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If we had to describe the year we are about to finish in one word, that word probably would be “unprecedented.” It all started with the rumors of a virus spreading in Asia. A few months and a lockdown later, we are now in a world that will likely never be the same again.
At some point, we all probably asked ourselves, if this was the end of the world. For good reason too – people lost their jobs, businesses and in some cases their whole careers. They had to change their lifestyle in ways they never imagined they would. From a trip to the grocery store to a traditional family get together, almost every single thing had to be reimagined for the sake of the so called “new normal.”
The key question: Is it naive to remain optimistic when so much is lost or at stake? Perhaps the answer lies in the big picture. We are experiencing an unseen-before event that is in the process of re-writing the rules of business, leisure, daily life and everything in between. Yes, a ton has changed in the process. Yes, most of us experienced some kind of loss. And, yes, this Christmas will probably be a less-than-ideal one for you and your family, just like Thanksgiving and other special days of this year.
Yes, it’s frustrating. And disheartening.
And yet, change always has two faces:
- People lost their jobs, but they also found the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and reimagine who they are and what they want to do in life, and return to work stronger and more focused.
- Companies had to downsize, close their offices, but they also got the chance of seeing the power of letting people work from home, and the impact of providing a better work-life balance.
- Many families were able to get together and really communicate for the first time in ages, when they had to spend time together in a state of lockdown.
In every crisis, there are lessons to be learned and room for personal growth. We had to give up a lot during this time, but we also learned a lot about ourselves; who we are, what we want and what really matters in life.
Perhaps you are wondering what did I learn about myself. Consider this:
- Have you realized you enjoy being home with your family and working around that? How will you continue with that same feeling of joy once everyone – sometime in 2021 we hope – returns to their own worlds – work, school, sports?
- Are your pets thrilled to have you home – now if you are returning to the workplace in the next few months how will you condition your pets to not have anyone home through the day?
- If you are a business owner, is it feasible to keep your business going in 2021 or will you choose to change how you do business, or may you close it. I bring this up because whatever you decide to do has emotions attached to it and you will live through those emotions just as we have in 2020.
- Have you noticed? As have I, that I have done some really strange things this year even though I felt I was handling the isolation, the connecting with clients on line rather than in person, and the lack of social interaction well. Well not always – I noticed an even short temper at times with technology, more need to hug the cat and being able to sleep at the drop of a hat, or sometimes not at all. Strange things for me and yet the new reality. And at the same time, I find I have more compassion for others around me.
- Have you given yourself permission to be who you are, and accept that you may be doing things a little differently these days?
- Please do – you are perfect just the way you are and you are in the right place at the right time – be good to yourself – you deserve it. Remember, this too shall pass even though it may not be quickly and it may not be easy.
This Christmas, take a moment to reflect on how you have changed. Odds are you’ll find a lot to be thankful for.
Paying it forward – something we have heard so much about over the years. Recently I saw a post from a mother emotionally thrilled when her 19 year old son returned from buying a car to go to university.
He paid the man the asking amount and then the man counted out $1,000 and handed it back to him with words to the effect of, “Do well in university. Pay it forward when you can!”
Recently I have been the receiver for people who are helping a young family where dad lost his job. Many are Paying It Forward and helping this young family.
What are you doing to pay it forward?
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”Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.”
― Thomas S. Monson