The great and unexpected things we’ve learnt this year.

The great and unexpected things we’ve learnt this year.
December 2, 2020 Linda Murray

2020 has not been the year any of us expected of hoped for. COVID-19 changed almost everything from the way we work to the way we live. It has been difficult. Like you, I had my good days and my not-so-good days.

What I’ve found interesting, though, is that in talking to friends and clients, I’m finding a wonderful sense of positivity shining through. The lifting or easing of restrictions seems to have encouraged us all to reflect on the year and put it into perspective. While we’re feeling relieved that life is getting back to some sort of normality, I think many of us are surprised at the positives we’ve discovered during lockdown.

Here are some of the things I’ve learnt or been reminded of.

I’ve learnt that I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’ve always felt self-reliant but having to do things differently made me extend my boundaries. I’ve learnt that I can do more than I knew I could.

I’ve discovered different ways of working and found new tools to support my work, and I think I’ll be keeping some of the changes I’ve made. They work!

While I know my values and what (or who) really matters in my life, understanding it isn’t enough. I need to be pro-active about showing it. I’ve had this message reinforced during the pandemic.  I was talking to a friend recently on this topic and she’d realised the same thing. We love our friends and family, but we take it for-granted that they know. The pandemic reminded me that we can’t base our relationships on assumptions. We need to demonstrate our feelings and be an active friend/partner/family member.

I’ve learnt to appreciate my alone time. I’ve learnt that I need more self-care than I was giving myself and it’s OK to take time off or laze in the bath because these things make me stronger and healthier.

This time has also increased my appreciation for what I have. It’s too easy to be stuck on the hamster wheel, striving for a bigger house or a better car. Those things just aren’t important in the overall scheme of things.

Probably the biggest reminder I’ve had during this time is that without challenges, there is no growth. Vincent Van Gogh is quoted as saying, “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

It would be easy to dwell on what a tough time we’ve all been through, but I’m so excited to see people emerging with a positive outlook on life and a new appreciation of themselves and their abilities.

Perhaps I should ask this. What flowers have you found growing in your garden, seeded by the challenge?

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