“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
With the holidays upon us, it seems only fitting to use a Louisa May-Alcott line from Little Women, to kick off the last in my three-part series, “Stopping to Appreciate.” And at this time, to end a bumpy year, it’s time to stop and appreciate the two sanity-savers in our lives this year: “our people” and the hobbies that helped us thrive.
Sure, most days in the spring were confusing, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming at times, but we learned how to sail with each passing day. We learned how to communicate digitally with our peeps in ways we never imagined would become a normal day-to-day. In closing the year, it’s a great time to pause, write a note, send a little trinket, or even just an appreciative text to the people who kept us going, kept us laughing…kept us sane.
In my case, it was my Friday Zoom Happy Hour group, who later became my Outside Gathering with Drinks group, and we all kept laughing and kept ourselves going with joy no matter what nuance was thrust upon us at each turn this year! It was the team my son worked within 2020 to still receive ABA Therapy full time amid ALL the craziness, and my understanding bosses who worked graciously with me when we had to quarantine…twice. It was my group text friends and those I confided in individually on things involving politics, race, quarantine frustrations, and the daily struggles of 2020. Heck, I was a little sad after the election because some of my bonds this year were forged in scratching our heads and venting about the cesspool of problems 2020 brought to us.
Maybe for you, it’s your child’s teacher, your Zoom workout instructors, or the babysitter that simply kept their patience with you amid constant changes and shifts in your workplace and schooling routines. THANK THESE PEOPLE! Showing gratitude to those that brought YOU JOY this year is the true gift of 2020’s holiday season. It’s been a journey, but our families and those we clung to this year, those are the shining lights in this year of oddities and perplexing days.
Second to the people that brought us joy and love, are the next “award winners” of 2020: HOBBIES! What did you do with your time this year in those beloved and intentional moments? Did your family start hiking or other outdoor activities at a greater capacity this year? Did you start gardening, brewing beer, or cross-stitching? Did you read a ton more books than usual? Listen to podcasts? Did you and the kids make TikToks to your hearts’ content this year? Maybe your “hobbies” were just finding better daily routines for your survival or adding in healthier habits like meditation! Regardless, pause and find gratitude in these moments that consumed your TIME this year! Maybe you had to cancel a trip, but in exchange, you used that time to re-organize a part of your home that desperately needed upgrades. If you pause to appreciate the “dazzling amid the demise,” I promise you will exit 2020 feeling less deflated than if you opted to simply avoid the recognition that is deserved to those activities that brought us our joy.
JOY. We found it in 2020. It might not have looked like any other facet of joy in any other year prior, but that’s the thing about happiness…sometimes we have to stop, look hard for it, and truly appreciate it in any form it enters our lives.