This post continues the sharing of lessons learned from a dumpster fire of a year… that despite obstacles and tragedy, still offered learning and opportunity.
On Your Inner Life
- You can live well AND slower. Many of you reconnected with Patience, Silence, Stillness, and Sleep. “I can slow down and still get everything done. I don’t have to rush everywhere, all the time.”
- You realized the power of practice. To grow stronger, you had to “exercise” your Gratitude, Resilience, Perseverance, and Creativity muscles.
- You noticed the ordinary and appreciated it. What you took for granted before is more visible now: Friends, running water, feeling safe, grocery shopping.
- Life can be short or long, up or down. That’s what makes it all interesting, challenging and rewarding.
- “Health is my most valuable resource.” Many people shared this lesson, a new appreciation for the miracle of good health and the need to protect and nurture it through self-care.
- A couple close friends and family will get you through anything. Especially the ones who accept you as you are. Even if you occasionally want to strangle them <grin>.
- “Things” are not so important.
- History matters. I took time this year to learn and face the ugly truth of history. Truth matters: I need to embrace it. Honesty and decency matter, all the time.
- The gods laugh at our plans. Yep!
- People say yes…if you ask. You never asked before. Forced to depend on others, it turns out that others want to help. Some of you shared stories of crippling loss, and every story concluded with friends – and strangers – offering support. We are kind by default, not by exception.
- You are not ‘too old’ to learn technology. Many of you shared your wonder that you are now an expert in video conferencing, file sharing, and online interactions!
On Family & Home
- You saw your family thru new lenses. “I learned my son is hysterical in class and tells the teachers EVERYTHING!” (yikes!)
- Virtual learning does not work as well as in-person learning. ‘nuf said.
- Dogs love a good pandemic, because you’re always home. Woof!
- We missed a lot, yet we managed. Graduations, weddings, funerals, births, new jobs. We missed our rituals, yet life went on in new and creative patterns.
- Call your mother. Or dad. Never more than in the past year have we been in touch with the fragility of life, especially for our elders.
- Your closets are clean! Since you had nowhere to go and only had to wear one outfit per month, many of you purged, folded, or organized…everything. You’ve learned to enjoy your home more and do with less.
- You were more PRESENT to your family. “Family is everything. I’ll say it again, Family is everything. Love, compassion, frustration, anger, grief, laughter, grief, tears, joy, relief – all good!”
- You’re a damn good parent. Or sibling, or aunt, or friend. You realized that. You rock!