Well, we are in the final stretch. Almost the last 2 weeks of the year, and as I've said so many times before, a lot has happened. Granted, I don't mean this in any one sense over the other when I say this. It's just a fact. A lot has happened. But it hasn't all been bad. While there have been some horribly tragic things to happen to all of us, the global community, as individuals we have experienced our own loss, frustration, anxiety, and fear. In contrast, there have been some, wonderful moments, blessings, and opportunities that have arisen from the dust too.
So, I want to use this mid-week post to talk about those things and lessons learned as a result.
As I like to do, I want to share 3 lessons learned from 2020.
1. Value Time - This isn't something new. While I don't think I learned this, this year served as a great reminder. Before this year, I chased time. I ran out of it or could have used a little more of it. I, like most, tried to adjust to cram more things into the time we had or felt pressure to better use our time. This year has shown us that we never truly have all the time we want or think we deserve. We are all given a certain amount of time so it makes sense to really learn to appreciate it. I've learned to slow down and focus on what I can control. What I'm responsible for. The rest will unfold how it unfolds. The alternative is that the time I have is wasted on worrying and wasteful energy. I guess I've learned to respect time differently. I respect the time I have and devote it to only what matters.
2. Relationships Matter - This thought seems so important. We all had to spend more time at home or in close quarters this year. I travel a lot during the year, so being home and able to see my family every day was a gift for me. While I understand that may have been a challenge for others, I've appreciated being home. We had to make some adjustments with space and boundaries, but knowing that my family is safe is a gift that I don't take for granted. I've enjoyed reconnecting. I'm enjoying building up memories, even if I'm building in a season of uncertainty. We can easily take for granted the blessing because it shows up looking like something unexpected. But in the end, presentation aside, it was still a blessing. Never before has it been so important to strengthen those relational bonds with family and friends. Cherish those that cherish you, and leave nothing to chance.
3. Take a Chance - Don't assume something will or won't happen. Go for it. Waiting for an opportune moment is another way to waste time. If you believe you're ready, then leap. If you don't feel ready, leap anyway. Apply for the job. The worst that could happen is you don't get hired. You'll be no worse off than before you did. I've always been an advocate of betting on yourself. This year was no different. But the pull was stronger and louder. Your foundation is only as sure as you make it. So do what you must to build bridges and streams for yourself and those who matter to you.
My bonus - I've said this so many times this year. Smile and laugh more. More importantly, be kinder to yourself. Life comes with so many experiences and emotions: so many peaks and valleys. There is enough bad news and negative information to go around. There is no need to add any extra strife to yourself. Stop punishing yourself for a bad decision. You can recover. Stop reliving past trauma. You can be healed. Find a therapist or counselor. Find a healthy outlet. Find a moment to breathe and be happy. I know that for someone, this is harder said than done. But hard doesn't mean impossible. This year proves that happiness and peace won't come easy, but they can come. You can find it in odd places, you just have to be open to seeing things differently, or experiencing something new. There have been some beautiful moments. I'm sure if you look around, you may have found some.
If you are reading this post, I hope that you are encouraged and inspired to push through. I also hope that as this year is closing, you will take a moment to acknowledge how much you've grown and how far you have come. Even if it's just a little.
These are absolutely my thoughts...