At the end of the year…
At the end of any year it is normal to be filled with many emotions: perhaps you are filled with sadness after the loss of a loved one, perhaps you are grateful that 2020 is almost done and dusted, perhaps you are excited about how well things turned out.
All of these emotions are valid and it might be a good idea to allow yourself some time to notice and feel the weight of these emotions. As Charlie Chaplin said: We think too much and feel too little.
I appreciate that many people will tell you to forget about 2020 and focus on the bright future ahead however, it is hard to move forward unless we have dealt with the impact of this past year. So, how do we deal with the good and bad of 2020?
- Taking stock of 2020
A good starting point would be to take stock of what happened in 2020. Remind yourself of the good and bad.
Be sure to write it down! Writing things down, helps us to organise our minds.
Then make some time to celebrate all the good of 2020, no matter how small. Many of us might have had so many hardships in 2020, that we completely forgot about the moments that made us smile. Call on those moments and remember them, and write them down.
As you focus on the hardships of 2020, think about what you have learnt and what you can take from it. For example:
Should you have lost a loved one (Covid-19 or otherwise), perhaps remind yourself how fortunate you have been to have this person in your life. What have you learnt from this person?
Should you have lost your job, perhaps remind yourself that you can get job, because you have done it before.
Perhaps if you felt that you have missed out on the world out there because of the lock-down restrictions, remind yourself of the good times before it and also that nothing, no matter how good or bad, lasts forever.
Yes, I know, this might well be easier said than done…However, if you make time to reflect and actually write it down, you will find immense relief from even the worst experience.
- Identify the lessons for the future
Once you have completed your reflection, make sure that you are clear on what the lessons are that you have learnt from 2020. No matter how small, it counts!
And become clear in your mind on how you can apply these lessons going forward. It could be something simple like: I will first listen to what someone has to say before I respond, or, I would like to put my kids to bed at least once a week.
- Live in the moment
One thing that became clear in 2020 is that we do not know what the future holds and things can change radically in a matter of seconds. Many people have lived through the lock-down periods with their focus on the time after it comes to an end, just to realise that they have “lost” a big part of 2020. There is an important message in that – do not focus so much on the future that you forget to enjoy the present moment.
Should you plan to spend time with your loved ones over December, make the most of it. Be in the moment, as you don’t know what the future holds.
- Make some time to laugh
By now you know that I have a stern believe in the value and power of a good laugh! Become aware of small things…the dog that stares at you in disbelief, a child who makes a funny observation, etc. Truly notice it and then laugh about it! Laugh until your stomach pains!
I dare all of you to following these simple steps as the calendar year comes to close.
My wish for you:
Hold on to your truth and respect the truth of others.
Choose to be happy.
Forgive and ask to be forgiven.
Do something outside your comfort zone.
Be the voice for someone who has no voice.
Be quiet strength; be the type of kindness that is strength.
Remember that love is a verb.
Choose healthy foods, people and activities.
Every time you fall, get up; persevere!
Live honestly, truly and with integrity.
All the best until next time.