2022 or 2020-TOO?
Don’t we all love a do-over?
A be kind and rewind?
The benefits of hindsight?
Well, 2020 was not a year I would like to relive for many obvious reasons, however it was a year full of lessons learned I would like to implement as I move into 2022.
Lately, I have caught myself pausing to pinpoint where in time a memory came from. The last two years have been a bit of a blur and I honestly struggle remembering if something occurred in 2020 or 2021. It is much easier to categorize events in “pre” and “post” pandemic columns.
What I don’t have trouble acknowledging is the massive shift in what life looks like today compared to January 2020.
I preach often about the power of gratitude – how gratitude has an abundant amount of power in shifting our mindset and changing how we see the world.
Granted, identifying and acknowledging gratitude is much more difficult when your ass is on fire rather than when you are practicing mindfulness on beach with a drink in your hand.
That brings me to what I call “Do-Over-Hindsight-Rewind Lessons”, a 2020-TOO, if you will.
Do-Over-Hindsight-Rewind lesson #1: Seek out gratitude and cling to it for survival.
A wise woman (whom I’ve written about before) showed me the importance of being grateful for the basics. She let me cry and whine and bitch and moan about the things I wanted and the reasons I had been wronged. Then she challenged me to seek out the gratitude I was missing to change my mindset from “why me” to “why not me”.
Breath in my lungs. A roof over my head. Lights in my home. Someone to say they love me. These simple gifts are often overlooked when heavy chaos rains down, however their value is nonetheless.
So many people died over the last two years.
So many more people lost someone they love.
A massive amount of people lost their jobs, their homes and their light.
There is always going to be someone praying and wishing and manifesting what you have right now. When I remember this, gratitude is NOT that difficult to find and even more essential to cling to.
Do-Over-Hindsight-Rewind lesson #2: My validation does not require your understanding.
I’ve heard people say politics and religion are not worth discussing. I completely disagree. Sharing ideas is how we learn and evolve. However, preaching your ideas and force-feeding them down an unwanted throat is not sharing and further more it’s arrogant and wrong.
Learning from each other is how we become better humans. Finding our path of co-existence rather than polarizing categorizes of “us” and “them” makes us all better. I am as guilty as the next person for arguing politics and religious views, leaving the conversation thinking the other person is so far off base it’s a wonder they can function in their daily life. (No? Just me that does this? Hum…doubtful).
Just because I do not agree with or understand where someone is coming from or why they believe a certain way does not negate their view. Their belief does not require my understanding to be valid (no matter how wrong I believe it is).
Over the last two years we have all hopped on our high horses and locked ourselves in our ivory towers for so long we forgot that there is another way. We have the ability to listen for the sake of listening and not waiting for someone to catch their breath so we can interject. We’ve turned a difference of opinion into hatred of groups of people we don’t understand.
We are more comfortable with seeking out blame rather than truth.
Can our non-negotiables in life be limited to truth, inclusivity and independence?
Do-Over-Hindsight-Rewind lesson #3: Productivity is in the eye of the beholder.
What was your pandemic project?
Did you get in the best shape of your life? (Nope)
Did you reinvent yourself and change careers? (Nope)
Did you find a new passion for cooking and now your family eats the best it ever has? (Hell No – I still hate cooking!).
Did you survive the lockdown, bounce back and forth with your weight, find new ways not to cook every day, continue your love-hate relationship with work and become a binge-watching expert? (Yep – that’s me!)
Productivity is a nasty, powerful word that inflicts self-loathing tendencies. It is also a moving target. Productivity equates to “they” from “you know what they say”. I don’t know about you, but no I do not know what “they” nor do I give a damn and who the hell are “they” anyway?
Productivity is this moving target set by “they” to measure if you are good enough. Good enough for what you ask? Good enough compared to who? I have no idea, but a discussion of how productive I am leaves me feeling similar to getting on the scale –never the correct number, less-than and full of self-doubt.
My point is, I can be productive by just showing up may be all I have in me some days. Getting up, showering and tending to the littles (aka my daughters) is a full day, but rarely do I accept this as productive. I am happy to do so for anyone else, but I hold myself to the most unrealistic expectations.
I spent far too much time watching how bad-ass other people were during lockdown, giving myself unproductive lashes for not living up to an unrealistic expectation of myself that I do not know the origin of.
So on the 4th day of 2022, can we catch our breath, find some gratitude, open our minds and give ourselves permission to breakout out of the pressures that a new year brings. Can we learn the lessons of the struggle that the last two years brought, because we do not get a “do-over” but maybe we can get a “do-better” year.
Happy New Year, Friends!
Peace & Love,