It’s too easy to say that 2020 was a shitty year. Challenging, yes, forcing us to behave outside of our routine, absolutely, but the accelerant that COVID served to create change – monumental.
That said, here are some of the insights I gained in a year otherwise enveloped in challenges and shifts.
1. The game of cooties we played as kids was a precursor to COVID.
2. When it comes to hits to mental health, no one is immune. We are all deserving of peace as we walk through our upsets without losing our balance so we can reach the other side.
3. A pandemic and bad judgement are incongruent. Those called Public Servants, serving as politicians, and others in senior positions, cannot take trust or truth lightly. Rules established in the inner circle, which they are privy to, render them void from ignorance and flagrant disregard. The result is a toxicity of hypocrisy rescinding trust’s return. Broken trust is separation; forged trust is unity. We were in this all together for the first six weeks. After that, it was a dog’s breakfast. Anyone who perpetuated the separation by violating the truth and trust violated a public code. Both are catalysts for positive change; distrust and deception are not. We’ve culled through the pandemic, and politicians are not immune to the same culling, particularly when they operate in “do as I say, not as I do.” A behaviour underlining they are incapable of leading us out of the woods concerning the pandemic.
4. Our level of consumption is about filling a hole. Being home for some time was an excuse to consume. Living in a material world allows us to experience life through things that bring us contrast, but we can be discerning why, what, and how we consume. If we are satiated, we want nothing as our priceless inner peace is void of any gaps requiring stuffing. There are no holes to fill when it comes to joy, happiness and love. That awareness exists in each of us if we choose to be alive to it. Are we living with less that brings us more joy, or are we blind to our carbon footprint feeding our ego and landfill unnecessarily and incessantly? As mentioned in previous blogs, it’s better to invest in something that costs $1000 that you wear 500 times than in something you paid $10 for that you wear once. It’s all about the cost per wear.
5. Fear attracts more fear. Education eliminates both fear and ignorance.
6. Mother Earth is our landlord, and we need to rethink how we occupy space in HER world, starting with respecting biodiversity. The violation of that insight created a landscape ripe for the virus to grow and spread. We’re only tenants, with a limited occupancy period. We cannot continue to live like rock stars trashing a hotel room, polluting her air, oceans, decimating every aspect of her existence. She can and will evict us. We witnessed wildlife travelling into cities during quarantine and have seen the twinkle of stars over major cities. She had a global moment in which to exhale. We’ve been served notice and must adjust our cavalier behaviour. The virus was manifested on her turf, and be clear, she will have the last say.
7. Masks are like condoms. If you don’t want an outcome, wear one.
8. A sociologist is not well-versed in the workings of an epidemiologist. Similarly, an epidemiologist is not intimate with human behaviour, especially when it comes to reacting to newly proposed rules and restrictions. When creating new measures to limit the spread of the virus, it is beneficial to include those who specialize in studying human behaviour, like sociologists, to be part of the team advising what directives will serve to bring the curve down or shoot it back up. It is not up to the politicians or anyone outside of that field to assume an outcome they have no insight into.
9. How is it that washing our hands, something instilled in us since childhood, is suddenly promoted like its novel with benefits we couldn’t otherwise imagine?
10. Adults in resistance to COVID protocols make kindergarten kids understanding and practicing those same protocols look like they’re in Mensa.
11. We are one. A tough notion to swallow for those in resistance. Our impoverished vision of unity supporting separation, during turbulent times, stops us from seeing the light in the dark so we can find the door out. We are aspects of each other, and the sooner we make friends with that realization, the quicker we can address long-overdue progressive change. One’s gender, colour, religious beliefs all circle back to us, so we best recognize the fact that they are not only our brothers and sisters, they are us.
12. You’re no less fabulous if you don’t bake sourdough bread or churn your own butter.
13. Toilet paper will go the way of fine dining on the highway, with COVID accelerating bidet style toilets. Bringing calm to those who believe that toilet paper has the same value as precious metals.
14. Accepting and loving ourselves with overgrown hair, exposed roots, chipped nails and feet that look like they’ve been on a trek in a National Geographic expose is the essence of real beauty.
15. Allowing the pandemic to shine a light onto your life to initiate change is utilizing it progressively. Change is a constant. For those who lost loved ones, there were endings. Those who reassessed their lives, discovering they weren’t genuinely alive, are now embracing new beginnings.
16. Laughter is a sacred spiritual experience. It is impossible to laugh and hold another thought in your head. You must be present. Those who could find laughter in the trying times were releasing themselves from fear into the light. The gifted and candid comedians ranting and exposing contrasts on different and delicate life issues provided an exhalation from the pain. By puncturing sacred cows, we are void of abstractions and possess the clarity to see things in their simplistic form, releasing our anxieties around them.
17. We have created a new COVID language. Social distancing, flattening the curve, self-isolation and doom scrolling, the act of indulging in negative news. In 2021 I will be altering all those meanings to reflect my new reality. I will not be doom scrolling the bakery menu and socially distancing myself from desserts that will flatten the curve, so I won’t have to self-isolate because my pants don’t fit.
18. Blursday, where the days of the week blur together. Something I experienced annually during boxing week. The virus changed all that by making most of the year Blursday. Blursday shook my perceptions around my favourite days of the week, like Friday or Saturday, and rolling them into one that I live daily.
19. Staying home saved lives. Who knew?
20. Quarantine is like the Everready bunny on a Monday afternoon. It keeps going and going and going.
21. As middle-aged women, we had to be the beacons for ourselves, our families and our friends. We’ve lived in a capacity beyond any athlete’s endurance, caregiving, assisting and transcending the Nike motto of “Just Do It.”
22. Growing up in the sixties, essential services had a different meaning from today, including alcohol and weed. To quote Dylan, “The Times They Are A Changin.”
23. The power of love once again magnificently made its debut to show us that it holds us together, sees us as one, and can bring people through some of their most difficult times. There is no dismissing how quietly and ferociously it served to remind the planet who we are at our core and that we need to remember that and move forward in that awareness.
24. Less is more, small is grand and simple is expansive. Large doesn’t mean better, and small can exceed its offerings. As for simplicity, it is the distillation of complexity. To adhere to a simple life is not to become a simpleton but the contrary. To be conscious of removing distractions while preserving one’s alignment with life, living in a higher realm of joy.
There are no guarantees for 2021. We create our reality by hitching our wagon to narratives we choose. It’s all perception. It’s time to be selective, where we hitch our wagon and start auditing our thoughts. Focusing on a collective consciousness of new possibilities that are instrumental in manifesting positive change. We’re never going back. We are, however, going in a new direction.
Happy New Year to each of you. May your year be wrapped in blessings and abundance. May the light shine not only on your path but also in your heart as you walk from a year supposed to be about vision into one that is.