This has been a rollercoaster of a year (thus far), and the end is not quite yet in sight. Although challenging and emotionally exhausting, 2020, has provided me with ample opportunities for some self-reflection. So much so, I believe my personal journey has taken on a radically different direction than what would have been the case pre-covid19.
I’ve learnt a little more about myself and “life” this year. Whilst I ramble quite frequently about the importance of being present, taking in the moments and enjoying the journey – here are three things the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted for me.
The importance of right here, right now.
We’re inclined to dwell in the past or thirst for the future. Unable to let go and move on from the past, either hanging onto fond memories that once were, or allowing the negativity of yesterday to define who we are today. And if we’re not living in the past, we’re consumed by the future – chasing the need or desire to climb the next mountain, take the next accolade.
So much so we forget about today, not being fully present in the here and now.
For me, covid19 has put this in perspective. It didn’t matter what plans or dreams I had for the future, life as we know it was put on hold this year. It has been challenging to focus on anything other than today. We’ve literally had to take it one day at a time. And what a blessing this has been! Every day matters.
Losing sight of oneself
I’ve also come to realise that I was so busy raising my children and building a business that I lost sight of myself and my goals. I can rattle off my aspirations as my 25-year-old self, but don’t ask me what my five-year plan looks like today.
I’ve discovered that you should be more mindful of your goals, dreams and values. Make sure you are still chasing what is essential to you, that you don’t misplace yourself whilst caring for and nurturing those around you. You might wake-up in the middle of a global pandemic, wondering why you’ve stopped investing time and energy into things that feed your soul and make you happy.
Unsettled is okay
As humans we’re naturally inclined to dislike change, we’ve been built to seek out the known and the comfortable. Change means new and novel, and stirs up feelings of anxiety and frustration in most of us. I’ve had to deal with these uncomfortable emotions repeatedly during 2020. It has left me feeling “out of sorts”, unsettled and frustrated.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply be rid of these feelings. Sure, you can bury them away – but they will resurface, they can’t stay buried forever. I’ve learnt to take these feelings in my stride, to work through them and try to understand their source.
Living in the moment, but also taking some time out for myself and reflecting on what I’d like my life to look like in the next 5 and 10 years, has helped me realise that I’ve outgrown my dreams and aspirations. Change is on the cards, although I don’t know what that change should or will look like.
It is okay not to know and to feel unsettled, to rest assured that these feelings are only temporary.