As the year 2020 draws to an end and Christmas is just around the corner I write this blog to encourage and hopefully inspire you. 2020 is certainly a year that is going to be remembered and talked about for many years, if not decades, to come. Most will reflect on the hardships that COVID-19 inflicted on the world and more pertinently on their lives. Loss of loved ones, loss of an income and jobs, entire countries in lockdown and crazed politicians making the most absurd illogical decisions the effects which will be felt for decades. Some like myself have at times felt incredibly lonely and not sure of the next step.
I however have been incredibly blessed during these tough times. In the hard lockdown I got to spend more time with my daughters, being able to talk about how they miss Mom and learning how to just be there for them. Learning how to listen and only listen. Listening to them recalling all the things they had done with Mom. I truly believe that this time gave them an opportunity to grief.
I was also fortunate to rekindle my passion and love for running, as my garden had to endure the pounding feet of an overweight unfit sack of potatoes. The daily grind of plodding around my garden creating new pathways eventually led to a burning desire to train consistently. As the lockdown restrictions eased I was able to venture onto the streets. For the first time truly speaking to my neighbours in eighteen years of living in my street. Finding running buddies, half my age, in the street. Something that would not have happened prior to 2020.
I even got to develop “Zoom” skills as the new norm of online meetings took place, our GriefShare group still managed to meet and attend to the needs of those hurting from loss of a loved one and having to deal with the disorientation of 2020, all online. Just when we were feeling down and dejected solutions that we had not seen or considered previously became the norm. The girls even attended school online.
I was incredibly blessed with the time I got to start my online studies, time I needed to chip away the rust from the grey matter. Studying was something in my distant past and online studies was an alien concept.
Most importantly I believe 2020 has given all of us time to assess and reevaluate what is important in life. For me that has been the relationships that I am surrounded with. Starting with my innermost circle, my girls, ensuring that they know they are loved and deeply appreciated. Letting them know that they are individual and unique, and that they have the strength to achieve whatever they apply themselves to. For me it has become clearer that living in a silo is a recipe for failure. As I moved to each outer circle the value of being real and authentic came with an inner confidence I have received back way more than I could of hoped for or imagined. Meeting new people, being challenged by different perspectives and approaches to life. Meeting new people and feeling a sense of immediate connection through a commonality of loss.
Dear friends, 2020 has been a tough year and this can not be ignored however it would be amiss of us not to see the positives that we have gained in this year. One of the biggest realisations for me is that prior to 2020 we were losing our sense of humanity, the rush of life and building careers and businesses being our main focus. My prayer is that just as 2020 has afforded me the opportunity to step back and recalibrate what is important so to it will have been for you. If not, there are still a few days left of 2020, as we say in our running group, it’s not how you start the race but rather how you finish it. May you finish 2020 with a balanced view of both the positive and negative but more importantly that you step into 2021 with a confidence and connection to those around you.