This is perhaps one of the most difficult season's greetings to write.
It’s hard to find someone not touched by loss, stress, and challenging situations this year. Some of us have been left some exhausted, brokenhearted, lonely, frustrated. We have endured, and this season may be a welcome distraction or simply another reminder of all that is different. For others, this year offered welcomed gifts: births, weddings, time with loved ones, new hobbies, more sleep. The season may be different than planned, but feels special all the same.
I guess it is always like that, the holidays meaning different things for different people. This year, it feels like everything has been amplified, and everyone impacted.
I myself have felt all of it.
We humans have a tendency to want to make sense of things, to compartmentalize and neatly file away our experiences. This is especially true of experiences which are challenging and painful. This year, I've found myself wanting to do this time and again, especially as the year wore on. To sum up 2020 in a quip or a single sentence may feel satisfying in some ways, but then we have to ignore or forget the truths and miss important lessons.
Here's 3 truths from my own 2020:
I lost someone I loved, and it hurts because I thought we had more time and we didn't. I wish I had said and done things that I assumed would happen in the future. I have been offered a lesson in the dishonesty of assumptions and taking action now.
I've been scared, of getting sick, of making others sick. I have been uncomfortable to be near people I care about and not know how to be in their presence from so far apart when I desire to hug them close. I am learning how much I want to show people I love them so they can feel it, it's important to me that people feel loved.
Plans made were changed, and changed again because we love people and decided to prioritize being closer to them. I have learned that my sweetheart and I choose to be led by our hearts rather than convention, and I like that about us.
"I measure the strength of a spirit by how much truth it can take." Friedrich Nietzsche.
Honestly Nietzche, sometimes I just want a dose of delightfully distracting fiction.
This year is complicated. And we are complex and uniquely designed to survive 'complicated' things.
If you are reading this. I know you have been.
Hopeful. Resilient. Flexible. Creative.
Hopeful for something better.
Resilient to get through challenging times.
Flexible to explore new ways to work, play, parent, exercise, socialize, and support others.
Creative in how to live life differently.
Who have you been this year?
What lessons have been offered?
I encourage you to take a moment or a few moments to reflect upon these questions. To see the strengths you have brought to this year, and the lessons you are taking forward.
Over the past 12 months during over a thousand conversations I had with people all over the globe I heard a common thread: we love one another. Our well-being is tied to one another. We crave connection in-person, and long for the days when being in a shared space with others is safe again.
My wish for you; for us all:
May we never forget that we love one another.
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe, healthy and hopeful holiday season as you welcome 2021.