When life hands you lemons...
The old adage doesn't quite feel appropriate for the upheaval that has wrought our world this year. Life has turned upside down, many of us are balancing all responsibilities from our living room couch, facing the constant daily threat of serious illness and loss, and we can't safely commiserate around a table with our family and friends. While a global pandemic has raged on for most of the year, we have also faced a reckoning as a country in response to the ongoing violence perpetrated against black and minority lives, and a growing political divide that has severed friendships and families. This has all been hard. We are tired, defeated, and ready for some semblance of "normal." Or maybe not normal. Maybe something new, where the myriad threats we currently feel are not so weaved into the fabric of our everyday lives.
It is tempting to believe that as soon as the clock strikes midnight this December 31st, magic will befall the planet, and things will start to feel okay again. I have seen countless bumper stickers, Christmas ornaments, and memes demonizing the year 2020, giving it full responsibility for our plight. I, too, have found myself daydreaming about how a new year will bring an end to at least some of the suffering of the past year. But what if nothing is different on Friday morning? How attached are we to the idea that things MUST feel "better" in 2021?
Death and rebirth are the only constant; it's the cycle of life. Nothing stays the same. We reinvent ourselves, birthing new versions of who we are on a regular basis. The seasons show us beautifully how letting go and falling dormant leads to blooming as soon as conditions are right. Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, beginnings and endings. It's how we navigate these that really matters. Saying goodbye to 2020 inevitably means welcoming 2021. What expectations do we already have for the new year? After months at home with ourselves, what have we really learned?
Let us be intentional about what we say goodbye to in 2020. Let us allow in all of the lessons that came out of this year and make room for the changes that are begging to be made. I would argue that 2020 has not been a curse, but a teacher. It has reflected back to us, individually and collectively, who we are and what we need, and it has forced us to FEEL it all.
Some reminders I hope to carry with me into the new year:
Sending peace, light, and love. See you in 2021.