It’s finally here: the end of 2020.
Insert a collective sigh of relief: We made it.
2020 is a year that will probably live in infamy in our minds, what with civil unrest, contentious politics, and a pandemic that has negatively impacted finances, overwhelmed hospital systems, and devastated families, either through loss of life, loss of income, or loss of health (such as for COVID “long-haulers").
It can be kind of hard to feel positive through all that.
This year challenged my mental and emotional state, admittedly. I've had to dig deep many times. I usually take stock of the past year and talk about good stuff and challenges, what I was grateful for and what I learned, but I’ve been sitting here for the last few days, aware that I wanted to make an end-of-year post but not really sure what to say about it.
I think I'm just kind of "done" with this year, you know?
So for me, when I take stock of this past year, it’s not about finding the bright spots. It’s not about being positive. Or grateful. I do all those things most days, anyway, but I think for a particularly difficult year such as this one:
It’s important to acknowledge we survived it.
We may not have thrived.
We may have felt lonely or depressed or upset or disempowered.
We might have worried, stressed out, and felt anxious.
We might have felt like we were riding one of those mechanical bull rides at a bar, getting thrown repeatedly.
But if you're here reading this, then you might be able to relate to the idea that while we may have taken some hard knocks this year...
And right here in this moment, that’s enough for me.
So if you're just not in the most positive mindset right now for whatever reason...
Give yourself some care and comfort. It’s been a really wild ride. Acknowledge that we’ve been through some shit. Know that things WILL get better eventually.
I won’t villainize 2020...
...But what I WILL do is close the book on 2020 and look forward to the new year, whatever it will bring. I will clean-slate it, not judging 2021 on what 2020 did to us.
So, if (like me) you’re spending New Year’s Eve in your jammies hanging out on the couch doing not much at all, that’s okay. If (like me) you’re hoping and praying fervently for a better year next year, that’s okay. Or if, on the other hand, you’re whooping it up and popping champagne at midnight … that’s also okay.
Whatever it is you're doing to transition to a new year...it’s all okay.
Do what you need to do to acknowledge you survived as long as you do it safely and with kindness and compassion, both for yourself and for others. Let's move forward now...
My hope for you all is a bright and blessed New Year. May good things come to all of you: happiness, love, health, kindness, compassion, and everything you need in life.
Much love from me to you!
* * * *
If you need any help at all with coping this season or at any time, many places have service on a sliding scale, through insurance programs, or offer financial aid. Here are a few resources that may help if you need that extra support*:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-8255
Better Help (text-based mental health care)
...or check with your local network / insurance provider.
*Not personal recommendations; simply a list to get you started if you need help finding resources.