2020 has not be an easy year for many of us. For me, managing a return from maternity leave, via lockdown, with two small people to take care of has had its bumpy moments. Add in 4 surgeries and 10+ days in hospital for my husband, and fair to say this is not the year we imagined when we toasted its arrival.
But last night, looking back through photos of these last 12 months to make our family photo book, I saw a year full of love. A baby turning into a walking, talking toddler. Smiling faces of my daughter and her friends — in gardens, by ponds, nestling up to cows, sitting around a fire pit under the stars. Less birthday parties, more masks… and more nature.
And, well, maybe that dark tunnel was more full of light than we realised at the time.
Beauty in the dark
Christmas is a festival of light in the darkness. A natural time to reflect on how even in the darkest of times, we can still choose to notice light.
As a transformational coach, my work is to guide people and companies through times of disruption and change. Almost always, at some point, those journeys come to a place of darkness, maybe even despair. Grief, loss, confusion, hopelessness, these are all companions on the journey of change.
But they are only companions. They are not the journey, nor the landscape. Sure, we need to acknowledge them, notice they are there, perhaps take their hands and give them our love and attention. But you are not your grief. You are not your hopelessness. We are not our despair.
Dark times pass. And on the other side, spring blooms.
What seeds have you planted this year? And how can you tend to them, through these winter months, so that they blossom and thrive when the sun returns?
So, fare-well 2020.
I’ll be honest, if 2021 is a year where we lose the masks and gain a summer holiday, I’ll be happy. A few small gatherings of friends where we aren’t freezing our asses off wouldn’t go amiss either. And a significantly less frequent use of the word ‘allowed’.
But I take this year too. Full of a complex kind of love and happiness. Overwhelm sometimes, sure. Chaos, boredom, frustration, some loneliness. But in among that, the shining light of family, close friends, nature and a simple life.