As I sit reminiscing the Darwin tropical paradise, I enjoyed each morning, I am able to breathe in the many memories. The serenity of those mornings, the bustle of a family breakfast, the simple joy of a coffee while listening to the birds chirping and later contemplating the night sky while pondering the sounds of the many frogs discussing their day. I’m aware I have the space in my mind to consciously reflect on the gift that was 2020 and attempt to examine the significance.
I will remember that 2020 was when I made the courageous decision to leave the corporate world and follow my heart into making a difference in the lives of others by becoming a registered counsellor and starting the journey to become a psychologist.
I will remember the moments of being able to take my daughter to school, observe the roller coaster of emotions as she finished HSC, opened that special email that contained a university offer and walked out with red P’s in hand.
I will remember the quiet moments of walking with my son along the waterfront, hanging out with him and trying to learn Pokémon Go (which I confess I only had moderate success).
This was a year for me and many others when time slowed, and family life seemed to be in the spotlight in a way that felt nurturing, normal and yet challenging. The difference between what I thought was normal before lockdown to how my life is today is significantly different. It is difficult to reconcile a few months earlier my life was busy doing things which when I reflect now, never mattered but somehow at the time, seemed important. The gift of time; of having a forced time out meant a pausing. I only now appreciate how the pull to busyness and to do “things” is strong and addictive. I am thankful this was a time of personal growth mixed with challenges and a recognition I was capable of more. I am grateful for the family bonding that took place amidst such an unusual world setting.
Some of the lessons for me worth sharing are:
- You have no control; embrace the chaos
We spend a lot of time attempting to control everything around us to ensure a perfect outcome when in reality we have no control. I now take nothing for granted as change is swift; unpredictable and has the final say!
- You have time; embrace the quiet
Being busy is addictive and gets in the way of inner peace and happiness. If you fill your mind with things you have to do and your body with tasks it needs to achieve, is it any wonder your spirit is exhausted each night? Having nothing to do is ok and should be a mantra.
- You have a life; embrace each moment
Rarely do we embrace the present moment; stop and look around and take in the beauty of life. We go through each day collecting more things, capturing the moment on social media and rushing to our next task on the to do list. The question I ask is this: If not now, when?
My 2021 plan is to live each moment with purpose, meaning and embrace life with gusto. Will I always get it right? I hope not! I plan to love my failures with laughter and poke at them with carrot sticks, avocado dip while enjoying a glass of bubbles! Or coffee as I’m always better after a coffee!