Okay, I know we’re a couple days into 2021 (thank god) but I wanted to sit down and write a post about why I’ve been so silent the last month, and 3 reasons why I’m not doing a 2020 recap.
Admittedly, holidays aren’t my jam. Since adulthood, I’ve never really found them to be that interesting. Valentines day? Nah. Easter? Nope. Christmas? Nah, that sounds exhausting.
It could be that for most of my life holidays were forced on me to be a HUGE deal. My mother would start talking about me coming home for Christmas BEFORE July. The thought of driving 10+ hours in terrible traffic in the snow just to sleep on a couch for a week in a tiny town I wasn’t familiar with always felt so forced. I would rather just come in the summer when the weather was nice and there was nothing else going on, ya know?
To put simply, there was always pressure to be a certain way that never really felt true to me around the holidays.
Coming from a family that isn’t close to each other and then cramming us into the same house for a week (but not talk about the fact that we weren’t close) probably had a lot to do with how I feel about holidays now.
I’m sure this will all change if I decide to expand my family with a child, but for now, I’d rather just move on to the months that don’t have a holiday haha.
Before I loose you with my scrooge-energy, I do celebrate in different ways. Instead of celebrating Christmas now, I turn off my phone for the day and hit the trails, practice a LOT of self care (we’re talking bubble bath, hair mask, face mask and a giant glass of wine), or host a brunch with my friends who decided to also stay in town (before covid-times).
This year I decided I was going to take that same energy and just kind of step away from my phone and computer as much as possible throughout the week.
Before I knew it, a whole month had passed.
Honestly, it was pretty hard to come back online.
Lately, every time I’ve looked at instagram, most of what I see is people recapping 2020 and what it meant to them, which is totally normal.
Every year I’ve done some sort of recap of what the year meant to me and what intensions I was setting for the New Year, but this year I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
This year was so complex in so many ways for so many people that no matter how great my year was in some ways and how terrible it was in some ways, I felt like I would be somehow forcing it to wrap up in some sort of bow at the end.
3 reasons why I’m not doing a 2020 recap:
1. Where would I even begin?
One thing I’ve learned throughout my life is how any situation gives me a unique opportunity to look at it in a certain light. Will this harden me or soften me? Does this have to be truly negative or can I see the positive side of it? Does finding the positive side of a situation really allow me to feel what I need to, or is this a time to really grieve in order to heal?
This year was one that I’ve really allowed myself to sit in the discomfort of grief. I am generally a person who tends to spin everything into an opportunity or a positive perspective, which can be helpful but it also can be hurtful as well. I’m an enneagram 7, so for those of you who know the enneagram, I’m wired to find something fun in most things.
Not automatically finding an opportunity or putting a positive spin on losing my jobs, or a tornado tearing through my neighborhood, or a bomber taking out a chunk of the city on just 4 miles away on Christmas, or having to move into my van but not be able to really take it anywhere because of the stay at home order, or being worried about friends and family, etc. MEANT that I had to sit in the discomfort and not force it to be something it wasn’t.
I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but sometimes it’s impossible to wrap up grief. It’s OKAY to grieve the small things right along with the big things.
2. “We’re all in this together”… but not really.
At the beginning of this year, this sentiment really felt true. “We’re in this together.” We were under a stay at home order, people were being asked to work from home, learn to homeschool their children, and not leave their counties. We didn’t understand what Covid was (which I argue we still don’t understand it and it’s long term effects or potential mutations) but as orders were loosening and cases were spiking, the air changed on the expectation of what we were supposed to do.
ps, I’m not talking about essential workers, health care professionals, etc. I’m talking about those of us who are able to work and stay home etc.
One thing I noticed when seeing recaps is that so many people just went about their normal pre-covid lives, which honestly came as a shock to me. They were going out to crowded restaurants and bars, going on vacations, going to birthday parties and taking selfies with each other with their faces pressed together, going to church and events etc.
Living a tourist town really nailed that one home too, to be honest. Just a few miles away people were coming in from all over to visit honkey tonks, see Christian music performances, or (gasp) to take photos of the bombing wreckage, and then leaving to head back home all while Tennessee was the highest risk state in the country, it was too much.
It made me so aware of the things that I’ve said no to, the friends I’ve not seen in almost a year now and it made me confused and a little angry, mostly sad.
The truth is, I truly believe that none of us really know what’s best (myself included). Our government has let us down, media has let us down, and we were told so many conflicting things since the very beginning that it was hard to keep anything straight.
I also think it’s human nature to essentially move on or take control when there is stagnation or lack of control.
3. Processing 2020 is going to take time.
From learning how to be a better BIPOC ally, to letting go of expectation and learning how to mourn the small things, to understanding that our systems that we created don’t work and shouldn’t continue, to taking time away from distractions is going to require a lot of processing. Processing that will take time.
The turning of 2020 to 2021 doesn’t mean that we get to just start over fresh. Yes, it’s a great time to really reflect on intention and goal setting, yes it’s a great time to determine what we want to change or grow into, but it doesn’t meant that the triggers from 2020 will go away and honestly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Whatever you took from 2020, I hope it it leads you into a place of further understanding within yourself, whatever that means for you.
For me, if I’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that it furthers the knowledge in myself that I have everything that I need already within me. That I can trust my resilience, that I can hold space for others, that getting comfortable with being wrong and to be in a place of learning is one of the greatest lessons in life, and in my experience, keeping expectations in a loose grip is where peace is found.
I do want to mention that all thoughts shared here are my own personal reflections and aren’t intended to be a critical observation about someone who doesn’t have the same ideas or beliefs as me. This blog is intended to not only be informal and helpful but it’s also meant to be a space I can share more openly about my own life.
Want to read more about my personal life and why I think the status quo is bonkers? Why I quit the STATUS QUO and moved into a van.