One thing we can all agree with is that we set unattainable expectations for the roll over from 2020 to 2021. Now that the reality has set in that our lives will probably never be the same, what do we do with the mental weight of what we have been through?
Humans are not known for being adaptable or at all comfortable with change. But what we have learned from the last 12 months is that we no longer have a choice. The key is in learning to climb to the top of the garbage heap rather then letting it bury you alive. The past year taught us so many things, arguably too many things. BUT all those things hold value. We learned where our true priorities lie, how resilient we are, how love and connection are all that truly matter, and who in our circles can remain there in the new year.
That depressed and exhausted feeling so many of us are grappling with now (you know, the one that many people thought would magically dissipate with the flipping of a calendar page?) is not something that should be made to be shameful or insignificant. All the things that we associated with joy before the pandemic were stripped from us. Our existence became working to survive, looking for work, working so that our communities could survive, sorting and filtering our beliefs through media and close relationships, etc. We had a year of pure existence and survival, not living. No outings, no parties, no traveling, and no planning. We are a human population of busy bodies who were unable to make any plans for their future. We lost all sense of control and that frankly sits well with none of us. What we found in the empty corners of our worlds, however, were the activities and people we did not know we ever needed.
We were forced to weed out what was not working in our lives because we did not have the time or energy for anything less. We have been given a fresh start to turn our days in to worthwhile spans of time. Or at the very least, we now sit with piles of literal and figurative things that we no longer want or need. We have seen how quickly our lives can change; therefore, we should be less willing to give our energy, time, and space to any person, place or thing that does not serve us or our purpose that we are desperately searching for.
We now know what our own beliefs are, we know who we can trust, who’s hearts are aligned with our own, and what things we are no longer willing to live with moving forward. However raw and painful these realizations may be, they are significant and priceless. We may never be able to let our guards down. And perhaps we never should. By becoming complacent and living in auto pilot we tend to stop noticing all the sewage that seeps into our lives. What we eat, what we watch, what we listen to, who we spend our time with, and how we spend our money. We are awake now, which will naturally mean that we are feeling more than ever. This does not have to be a bad thing. As the months keep moving forward, we will slowly be able to add things back into our worlds that will make our lives feel more normal and enjoyable. We now have every possible excuse and all the possible power to choose what we allow back. No one is paying attention.
Live to learn. Live to love. And just keep walking.