We are already in December!
Two things that this year 2020 has impressed on me are:
- Expect the unexpected… and you will be okay, regardless.
Imagine all the ups and downs that the world has gone through this year. The pandemic we have experienced has been a first for many in our generation. When I think about all the changes we have had to experience – from several months of quarantine, to scary numbers of infected persons and lives lost, to marked changes in how employment goes and how work is carried out, to kids having to stay home from school and then learn the remote way of schooling, etc, etc – this year has been surreal in more ways than one.
It literally seems like God slowed the world down – you know how a video can be made to run in slow motion; this is the fate that seems to have befallen humanity this year.
We have also been put on pause in some ways – for example, that time you wanted to travel but still can’t due to travel restrictions; that time you wanted to start a new career but have to hold off because the industry is experiencing difficulties; or that time you would have liked to plan a beautiful wedding on an exotic island but Covid19 threw that curve ball.
There have certainly been many unexpected-s and first-times this year.
But you know what? We have been OK. We have learned to adapt and carry on. We have slowed down and begun to understand life in different dimensions – of deeper awareness and gratitude. Although some have lost jobs, fallen sick, and gotten held back in many ways, the silver lining is that we are learning a new way of approaching life and we have seen how we can survive even when certain startling changes occur around us.
Hopefully, this has led us to become more appreciative of the little things, to care more about our neighbors and loved ones, and to be more patient in general.
- The rules changed up; the familiar was taken away, but we are still making it.
When the pandemic first hit the U.S. in March and schools, stores, and companies were ordered to shut down except for essential businesses, I remember this one afternoon that I had to make a run to the bank for some deposits. While driving that day, I noticed the empty roads and quietness in the air; shopping centers were deserted, and there was very little human activity. Streets that used to be alive and buzzing felt erringly empty; it was like driving through a ghost town – sad and empty. I have lived in the U.S. for many years, and never could have imagined that a country so energetic and buzzing with a 24/7 economy could be brought to a standstill or placed on pause.
But somehow, we made it through and are still in the process of recovery because as I write, the pandemic is yet to let up. The old normalcy is gone, we are living a new normal.
Most of the familiar was taken away and a new introduced. Rules that we once held dear regarding how to conduct life and guidelines humanity adhered to have been challenged. 2020 has for sure turned the status quo upside down. And through it all, we are still here, smiling. For example, instead of commuting to work, most had to learn how to commute from their bedrooms to their home offices in pajamas. Instead of spending weekends hanging out in bars and restaurants, many have learned to curl up on the sofa and watch TV. Instead of traveling to a church building for worship, many are attending church services and prayer sessions via Zoom. Who knew?!
What this teaches us is that at the end of the day, there are no set human rules to live by – except those that reside deep in our spiritual beings as people. Man-made laws can be changed by the Universe at any time, and there ain’t nothing man can do about it. Hopefully, this year has taught us that we are the important pieces of the world, so are our brothers and sisters, and other creatures of the earth.
“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
Instead of living like programmed robots, this year/season begs us to start focusing on coming to an understanding of ourselves – spiritually, mentally and even physically; and to fashion our lives based on what’s important and healthy for us and others.
Before 2020, what are some hobbies that you had dropped because life got too busy? What are some dreams of yours that you no longer paid attention to because they seemed “far-fetched”? What are some simple basic activities that make you feel connected to yourself, the earth and others? Notice – these have nothing to do with career; the focus is you and your inner being.
How about sitting on the floor and lazing around doing nothing; walking around barefoot (of course not during the winter); having a good time working on the yard or catering to a garden you just started? How about spending more time checking in on loved ones and having fun conversations; or spending more time with your kids, actually listening to them? How about spending quality alone time learning more about yourself, simply resting and doing nothing?
When we are at peace with ourselves and connected to us, we become better leaders and are more productive (and alive) in all we do.
So hear we are in December! – four weeks out before another new year. How is 2021 going to turn out? Nobody really knows what to expect.
Meanwhile, like many, I am of the mindset that if we have made it this far into 2020 and are smiling, then appreciation, love and thanksgiving is what we should be feeling in our hearts. So laugh more, give more hugs and let’s remain hopeful this beautiful month of December.
Tell me, what new habit(s) have you adapted this year that were not part of you last year?
“Kids in the future will have to endure an entire school year of History class devoted just to the year 2020.” – Internet meme