How many times have you seen the statement ‘2020 is cancelled’ on social media over the last months?
It’s important to ask yourself, what does this statement evoke in you? Agreement or disagreement? Laughing or crying? Whatever your reaction I am here to tell you that 2020 is not cancelled.
Yes, 2020 looks very different than most of us planned but that does not mean it is cancelled. In reality, when we look back at this decade, I would say that 2020 will be the year we will all remember, for many different reasons.
The following poem, written by Leslie Dwight (Instagram @lesliedwight), really resonated with me:
“What if 2020 isn’t cancelled? What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.
2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.”
2020 has been a very challenging year for many people and will continue to be, in so many different ways. We are all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. The challenges you face will be unique to you.
I feel like I am on a roller coaster. There are days I wake up full of energy and enthusiasm and days where even the smallest tasks seem all too challenging. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I spent much of my time fighting what I perceived as the ‘bad’ days and I would do everything in my power to change these into ‘good’ days.
What I realised was that the ‘bad’ days were trying to get my attention, to teach me something. I had spent so long constantly focusing on the positive that the negative just kept coming back to me. This put me on a journey to sit with the perceived ‘negative’ and listen, process and act. I was so focused on telling myself I should be so grateful for my privilege that I forgot a key component in how I should be processing 2020.
Yes, I should be very grateful for my situation in life but that doesn’t mean I cannot grieve the plans I had for 2020. I had convinced myself that because I am so fortunate, I shouldn’t be spending time thinking about the plans that didn’t happen. I am slowly realising it is okay for me to feel disappointed; it is okay for me to feel frustrated. What is not okay for me is to wallow in the negative.
I am slowly learning to sit with the discomfort of the ‘bad’ days and it has taught me that more I sit with the bad days the less frequent they happen. On the days when my energy is lower, I go with the flow and take rest when needed, rather than fight through. It’s not just my mind telling me what it needs, but also my body.
2020 is not stopping there with the lessons it wants me to learn. It is screaming at me to give up my illusion and desire for control.
For those who know me you know, I am a big fan of planning. So much so that I like to plan weeks and even months in advance. This year is teaching me that I can plan all I want but I need to be flexible enough to adapt when my plans don’t happen due to circumstances that are out of my control. It’s a slow burn lesson. I can still find myself fighting it…trying to plan to create a feeling of control.
With all these lessons still being learnt, I am committed to focusing on the fact that 2020 is still here and going strong. There are over 5 months left in the year and I want to do them justice, in whatever way that might be.
It is up to each and every single one of us how we decide to spend the rest of the year. Whether it be an opportunity to rest and reflect, or, an opportunity to change the direction you are currently heading in.
· What are you committed to for the rest of 2020?
· How do you want to remember 2020?
· In January 2021, when you reflect on the year, how do you want to be able to describe it?
Remember, this is not about what the world threw at you this year, but how you responded to it. What is 2020 trying to teach you?