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It is that time of year, when everyone seems to be rushing a little faster than usual as we head towards slowing down and taking time to pause during the sunny days of the summer holidays that lie ahead.
As the awareness of having ‘made it through’ settles along with the dust of 2021, and the hard work of achieving goals set 12 months ago is now behind us, a sigh of contentment (or relief) may be heard.
Yet, in spite of the familiarity of the usual year end flurry, things feel strained as Covid-19 continues to plague the world; induce fear; limit freedom and in recent weeks, has resulted in the roll out of a handful of seemingly idiotic global travel restrictions.
These are all on-going actions that have shredded holiday plans; enforced prolonged distance between loved ones; created additional financial havoc and generally further upset the world.
The battle weariness and fatigue that surrounds us is virtually palpable, everywhere. Exhaustion, bravely fought day by day, now dangerously runs the risk of sweeping over us like a tsunami; drowning the joy usually sought and found at this special and celebratory time in the Christian calendar.
In spite of being one who always chooses to seek and find the silver lining, it would be dishonest if I were to pretend that I have not found myself grappling with an increasing need to dig down to new depths and find the energy required to fight the demons constantly re-emerging from the embers of the awful viral fire that has engulfed our world.
Although many daily practices such as spending time with loved ones; exercise; laughter; meaningful conversation; taking stock of numerous blessings and enjoying the daily challenges of the work I so love doing, have helped smooth over some of the roughest patches traversed these past months, I have also made deeper emotional connections with the following realities:
- Now really is all we have. Whilst there may be good and not so good timing to get out there and do whatever it is that excites us, there is no such thing as entirely the ‘right time’. All that waiting for the so-called perfect moment does, is ensure staying in the same place. We must always choose to actively strive to feel fully alive in the now.
- Grudges are unhealthy, hold us back and tend to waste our personal energy. Even if one cannot repair hurts from the past, battles to forgive and or heal, one always has the choice to let go and move on. Every day is a good day to release that which adds no value to living our best lives.
- There is no such thing as ‘over-sharing’ how we feel with those whom we love, care about and appreciate. It does not matter if our feedback is brushed off as awkward or uncomfortable. What matters is that the important people in our lives feel secure in the knowledge that we are there for them, have their back and will do our utmost in creating a soft landing if and when required.
- It is okay to say no. It is okay to not be okay. And it is also okay to ask for help. We are not machines running on some type of automatic system operating on a scheduled, self-sufficient algorithm in order to endlessly spit out results. Lest we forget, it is our humanness that connects us and technology is merely a tool, albeit a useful one!
- And last, but not least. There is a time to rest, restore, rejuvenate and renew. If ever there was a holiday season during which the world could benefit from active encouragement to rest, and to put work and worry aside, it must be the upcoming festive season of 2021.
Although it has been a tumultuous year filled with many ups and downs; highs and lows; losses and gains, it has also been a year in which I have learned a great deal more about the Grace of God; the greatness of the human spirit; gratitude on ‘another level’ and the simple goodness found in treasured moments we can so can easily let slip through our fingers on any given day.
Thank you to all who have filled the role of client, companion and confidant – as well as to those who have lent a supportive crutch when needed – during the negotiation of this year. It is your presence in my life that has made all the difference.
May your festive season be restful, peaceful and joyful and may 2022 be a year of abundant energy, health and prosperity.