And here we are…
A new year to make our own.
And, as most of us have felt in years past, every new year brings that feeling of renewal with a hopefulness that this year will be greater than the last.
Never has this felt more true than right now.
Last year at this time, I wrote a post called 2020 in Review: What the Heck was That Anyways? When I re-read that post on New Year’s Day, I remembered writing it and feeling “well, we made it through…that was tough…but, at least it’s coming to an end”.
And, maybe that, in a nutshell, is why 2021 was difficult for some.
We had high hopes that the unprecedented year that was 2020 was finally behind us and it was time to forge ahead. I believe many of us thought that 2021 was going to be the year of recovery – we learned all we could learn in 2020 and now it was time to move on.
But the year that began with hopefulness, teased us with a bit of faith that things were turning around and then BOOM, everything came to a grinding halt.
In 2020, we were scared of this pandemic and all the uncomfortable things it potentially brought our way. But, when it seemed that we had perhaps figured some things out – that washing your hands is super important, that invading people’s personal space is never a good idea, that staying home when you’re sick is always a better idea than going to work and getting everyone else sick – we realized that maybe we didn’t. New variants created new problems and the world – and people – became stagnant again.
Perhaps these are my feelings living in this part of Canada (maybe people in other parts of the world are seeing things differently) but 2021 sure did feel like groundhog day most days. And, maybe, a decreased trust in institutions/government might have been one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of happiness around the world.
It also may have felt like, although we had the capacity to stay connected (thank you, Internet), our world had never felt smaller than it did over the last twelve months. To say it was strange and disorienting would be an understatement. Many thing may (still) not make sense – even after almost two years.
But, I believe we need to try…one foot in front of the other and we can all move forward.
How, you say??
Let’s Look At Ways to Create a More Positive 2022:
- Plan good things for the year: If there is something I’ve learned, it’s that dreams without a plan are just dreams. Want to run a marathon by the end of the year? Start by running 1 mile. I made a vision board (my first ever) using photos I found on Pinterest (I didn’t have magazines to do it the old fashioned way ;)). It sits by my desk and reminds me of all the things I’d like to see happen this year. It’s worth a shot, no?
- Find joy in the little things: When I walk by my bees, even as they hibernate in the dead of winter, I am forever indebted to them for bringing such joy into my life this year. My garden did so much better with them here and every weed that may have been an annoyance in the past, was now a beautiful source of life for my bees!
- Honouring good friendships: Even though we may not have spent a lot of time with our loved ones, the times we did spend together was that much brighter! In speaking with many of you, I believe this was also the year of letting go of things (and people) in your life that may not have been “floating your boat”. And, this doesn’t need to look mean or unsympathetic. It may just be saying no to some events which didn’t bring joy – those events that you may have felt obliged to attend in the past. Now is the time to really look at your commitments and choose wisely. And really foster those friendships that mean the world to you. Spend time together in more simple ways. We built a fire pit outside and it was a blessing during these times when indoor gatherings weren’t permitted.
- But, also honouring the gift of time alone: If there was ever a time when we had the opportunity to ruminate, 2021 was it! The previous year was ‘alone time with training wheels’ and 2021 was the year the wheels came off. Time and time again, I heard, “I got this!”
- Finding hope in the renewal of nature: In 2020, we saw time and time again that the world was “healing” when we all slowed down (there was clear evidence in reduced pollution and clearer waters). And although I have always been connected to nature living here, I found beauty in things that had previously gone unnoticed…like how beautiful flowers are when they are no longer alive. Maybe that was a reminder to me that, in the stillness of death (both figuratively vs metaphorically) one can still find peace. That my garden is as beautiful to me in January during its dormancy as it is in the middle of July. It makes me happy to think about what beauty will rise out of it in the spring – something beautiful to look forward to!
There is so much to be grateful for…truly grateful. For some of us, 2021 may have seemed like a year with no hope.
But, I challenge you to find hope somewhere. Find joy in the sunrise or sunset…but to find joy, you need to really look.
No one said this has been easy.
But, it’s truly up to each of us to scratch our way out of the proverbial hole.
If you’re out of the hole, then congratulations on using these two years to become a better human.
And for those of you still scratching to get out, use your ‘big person’ voice and call for help. There are many of us at the top reaching down with a helping hand.
We got this…
If you want to read this later, here’s a pin for your Pinterest board: