December blog and end of year wishes
The year has been and very almost gone, with the bruise of Covid leaving a mark on our lives, its hue ever-changing but never quite disappearing completely. There have been black days, blue days and then days when just the faintest tinge showed. Many days too when the kindness of people and the magnificence of nature brought great happiness. Hopeful optimism, adaptability, perseverance and creativity have come to the fore, too. And perhaps now we appreciate much which, previously, we may have taken for granted.
A phrase which seems to have punctuated many of the conversations I’ve been involved in is ‘… something to look forward to…’ Whether at moments when someone is sharing the bleakness of losing social contact: ‘I feel as if I have nothing to look forward to …’ Or when mustering positivity for the future, a return to doing what we love doing: ‘…that will be something to look forward to … ’ This fluctuation between feeling emptiness and hopefulness, has been one of the emotional signatures for the year.
What does this ‘something to look forward to’ mean to each of us? A rest? A reward? A goal? A holiday? A buzz of adrenaline? A change? Human contact? A family get-together? An achievement? It can be many things, varying for different people at different times. But whatever it is which we gladly anticipate, the implication is that it is better than what we are experiencing right now. And expecting it makes the ‘right now’ more palatable. The future desire brings us hope, strength, excitement, resilience, perseverance.
Awareness of this reliance on looking forward to events made me reflect, too, on those in the world for whom existence is about survival and there is no place for pleasure. A deepening sense of gratitude has developed over the year for what I have, even without being able to enjoy, right now, many of the things I cherish: seeing my family including a new great-nephew, carrying out my usual work, even sitting at a local cafe with friends watching the world go by. The suspension of planning the many ‘somethings’ which, ordinarily, I would have been looking forward to has made room for a more profound savouring of the moment, a rootedness in the right now, an acceptance of changing priorities and a need for self care and the care of others.
So, as we approach the holidays, whether you are able to enjoy what you usually might have done or not, I wish you peaceful, joyful moments in which you can immerse yourself, whatever the future might hold and however the year has affected you. May the New Year too bring a newness which refreshes and finds you restored.
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