This past year has been one for the books, filled with stories of “pandemic life” that will be passed down to generations to come. Our little family’s tale is one of adapting to patient care amidst COVID-19 (my husband), navigating first grade online (my son…and me), and carving out minutes to work while buried under an ever-growing pile of responsibilities (yours truly). It was not an easy year. We were among the fortunate ones.
The Collective Narrative
There was a lot of zooming. School, meetings, and teaching on Zoom, certainly. Yet also zooming in on what’s really important to each of us, and zooming out to develop greater empathy and compassion for those whose lives are different from our own.
There was a heightened sense of connection to and gratitude for loved ones, other living beings, and the natural world.
There were a lot of emotions. Grief, anxiety, anger, and sadness…yet also love, calm, peace, and joy. Sometimes all in the span of an hour.
And, now, there is hope. Hope that we will once again hug loved ones. Invite neighbors over for a backyard gathering. Travel to favorite vacation spots. Eat inside local restaurants. Greet friends with unmasked smiles.
The Conscious Conclusion
The dictionary defines hindsight 20/20 as “the full knowledge and complete understanding that one has about an event only after it has happened.” With 2020 (and a bit of 2021) in hindsight, we have the opportunity to consider what we want to hold onto as we step into the coming days and months. How do we want to live, now?
Let’s keep the compassion and empathy, perhaps through the daily practice of a loving kindness meditation. Remember that each and every one of us is connected. Hold space for all our emotions, tending to overwhelming feelings with breath, movement, and other yogic tools. Notice how little moments of joy and rest can bolster our resilience.
With an unthinkable year in hindsight, we can mindfully turn to the present.