. However, it is still important that you look back and identify the areas you grew in during that particularly difficult year.
To start, I want to offer empathy and compassion to the many of you who have walked through incredible loss during the past year. This blog is intended to be hopeful and to highlight our collective resiliency, without diminishing the somberness of these past (almost) 12 months.
2020 has been referred to as, amongst other things, a “Dumpster Fire.” We have collectively determined that 2020 should be thrown-away and forgotten. While this response is understandable, 2020 was not all bad and for many of us, it created opportunity for deep, lasting, and meaningful change.
Our society has had to slow down in many ways. In a world that historically has celebrated a “productivity” mindset we have had to shift and find new ways of finding purpose in our day to day lives. Slowing down is hard, but it forced us to find new meaning in our days including getting outside, working on our culinary skills, spending more time with the kiddos, or using our creative brains to tackle a puzzle for the first time in years.
The “slowing down” also caused us to look outward and examine societal issues that we may otherwise ignore. This created a space for us to engage with our neighbors and begin conversations that hopefully, will bring healing and meaningful change.
2020 has forced us to be flexible and open. For example, I had to move my office to my guestroom and see client’s virtually. I have previously written about the benefits of virtual therapy from the perspective of clients (link here), but I never thought I would be forced to see all my clients from home. While virtual therapy is not my preference for every client, it has allowed me to appreciate my home as a safe space in a way that I don’t think I could of ever fully appreciated before.
I hope that this life changing year has created a platform for us to practice more gratitude for our life outside of quarantine. The day to day schedules that once evoked negative feelings can now be something we appreciate. Things like grocery shopping, taking the kids to soccer practice, and attending functions have now become a privilege, instead of a drag. I hope we carry what the lessons we learned and a fresh perspective as we ease back into normal life.
I have created a few thought provoking questions for you to contemplate as you look back at 2020:
- How will you be different after the Pandemic? Is there anything you want to take with you from this season?
- What have you learned about relationships during this time of quarantine?
- In what ways can we celebrate your resiliency from this past year?
- Do we need to make space to grieve the losses that occurred over the past year?
- What places, people, things, do you appreciate more after having walked through this experience?