I have a confession. I’ve had an affair. And now I want what I had – back. It’s time to embrace a new season!
I can assure you all that I am still (very happily) married to my gorgeous hunk of a man – in fact my very last post OVER A YEAR AGO – was all about our wonderful Italian 25th-anniversay-moon… but I strayed from my blog writing… and had an affair with…. LIFE! And then Covid-19 hit – and life got all kinds of “interesting”!
But now as I feel the flurry of my fingers tap out my thoughts – I have re-discovered the rush that writing can be! And so I want to get back to regular blogging – I can only hope it will have me back!
It is true isn’t it – “we don’t know what we had, till it’s gone” (an understatement in this year of lockdowns and restrictions!)
I don’t really have an excuse for why I stopped blogging. Things just got super busy – we came back from our trip of a lifetime to Italy (I still need to share my secrets about Sicily and Tuscany), work and home life was my focus – a few wonderful work distractions happened (like the time I flew my micro team at Resolve Estate Law to Chicago for a long weekend for the IACP forum conference – yup I am just a tad unhinged) – then I was honoured with a string of incredibly humbling law awards – and THEN Christmas was upon us.
It was then that I hoped to breathe and write again, but no sooner had we packed our baubles away – bushfires ravaged our beautiful country… and THEN the Covid-crazy of 2020 hit – and I just felt ill equipped to say anything at all.
SO – why am I stepping back in to write my blog now? I doubt that my personal experience of the weirdness that has followed for us all this year is too different from your experience. Time has passed now – we took our first lockdowns seriously, then we got a bit complacent, we had a wake up call as we watched second waves come and now we are realising that what we thought might be over in a few months is not.
As I type Queensland is easing restrictions and while our fellow Victorians are still toughing out lockdowns after a second wave hit. Other parts of the world are dealing with far worse. But everything is relative – and we all now know how quickly things can change.
But – time has passed now. In what seems to be the longest year in our recent history, none of us can quite believe that the end of this year is coming. Time has passed – and it keeps on ticking.
I have – like many of you – had time to process. Time to percolate. I’ve been forced to cull activity from my life which has in turn created space for a slower way of life. I’ve had time to gather my thoughts and articulate those in the many conversations that I have had enjoyed over zoom, phone and more recently in person (socially distanced of course!). So I thought it might be a good time to reconnect with my writing and those of you (over 15,000 of you I was amazed to see!) who have followed my ramblings…
I hate to break it to you
Truth is – I do have something to say now. But I doubt it will be very popular.
I saw this meme recently (I couldn’t find who to credit, so if you know, please let me know so I can).
It seems to me that bulk of the world at the moment are wishing away 2020 so that we can all turn a collective new leaf to farewell this “annus horribilis” (horrible year) – and welcome in a New Year – full of hope and promise!
BUT I can’t shake the feeling that 2021 is not going to be better – and for many it might look more like the frame that follows the photo captured in the meme! Ouch!!
I am not saying this in some kind of perverse doomsday, panic, kind of way (so don’t go running out and buying toilet paper again PLEASE!) – but I say it in a way that questions why the changing of a calendar year should matter at all.
A new season
Here’s the thing. This whole year has been hideous and yet there is beauty in it. It has been awful and yet we have learned things that only THIS slowing down could ever teach us. It has been upending and yet we have somehow found a new equilibrium of existence that is starkly different from the fast paced life we forced ourselves to live before the pandemic hit.
As I have shared with others the “upsides” I have come to embrace – others have shared how they have (almost secretly) revelled in the newfound freedom of not feeling pressured to say yes (or no) to commitments that often stretch us and others who do life with us to their limits.
This weirdness, this uncertainty, this on again, off again life, this new season of unknowing – it’s not going to end after 31 December rolls around. We won’t be able to say “good riddance to the s%*t show that was 2020” and the New Year isn’t going to be a huge party to welcome in – as if by magic – a clean start.
Life as we know it – right now – will go on. We will come out of lockdowns and we may very well be forced back into them. Seasons will come and go – but this new way of living in the uncertainty will stay for a lot longer than we think. At least until a vaccine is broadly available – which could still be a year (or years) away.
This is a new season. Our new normal – even if it is anything but! And just as in any loss – as awful as it is to embrace what we don’t want for our life – we need to find a path to acceptance if we want to escape constant disappointment.
Easier said than done though right? But we can do it – we have just forgotten how.
Deep down in our humanity – we do know how to survive this. It’s just that life for many of us has been without any incident big enough to teach us how to live in contentment despite our circumstances.
We fear loss and failure and death and risk and pain and heartache and uncertainty so much that we have chosen not to face it or live it, or love it or embrace it. Yet it’s as much a part of love and joy and overcoming and winning and happiness – as life itself.
So better we get used to uncertainty. Better we acknowledge our circumstances. Better we accept that heartache may come. It all is just part of this crazy thing called life – like it or not.
This whole covid experience is a grief-like experience – it is why we can swing from denial, to depression, then anger to sadness – but it won’t be until we reach a point of acceptance that we will find some way to live through this – well.
So we have a choice.
We either bury our heads in the sand – and hope that life will go on and when we pop up for air it will all be ok (only to discover, of course, that it isn’t). Or we run with it – and see where this new season takes us.
We look fear in the eye and say we won’t allow it to paralyse us anymore, but instead to empower us to take the leap, or find our way around the obstacle. We face disconnection and loneliness and ask – how can I find connection in different ways, or with others who are my “neighbours” in this? We see loss and say – I won’t let this defeat me – I have lived with something or someone wonderful for as long as I did – and now I will find a new way to live on, in the fullest way I can manage.
We might feel like we don’t have a choice. But we do.
We choose each day, whether we wish our life with all of its circumstances away – or whether we grab it with both hands and find a way to live it all – love, joy, pain, loss – mixed together. And still find the beauty in each day.
I for one – don’t want to miss a thing. The weird, the crazy, the uncertain, the loss, the opportunities, the ups, the downs – I will sooner have them all than not be here to say I have lived life and survived.
How about you? Are you ready to stick with this – for as long as it takes? To learn what ever it is we can from this shake up? To do what we can with who we are to make the most of this weirdness? Or at least to go with the flow of where it will take us?
Then let’s not wish this year away – life is just too short for that.
Let’s instead embrace this crazy new season – and allow it to take us on a journey. Eyes wide open – to all possibilities! It will be here longer than we think – so let’s not keep living with some imaginary, ever moving finish line ahead of us. Let’s just live out this new season – the best we know how – every single day we are blessed with our breath and time.
As always I would love to hear your thoughts and if the blog has struck a cord please do share a link to it! It’s nice to be back in the saddle again!