Um, hey 2020, wtf?
To put it lightly, 2020 has been a real game changer. Some people temporarily lost their jobs. Some people permanently lost their livelihood. Others have lost their lives. Unless you live in a cave on a deserted island, this year has changed your life in ways you probably couldn’t even comprehend 12 months ago. Yet, here we are.
In the fall, I start to reflect on the current year and begin to think ahead to the next one. How does this year feel? Is it going how I thought it might? Based on what I’ve experienced so far, what would I like to see going into the coming year?
You probably do this too. Have you had any thoughts? Usually this process happens a little later in the fall, but hello, 2020. I’ve been thinking about it all year already.
At the end of each year, I like to pick a word as a theme for the coming 12 months, based on the answers to the questions above. Last year, I decided my word for 2020 would be thrive.
I felt like 2020 was going to be a good year. I wanted to get past having a lack mindset. I wanted to move ahead and write, and do authory things and, well, thrive. Then Covid-19 came along.
There are seven stages of grief, and honestly I think there are about one million stages of Covid-19 pandemic grief. I was in a funk for almost five months. It was more like a constant mood swing, from fear to depression to manic good cheer back to depression. And a million variations in between. When I’d think of my word, thrive, I’d say to myself yeah, right! What an ironic word to come up with.
All I could see some days was poor leadership or bad choices or fear mongering or butt-kissing or fake news or death. Other days were peaceful, a few were nice. Through it all, I published a book, finished a second one, and came up with ideas for a few more. And last month it finally hit me. I was thriving.
The thing is, I haven’t been thriving in the way I thought I was going to. Or rather, thriving in 2020 looks very different than my idea of thriving, way back in 2019. Nothing looks the same as it did in 2019!
So what is thriving?
Merriam-Webster defines thrive this way:
- To grow vigorously; flourish
- To gain in wealth or possessions; prosper
- To progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances
Sometimes, if we get stuck on the details of how something should look, we set ourselves up for great disappointment. But if we focus on how we want to feel, and why we want to feel that way, the details will work themselves out. Of course I wish that none of this pandemic stuff ever happened. Of course I wish we were all well and that life was “normal” and kids could go to school without their parents or teachers worrying. But we’ll get there, sometime.
Until then, I’ll bet you can find a few ways to thrive. They just might not look like they did before, but that’s okay.