Is your 2021 going how you thought it would?
While I think I can say for certain that 2020 was collectively a year we all wanted to move through as quickly as possible, it is uncertain (to me at least) as to whether 2021 is starting off any different. I guess thats the thing about starting a new year, you hope to have a clean break from everything that the former year held. And while it’s aspirational and inspirational to plan for a complete refresh, it doesn’t always come in the form of a complete start over. You are after all still you (and no, that isn’t a bad thing!)
I am the same me I was in 2020. A little more enlightened (I am hoping) and a few weeks older, but essentially the same me. I mean, I have been me for a few decades and it’s something I have grown accustomed to. Thats not to say there aren’t things I want to change up or do differently. That list is longggggg. But I think what I am realizing most is that nothing outside me is going to cause that change. I have to decide it for myself. Waiting for external circumstances to change (whether it be the turn of the calendar into a new year, a new job, a return to ‘normalacy’ etc) may have you waiting forveer.
Take online schooling for example. I was chatting with my sister about it a week ago and we were both feeling overwhelmed and defeated. I told her since the most recent extension of home learning, I have had to tell myself it is going to go on for the rest of the school year (whether that is true or not). For me, I have to believe it will go on as is for months so that I can get in my head that this is indeed how it will be. I can’t live hoping every 2 weeks they will announce otherwise, or I will never commit or accept the current state. For me, acceptance is how I am moving forward. And if by chance they go back to in school learning before this September I will be pleasantly surprised. My sister lovingly disagreed. For her, she said she had to believe they would be going back sooner than later to in school learning because if she let herself believe it would be September she didn’t think she could cope with that distance. For her, the hope of normalcy is moving her forward.
All of this to say. We are all who we are no matter if it’s a new year or not. And the best thing we can do for ourselves is to actually get to know ourselves a little better. To learn what works best for us. To discover what makes us feel good and to follow that feeling. And that starts by listening to how we feel and asking ourselves, what would be the next best feeling thought? It will be different for you than it is for me (as evidence by my own sister) but that is the beauty of the world. We all are different and growing and doing the best we can as we enter this new year.
If we can be encouraging and supportive of each other’s path, even if (and especially if) different then our own, then that is just the best thing we can do for ourselves and others.
You get to choose your direction. You get to choose how you feel. Understanding that, for me has been the best takeaway of 2020, that I will carry happily into all that 2021 has in store. What about you?