Piggybacking on my friend and fellow writer, Nicole Laidler’s New Year’s blog post, I thought I’d use her idea of choosing my word for 2021.
Unless you were hiding under a rock, everyone in the world knows that 2020 was the year of Covid19. And in 2021 we are into another year of the pandemic.
Here in Ontario, Canada we’re in another lockdown in an attempt to stem the second tidal wave of new Covid cases and surge in death rates that resurfaced around the December holiday season.
Despite all of this we have reason to be hopeful. There are vaccines. The end is near. But the experience of another lockdown and isolation from friends and family is still challenging for me.
So when I read Nicole’s blog I decided to choose a word to focus on for 2021:
I haven’t been showing much patience so far this year. I often feel frustrated and sometimes angry that life as we knew it has been altered so much it’s hard to imagine going back to what we thought was normal. And maybe things won’t go back to the way they were pre-Covid if we use this time to learn from the lessons this pandemic has taught us: helping others, living in close quarters with families, kindness to others and, hopefully, the world working as one. OK. Maybe I’m an idealist. Time will tell.
Our patience has been worn over and over again this past year. Hearts gripped and ripped as we morn loved ones who succumbed to this awful virus. It can make us angry. It can make us sad. Not to negate these feeling because we’re entitled to them, but they can swallow us whole. So no matter how difficult the best thing we can do to get through this is to stay as positive as we can and create a safe space for ourselves without expectations.
Having said this, I need to focus on the things that will put patience back into my life and I’ve started:
- Gratitude. Whenever I feel sad, angry, or mad I think of several things to be grateful for. It can be the fact that I live in a country where I’m not constantly in fear of bombings and atrocities or something as simple as the sun on a cold winter’s day.
- Meditate. I’ve been meditating for several years since my husband died in 2013. I belong to a weekly meditation group and we’ve taken it online now. Focus on the breath and you get out of your head. It works for me and after a session I feel relaxed and revived.
- Yoga. I started yoga two years ago but not as a regular practice. During the pandemic it’s become a ritual I look forward to. I follow a Yoga with Adrianne on YouTube (I’m currently doing her 2021 Challenge entitled Breathe) and look forward to my local instructor’s various classes, all online now too.
- Write. I don’t write for relaxation but I enjoy writing for my clients. It keeps my mind busy and I’m helping others who rely on my expertise. I love interviewing interesting people for articles I write and during the pandemic I’ve have had Zoom conversations with sources from around the world including Sweden, Trinidad, Switzerland, the UK, US, and more. The most interesting thing about these interviews is that we all have a common bond – Covid – and the same hope: that we’ll all be able to live a pandemic-free life and travel again.
- Learn. I take online courses (mainly about writing and SEO for my business and for me they’re interesting). I read for pleasure or to learn. I walk in nature where I’ve never walked before and see things I’ve missed when I’m not mindful.
- Loving Kindness. I took a course in loving kindness. It wrapped up at the onset of Covid19. In fact, our last gathering was online. I was happy to have been able to take this course in person and learn techniques to enhance positive thinking, walk and eat mindfully, and use other tools to practice self kindness.
These are just a few of the things that help me to be patient and mindful and live in the moment because, let’s face it, the moment is all we have and then it’s gone.
What word would you use to help you this year, or to describe how you’d like to live your life moving forward? Please post it in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.