This post is inspired by: Spotify – Give 2020 the Exit Interview it Deserves: Three Questions to Set You Up for a Better 2021 – 20 Minutes with Bronwyn | Podcast on Spotify
Some people hear God’s whispers. I tend to do better with a smack up side the head. It’s from tragic times I learn and re-learn and re-learn to savor liberty from the minutia of life and reject living by habit and expectations. As crisis wanes, I renew focus upon what’s most important to me and the reflection thereof.
When I suddenly became a 45-year-old widow, I grew the hell up and discovered my own voice and how to use it for both listening and speaking. Found pride in responsibility and boundaries. Discovered staying home alone on a Saturday night did not equal disaster. And, eventually, I claimed a new normal and joy.
Seven years later when I met breast cancer, I spent much of my convalescence planning how I would never again take good health or the promise of tomorrow for granted. I would live out the rest of my days in the spirit in which I, unrestrained, spent every last penny from a cancer insurance policy on an African Safari.
Audacious living is hard to maintain.
Much of 2020, with its screeching halt of life as usual, has reminded me of those times. Thankfully, muscle memory hints that this will be over and I will be better for the experience. Change will come; change is good.
This brings me to the prompt from Bronwyn’s podcast:
- “What were the sweet memories of 2020?”
- “What are the sour memories of 2020?”
- “What did 2020 come to teach you?”
The first one was easy. I like to think/write about the good stuff. I’ve loved the moments and the days of 2020 when I welcomed quarantine by tapping into the snow-day vibe from my teacher days. A no-guilt, wrapped-in-a-blanket Netflix binge or entire afternoons spent scrolling through plant-based recipes, planning menus, and writing grocery lists. I’ve loved grocery shopping during the early-morning “Senior” hours with BF pushing the cart. The delight of a simple hike in Morgan Monroe State Forest, social distancing with friends around our fire pit, or playing backgammon with BF. Zooming with friends.
And of course, the gift of our camper, a safe way to travel west to visit kids after eight, long months apart. Hiking with Adi and hearing her sweet little voice call out, “Nana!” and her favorite exclamation, “Grandpa has no hair!”
My most sour memories are of cancelling flights, missing out on family time and adventures. Allowing the fury toward gaslighting politicians to steal my joy and render me unable to use this time at home for a spiritual retreat, writing, learning Spanish, or creating a valid at-home workout. There’s the intense pressure of my being solely responsible that everyone wear his/her mask and take this virus seriously. Exhausting.
My lessons are many and the time to reflect (when I can actually discipline myself to use it for this) is priceless. At sixty-four, most my insights present themselves in more of remembering than epiphany. Like, been here; learned that. Today, I’m reminded I am not responsible for, or the judge of, others’ behavior and beliefs. Saying no can make me feel powerful. Time invested in meditation and inner consultation brings resolution and conviction: peace. Freedom and adventure are the air I breath and both can be experienced through a walk in the woods or a granddaughter’s hug.
When my hairdresser cut my hair super short to rid the last of my blond dye, she tousled my silver highlights and asked, “Do you like it?”
I answered, turning my head from side to side in the mirror, not yet one-hundred-percent sure, “Yeah. I do.” And then I told her something I knew with confidence to be true, “Anytime we step closer to our authentic selves, it’s a good thing.”
And with that, I look forward to exiting 2020.
Your blogs never fail to cause me to reflect and be inspired. I remember needing my “daily dose of Debbie” when you were going through cancer treatment. Thank you for continuing to share Plan B🥰