I have been thinking a lot recently about the good parts of this year and, in part, I feel like this is because I have had to for my sanity’s sake. Come towards the end of December we all tend to get a little bit nostalgic and wonder what exciting things the new year will bring us. Well, not sure any of us anticipated what 2020 has brought us! I think that’s why I have been feeling contemplative early this year because this year has felt like it’s been about three years whilst simultaneously going the speed of light.
Just before the new year last year, I wrote a post about how that time of year encaptures this desire we have as humans for a fresh start. I think that’s what we all need this year. I think this second lock-down and the pending tier system have taken their toll on many of us. Conversations I have had with people have confirmed that I am not alone in being really worn down this time around. We do have more freedoms than Lock-down 1.0, but equally, we have fewer daylight hours and Seasonal Defective Disorder is high whilst morale is low.
One thing I have been grateful for this year is that I am someone who has not been made redundant nor even furloughed. I know people who haven’t been as lucky as me. Although, my Dad, in particular, did enjoy his taste of what retirement will be like when he was furloughed throughout the summer, and to be honest it suited him! However, those of us who have worked throughout probably haven’t had many, if any breaks, and are probably crawling towards the finish line that is Christmas (if they even get that off, that is).
So many things that have had a negative impact on a lot of people have happened, and I really don’t need to tell you what those were. To save our sanity and give our brains a shot of endorphins, I think it is time to take stock of what we are grateful for this year, on a personal level. We need to take in the small wins we’ve had in a year that feels like the world is crumbling down around us.
What has happened for you that’s been good? What has happened in your life, in your family, to your friends? What are you proud of this year? I’ve been thinking about this for me and I have come up with a surprising number of wins, even if some are seemingly small. I’ve learnt a lot in my work, I’ve had some ‘thrown into the fire’ moments this year which have only served to be amazing learning for me. I’m writing a book as a ‘personal passion project’, which I’m proud of. I’ve learnt that I bloody love a walk; they boost my serotonin levels and I feel amazing when I get out in the fresh air. A new appreciation for trees has set in, but this may be my age. I had a partner live with me for the first time, which for someone independent, stubborn and slightly commitment-phobic was a massive step for me, and, eased fears I had around any long-lasting relationships I have in the future. I’m proud of myself for taking that plunge, and I’m also proud of myself for kicking him out when his red flags were showing. I’ve reconciled with friends; I’ve let others go if their over-stepping of my boundaries was too much. I made new friends. I’ve grown as a person and I have never loved myself more.
These are just a few things that have shone through the darkness of this year for me. What about for you? I want to know what good things you have plucked out of this difficult year. It may be like finding a needle in a haystack for some, but there is always good to be found.
As the late, great Dumbledore said ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of places if one only remembers to turn on the light’.
I’m now going to start putting my Christmas decorations up because it’s 2020 and there are no rules!