This year has been a rollercoaster for us all, for so many reasons, we have all been impacted by Covid-19 in one way or another, some of us only a little and some of us in ways we could have never imagined and may never really comprehend and many find themselves somewhere in between.

This year has taught us a lot and one thing I would like to think we will all take away from this year, is the notion of what is really important, what really matters to us.

For many years I’ve been talking to people about the importance of #LIFEworkbalance, self-care, taking time out for us, taking time to form meaningful connections with other, to read a book, the joy of hobbies, to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, the benefits of spending time in nature.  People would often laugh at me, or nod and agree, before promptly listing all the reasons this wasn’t possible or important.

However, this year has forced us to explore this, it has taught us to stop, reflect and to rest.  2020 has taught us that these are the important things, these are the things which keep us going, which make life worth living, the things which lift our spirits when so much is out of our control, the things which bring us comfort and peace when the world around us is in chaos, the things which make us who we are and give us a place to escape to.

These are things which can be forgotten or taken for granted, but they are the things which help us to get through the tough times.

Many of you will know that I work remotely and have done for years and earlier this year I made a huge decision to follow my dreams of running my business while travelling the world, but that came to an abrupt halt due to Covid-19, meaning I had to face one of my biggest fears; becoming homeless again just like I was at the age of 16.  Having to face this fear showed me many things: it showed me the kindness of others, the love and trust from my friends and strangers, who have since become friends.  It showed me I am even more resilient than I already thought I was, that even when the world around me was falling apart that I could still be ok and get through the numerous challenges which were to come.

I am sure some of this will resonate with you, based on your own experiences from this year when you have also had times where you have been stretched or challenged.  This year has shown us again how adaptable we are as humans, how tolerant we can be (or not…), how by working together we can make a difference, how kindness and compassion are important, that being ok, healthy, and happy is more important than earning big money, that enjoying the simple things in life brings a huge amount of joy!

We have learnt to appreciate that science and technology have made this challenging year so much easier, but so have books and creative hobbies.  That parks, beaches and being outside, smelling fresh air and feeling the sun on our face is important for our wellbeing.

When we cannot hug or simply even touch our loved ones, that hearing their voice or having a video call makes things that little bit easier.  That a kind smile, wave or even a short chat with a stranger can make our day.  That the people society have not always valued as they should, are the ones who are to be valued now and always.

I would invite you to take some time out to reflect on this year, what you have learnt, notice the things you want to leave behind in 2020 and the things you want to bring with you into 2021!  This isn’t a new year’s resolution thing, this is a how do I choose to live my life going forward thing…  this is a what am I choosing and committing to thing?

2020 has been a year we never expected, however my wish from this year is that this learning from this experience endures and that instead of returning to normal life as we new it, that we develop a new normal, a new normal where the world is kinder, gentler, more aware, that we take better care of ourselves and each other and that we live life simpler and happier!

Until next time!