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2020. a lesson of perspective.

2020. Yup… It was a year in which no one could have predicted. It was an unexpected seagull crap on the head kinda year; Like looking both ways before crossing the street, and then getting hit by an airplane. New words became common place at an astonishing rate: “Covid,” “Social-Distancing,” “Lockdown,” “Personal Bubble,” “Quarantine,” “PPE/Masks,” “Covidiot,” “Unemployment,” and “New Normal…”

As per usual for January, many people have been discussing lessons learnt, reflections on the past year and new years resolutions. This year though, there’s a slightly different feel to them. There seems to be more of a focus on what we have to be grateful for, despite the many things that 2020 robbed us of. This leads to the discussion that we may not be able to control the world around us, but we do have the power to control one thing: our personal perspective. Here are some words that were also brought to us by the year 2020: “Family-time,” “Staycation,” “The Little Things,” “Resilient,” “Support,” “Personal Growth,” “Transformative,” “Self-Care,” and “Perseverance.” It brings my heart more happiness than can be expressed to say that the majority of people I’ve talked to, or read posts from, focus on the positive perspective. Focusing on what this year has enabled us to do, how we have grown from it, and how it has shaped our ideas for the future. With a healthy dose of all things negative 2020 brought, it would be easy to fall into the mindset of “whoa-is-me, 2020 sucked, look at all the things I wasn’t able to do”…and don’t get me wrong, we have all had times–days–weeks–months where our minds got stuck in this trap. But, 2020 has also taught us the importance of mental health, and the importance of seeking help when you cannot find light and happiness on your own. Anyone with mental health struggles knows all too well that to admit these struggles has always been taboo; But with social isolation at an all time high for everyone, it has become more than socially “acceptable” to admit difficulty and ask for help. Another silver lining in a crapshoot year.

To reflect on the year 2020 personally, I could tell you one of two stories: I could tell you how our year full of exciting milestones fell apart, how days were spent on the couch crying ugly tears because nothing went right and every plan was ruined. How being stuck at home robbed us of time with loved ones and the memories we could have made… Or, I could tell you about the amazing year we had where we got married, bought a new house, I graduated from university to have a job that I love, and to top it off, we found out that I’m pregnant! The choice is pretty simple for me because even though nothing turned out how we had imagined at the start of 2020, everything still turned out perfect. Our wedding was set in the backyard of our new home. It was a peaceful day full of love and laughter with a very small group of our closest friends and parents. I wouldn’t even change the rain that poured down on us because it made for memories that I will cherish forever. Purchasing and moving into our dream home was made fairly easy by the fact that I was at home and able to pack up the old house, and then have lots of time to unpack and organize our new home! (And lets not forget the convenience of an online shopping spree to help fill our new home! yes!) As a family we have spent endless amounts of quality time together, and with my son home from school we were able to explore the world around us and learn in creative ways outside of the classroom. Once school was back in session I started my new job as an education assistant, and know that I have made the right career choice. Having the opportunity to make a real difference in so many young lives fills me with so much purpose and happiness; and even though my new job has been put on hold due to being on pregnancy/maternity leave, I am so thrilled to have a job that I am excited to go back to!

Ahh yes, 2020. You have taught us that even when faced with the darkest of days, we still have the ability to see the light beyond the storm clouds. My hope for the new year is that we all continue to see the sun beyond the clouds, the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and keep on this wave of positive perspective for 2021 and many years beyond.

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