As the Christmas cards start arriving many of them say “here’s hoping to a better 2021”.
I am super excited about 2021 – partly because I’m excited about what I’ve got cooking up, and partly because I feel a powerful energy that 2021 will bring.
However interestingly every time I go to write 2021 – I have written 20201 – at first I had no idea why, but as I’m penning these lines to you – I am wondering if maybe the energy of 2021 will be similar to 2020 – at least at the beginning of the year.
And of course I have no idea what 2021 will bring. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s to expect the unexpected – something that actually makes my eyes shine (maybe I’m just weird).
But as I look back on 2021 I don’t think it’s been a terrible year. It’s been very different, it’s been challenging, it’s been emotional and heart-breaking for so many. Yet people’s courage, love, generosity and kindness has shone through. There have been opportunities aswell as hardship, joy alongside sorrow.
Being human means to experience ALL the emotions – and 2020 has certainly given us that.
If you are struggling and finding life challenging right now, please know you are not alone and that this too shall pass. If you need someone to talk to, someone to listen, someone to hang-out with, either on zoom or maybe in the flesh on a socially distanced walk – reach out- pick up the phone and ask for support.
Today more than ever we need connection.
Until this week I hadn’t appreciated just how much we crave connection – and how much it lifts us when we’re feeling down. I have been blessed to be part of a small group of supportive women for several years. It’s a space I can go whenever I need support – and when I want to celebrate – they were the first to hear about me becoming a published writer (more on that below).
When things get tough, when we’re feeling unwell or down, we often don’t want to reach out to others – we tell ourselves “I don’t want to be a burden” or “I don’t want to bring the energy down”. But it’s in those times that we need connection more than ever and when we do connect it’s a blessing for others – it gives them an opportunity to support us – and when we’re being of service it nourishes our soul. Often people don’t know how to support us – they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, or making things worse and it’s human nature that we’re unsure, we do nothing.
I truly believe it’s our responsibility to ensure our needs are met – and to do that we need to communicate clearly. Yet we’ve never really been taught how to communicate clearly to receive the nourishment we need. Instead we’re brought up not to be selfish and to serve others before ourselves. Often this is at the detriment of our own health and well-being and we end up in middle age having served everyone around us so much that we’ve lost ourselves. We no longer know what fuels us and lights us up. And that can be hugely challenging because we believe we SHOULD know. That at age x we should have this figured out by now.
Actually no. If you’re feeling like that – please know that it is perfectly normal – you are in the right place. When you feel frustrated at where you’ve ended up, tell yourself (gently and compassionately) that you’re on a journey of discovery – you’re exploring what YOU want now. What lights you up? What nourishes you? It’s different for us all.
Ponder on those questions as you’re going about your day. Notice what brings you joy. For me whenever I meet others and share and smile and pleasantries I always feel joy – whether that’s out walking or shopping. We may be socially distancing but there are always ways we can connect.
Practice asking for what you want – if you can’t find something in a store – ask someone where it is. If you’d like some help cooking dinner, ask someone to help you. If you’re feeling lonely call someone and ask how they are – they’ll appreciate the connection.
Until next time,