TWENTY EIGHT: Foresight is 2021

I promise not to make any more bad jokes for the rest of the year

Me – December 31 at 11:59:59 PM

Pro tip from a member of the Timmunity: read the following blog with Morgan Freeman’s voice. Strongly recommended.

There aren’t enough nasty words in the dictionary of any language that could adequately describe how shit 2020 has been for us all. But at the same time, there isn’t a whole lot more that could be said about it being shit, so I’m not going to go on about it. What I do want to discuss today is where I’m going to go from here.

We are in a very unique position as a community. I’m not just talking about your neighbours in your street, or your neighbourhood, or even your city; I’m talking about the global community. For the first time in my life I have felt more connected to the greater human race than ever. This is the first time in memory that we as a whole can relate first-hand to the challenges of our fellow man, no matter what part of the globe we hail from.

2020 has been different because for the first time in my life I felt like we all had a common challenge as a whole. It affected us in a great many ways; some of us lost loved ones, some of us experienced the pandemic first hand, some of us were pushed to our limits trying to support others who were affected with the illness. But what I feel we can take out of it is, while our experiences varied, we had a common denominator; Covid. And we stood together, socially distanced, and proclaimed as one: COVID IS A DICK.

Now I don’t know if you know this…but I’m kinda passionate about mental health. And as a mental health guy, I’ve been very weary since the pandemic hit that this would provide to be not just a monumental medical challenge, but also a very significant mental health one. For some of us, this was the first time we would gain some perspective as to what it was to experience depression or anxiety, for others this would present further challenges that we weren’t sure we could get through. Well guess what?

You bloody did.

Against all the odds you got to the end of an extremely challenging year. And while there are still challenges of 2020 that will carry into the new year, I can safely say that none of us will be carried into 2021 the same. And I’m going to tell you why that’s a great thing.

2020 was the lesson we needed to learn. Not just as individuals, but as families, as communities, as states and as nations as a whole. It wasn’t a lesson we were ready for, but it’s one that could prove to bring forth more growth than we could ever have anticipated.

In 2020 we became more health conscious, we exercised from home, and if we didn’t we worked really hard on our relationship with our own body. Some of us took the weight of expectations off of our shoulders and instead prioritised doing things that we felt we needed to do to get by.

And we nailed it.

In 2020 we reached out to our family/friends/loved ones more, some of us for the first time in a long time, for others it became more frequent. We opened up the dialogue to talk about our experiences with COVID, and offered each other support, companionship and shared ideas on how to manage in the circumstances. We traded nights out in bars for a family game night with loved ones in other cities, states or even countries.

And boy oh boy, we smashed it.

In 2020 we experienced financial and emotional hardship as the circumstances of our jobs changed. For some of us, we started working from home, for others we stopped working altogether. But we tackles these hardships with resourcefulness, determination and a drive to ensure we would find a way to get to the end of this year with our heads held high.

And we are flexing this new-found strength HARD.

And in 2020, we were forced to focus on our relationship with ourselves. In a time where we were confined to our homes, surrounded in the unknown, we grew as individuals in a way we never could have foreseen. It’s because of this, I’m embracing 2021 with a sense of strength that I didn’t have 12 months ago. In a year when all seemed lost, we found exactly what we needed to.

And we got through it.

As we reflect on the enigma that was the year two thousand and twenty, what is it that we are going to take with us into 2021 and beyond? What did we learn, about ourselves, about others? What did you do when you were faced with the year’s challenges, what do you feel proud of? I for one, have plenty of things I’m proud of, so why don’t we all take 5 minutes to reflect on just how damn good we did. Here’s some of the things I’m proud of, and I urge you to put together a list because you deserve to celebrate the successes in this adversity-ridden 12 month period;

  1. I moved to another country, and overcame the anxiety of settling into a new country whilst living with the unknown of my surroundings and the status of the pandemic in its early stages.
  2. In a time when it was crucial that I find myself a source of income, I persisted and applied to close to 50 jobs before finally getting an interview and, eventually, a role in a new industry.
  3. I embraced the challenges of developing relationships with my new work colleagues over the internet, as I was trained and have since worked in a new job remotely.
  4. I started journaling my experiences with mental health as a way of tackling the challenges of the year.

Before the year is out, do yourself a favour and pat yourself on the back. And while you’re at it, take a moment to appreciate how you got through this absolute train-wreck of a year.

As we say goodbye to 2020, it’s a good time to hold our heads high and walk into the new year more connected than ever before, and stronger as individuals and as a global community. They say hindsight is 20/20, but I think the lessons we have learned will carry us forward into a new year better than ever. So let’s flip that phrase.

They say hindsight is 20/20, I say foresight is 2021. Happy New Year, my friends.

You have overcome 100% of the hard days in your life. You’re undefeated.

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