There’s no denying that 2020 has been a whirlwind of poop. Many of us will be glad to see the back of it as we usher in the New Year, but there’s still so much uncertainty ahead that it’s a good time to take stock of where we’re at, nurture the hope for brighter days, and confidently take little steps into 2021.
Weathering The Same Storm
I saw an expression being shared online that I thought was quite fitting: “We’re all in different boats, but we’re in the same storm”. It covers it nicely because we’ve all had different experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, both directly related to it and unrelated.
Some people have found themselves bored, others manically busy. Some have found themselves losing money and jobs and struggling financially, others have done ended the year a little better off than they started it. Some have lost loved ones, others deny the existence of the virus altogether.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you never really know what other people are going through, and that we all react and cope with things differently. It’s not all about Covid19 either, even though the spotlight has held firmly on it throughout. The usual stresses, health concerns, financial issues, mental health issues, employment worries, relationship troubles and so on are right alongside everything else we have to deal with.
We’ve all had different experiences of 2020. But we have all been touched by the pandemic in some way.
It’s important to think about some of the ‘silver linings’ and lessons learned during this year. It can be hard to see any positives, but look below the surface and you might just spot a few.
For instance, the increased inclusivity and accessibility afforded by more online events and awareness over disability and inequality, which I hope don’t disappear altogether after the lockdowns are over. The increased awareness of the importance of our healthcare systems, frontline staff and emergency workers, even if it’s not all rosy. The importance of kindness, of looking out for one another. The value of life itself.
Hope For Tomorrow
Okay, so maybe not tomorrow, but certainly we can have hope for the days, weeks and months ahead. No matter how dire things may seem, they can and will change.
With regard to the pandemic, we have to hope that the vaccines scientists have tirelessly worked towards will help us get out of this mess eventually, along with other precautions and safety measures. The pandemic isn’t over yet, so we all need to be as careful as possible and keep doing all we can to stay safe.
There’s light at the end of the murky tunnel, we just have to keep going and hold on a little longer.
A Growing Sense Of Gratitude
I’ve felt a lot of things this year, and many emotions I’m not proud of. I’ve been incredibly angry, especially at our government, followed by NICE and the NHS. I’ve been livid at the so-called ‘covidiots’ and the selfishness of certain people. I’ve felt frustrated and fed up and even a little resentful because I’ve desperately wanted a break when I’ve been poorly but I haven’t been able to take one. I’ve let myself get caught up in the whirlwind of negativity each time I’ve left the house or looked at the news.
But I’ve also felt overwhelming relief and gratitude hit me like a wave a few times this year. Discovering I’d likely caught Covid and then the sheer relief a few weeks later when my parents were still okay so I knew I hadn’t passed it along to them. The fear during those weeks was palpable, and I’ll never forget the gratitude that things turned out okay. The gratitude for being at home, for having a home, for being comfortable in the warmth indoors. The gratefulness for the simple joys.
While at times I’ve felt that my blood was boiling and my body growing weary, my heart has also expanded exponentially this year. I’m sure many of us can say the same.
Take some time to step away from the situation you’re in, put the to-do lists down and think about what you’ve gone through this year. What’s happened, how are you feeling about it all? Give yourself the chance to feel whatever you’re feeling and work through it.
Re-assess what goals and dreams you had for this year but be gentle; this year hasn’t gone to plan for many people. Look at what you have done, the things you have achieved, no matter how small. Remind yourself of the things you’ve overcome and the experiences you’ve survived.
Unfortunately so many people won’t have the ability to see the dawn of 2021. No matter how exhausted we may feel, we still have a chance. It’s your life, your chance, make it count.
Are you living ‘authentically’, meaning are you doing and living the life you’re genuine about, that you care about and that you believe in? Are you living in line with your morals and principles?
What would you like to do next year in terms of personal growth? What can you do to help your health and wellbeing?
Living In The Now
We can spend our whole lives looking back or looking forward and forgetting to live in the experience right now. Don’t make this mistake and realise it all too late. The only life we have is in the now.
Looking back and thinking about the future are both wise things to do in moderation and things I’d hugely recommend doing. But living in fear or regret, or chasing elusive concepts of happiness and success, will leave your life feeling empty.
It’s time to embrace the uncertainty and go with the flow a little more. Appreciate the small joys, live in the now and move forward with a little hope, taking each minute as it comes.
♥ ♥ ♥
Time For Space, Rest & Perspective
As some of you may know, I was in hospital on 10th December for a few days with twisted insides again. Guess what happened on Christmas Day? Yep, it started happening again. My small bowel has twisted & my stoma’s been messed up. I never thought it would happen again so quickly. Christmas Day wasn’t too bad and I managed to enjoy it thanks to it just being myself and my parents, but after that it has been a few days of waiting it out as my bowel twisted and I refused to go to hospital, hoping like hell things would right themselves.
After boxing day, it’s mostly been me in bed, rolling around and crying. I’m a snotty crier, but I was scared. Terrified, even. I couldn’t go back to that hospital again. It gave me time to think and to really, truly realise all I’m grateful for, and to acknowledge the hurt and regrets I still painfully hold onto. I think my insides and stoma are finally starting to ease back to ‘normal’, but it’s a bit touch and go so I don’t want to speak too soon as things still aren’t quite right yet. As such, I’ve not proofed this post and I’ve not been around blogs or emails very much either. I’m now glad to have started some of these posts before Christmas!
Obviously you don’t want to go to the same lengths of having your insides twist, but if you can, take a little time out, away from the chores or the stresses and distractions. There’s a perverse need in our modern world to be continually productive, to always be doing and to feel guilty if we take some down time. It’s not healthy and it won’t help any in the long run.
Feel whatever you’re feeling, breathe, and give yourself the space for clarity and rest without guilt or judgement.
♥ ♥ ♥
Wishing you all the very best for a brighter New Year!
Here’s to hoping the New Year is a little less shit & a lot less Covidy! Stay safe everyone.