My Reflection on 2020Well. Besides gasping in disbelief, because — let’s be real — this past year was... something... there are a few other words that come to my mind. Acceptance. Gratitude. Patience. Adaptability. Really, all things that can easily be overlooked when you’re living life in the fast lane, or even at its normal speed.
Before the pandemic hit and stay-at-home orders were issued, my life had already been quiet for a while. I’ve been recovering from a complicated TBI since 2018, which meant that my life of singing, dancing, performing, recreational sports, and my usual amount of traveling were toned way down, so that I could properly heal. I already was staying at home much of the time, and finding things to do that weren’t too cognitively and physically taxing. But, with the world moving around me, friends and colleagues making great strides in their careers and lives, and the businesses I’m in continuing to move at their usual speed… I felt pressure. Pressure to heal faster and to push myself harder, even though, cognitively and physically, I couldn’t and shouldn’t. And because I couldn’t run at 100 miles per hour, never mind at my normal speed, I felt like I was slacking, failing, and coming up short in accomplishing my goals and moving myself forward in life… Which is perhaps the area in which I constantly critique myself the hardest.
When the world slowed, I felt that it matched the speed I had been living at for so long, and so, it allowed me to take a breath. One breath turned into many breaths, which turned into a new way of breathing. I became easier on myself, accepted my deficits from my injury, and learned to be okay at working through them at whatever speed my body and mind needed me to. This was key for me and has lead to breakthroughs in my healing. It was also a major lesson learned in life.
In doing this, I dove deeper into gratitude. Gratitude has always, always, always been at the center of my life, but I learned it in a different way this past year. Even though my mind as I once knew it wasn’t all there and I felt so many limitations that I hadn’t before… I learned to be so incredibly grateful. For my good health, for resilience, for positivity, for self-love, for friends and family who I got to lean on, and who supported me fiercely. For amazing progressions in my recovery, especially in the last 6 months. And, I found myself deeply grateful for the quiet life, family time, and humble space that the year brought. Watching and hearing of others’ hardship and loss made my heart bleed, as did experiencing loss in my own life, with pain that felt almost too great and profound to bear. Yet, at the same time, it all gave me a strong reason to pray more, love deeper, and cherish time and moments like I never really had before. Anyone else notice that, too?
This journey with gratitude and deep reflection also brought many lessons of patience and adaptability. I think this year taught many of us more than ever that we can’t control what’s to come. But what we can control is what we choose to make of it and how we choose to move through it. My Grandma Lovey has always said, “Life is great if you can adjust, adapt, and accept it the way it is.” She is 88 years old. I believe that being grateful for every moment — past, present and future — being open to deeper meanings and purposes and searching for them, being okay with life happening how it will, and allowing ourselves to move with the wind helps to make everything okay. It creates a peace in the soul that can comfort through times of hardship and uncertainty. A peace that can guide us through the dark and into the light.
So, at the end of the day, and at the end of the year, I still find myself saying, “Thank you, 2020.” I didn’t think I’d have much to say about this past year, because of how hard and crazy it was, and honestly, I could still go on. But there’s something I really love about that. It goes to show that there are always two sides to every story. It is my hope that with 2021, and every other year, the side of transformation and growth always shines brightest.
So, with that, and with open arms, I welcome you, 2021. And to everyone reading ~ Happy New Year, and may your journey be blessed!