Happy Holidays: 2020 Silver Linings
I would do my damn best to be more happy than not. You’ve already experienced so much bullshit so you can always look back on how things could be worse. That’s my two cents. ~ Adam Silvera
There are only two Sunday nights, so two new Ministry of Happiness weekly posts left for the year. While most people would likely pick this post to talk about the wonders of Christmas, and the last to review the year, I think you all know by now I don’t do things like other people do. The simple thing is I don’t like Christmas, it’s never been a happy holiday for me. I make the most of it, find my joy in being a good gift giver, particular for the children in my life, my little nieces and nephews. But given that I live quite far from them, those gifts have long since been bought, wrapped and shipped.
Heck some of them have already been snooped. One of my nieces partially unwrapped her gifts to figure out what they are, and so her parents wouldn’t know she did it, she re-wrapped them. Of course, I used clear scotch tape, she used duct tape to re-seal them which is what got her busted. The whole incident gave me a pretty good chuckle. So really for me, Christmas will just be another Friday, albeit with a nicer meal than normal. This year planning on a little surf and turf, T-bone steak and a baked shrimp dish, all the fixins and some homemade desert. A check-in with the little ones as well, although they are always completely overwhelmed on Christmas morning so it’s usually brief.
So tonight, I want to review the year a bit, particularly with a positive lens. It’s been a hard year in so many ways for so many people, I think it’s important that we all find some time to reflect on the silver linings for 2020.
Silver Linings for 2020
First and foremost it’s important, in a year where so many people became sick and died, when so many people lost jobs and business that I give thanks for where I am in life. At this point in my life, after a lot of hard work, I’m privileged to be in a place that when the pandemic erupted my job was secure. I live alone, so working from home was not a burden, in fact as a pretty heavy introvert, in some ways it’s been pleasurable not to have to be face to face interacting with people all day. Also living alone, it’s meant that I was only responsible for keeping myself from getting sick. So it was all on me and so far, so good I have been fortunate enough as far as I know, to not have been infected with COVID.
On the health front other things have gone well this year as well. Not having access to a gym pushed me to buy a bench, some hand weights and to take up running. I’m actually lifting weights more regularly than I have ever done before. I’m also running several days a week and recently, for the first time in my life, ran over two miles. This has helped be keep my weight consistently around 190 pounds. Over the last couple of years I’ve stayed under 200 pounds for the first time, typically around 195 and now, I’ve moved that to 190 pushing toward my eventual goal of 175. My blood pressure has stayed consistent and my heart conditions have made no negative progressions. I’m still struggling with my blood sugar, but I stress eat and it’s been a stressful year, but I’m working on it.
At work, our new realities put me under a lot of pressure but also gave me an opportunity to highlight my abilities. I do well under stress, and the stress of the last few months have allowed me to create and collaborate on new policies and for my area to be the test subject through several new district processes. Handling those things well has given me the opportunity to show my abilities to folks working at the district office level, something that likely wouldn’t have happened for some time without COVID.
In all stressful times we learn a lot about the people we interact with. I’ll be writing a post later this week about how our COVID times have revealed people’s values. The extra pressure of the last nine months has done a lot to reveal people. Partially as a result, I’ve significantly reduced my social media presence, had my opinions of some people really changed and mostly just wanted to turn down the noise in my life. I find myself focusing more and more on the people who are real in my life. The people I physically see and talk to off of social media. I’m trying to focus on the quality of my relationships while reducing the quantity of my relationships. This has also meant letting go of some people I’ve hung on to for some time. It’s not easy for me, if you meant something to me at some time, my nature is to hang on to you, work at keeping connection, even if it’s somewhat or even really one-sided. This year has allowed me to make the move to letting go, and focusing down to the quality connections in my life.
So 2020 has certainly had it’s challenges, but I think for all of us right now, it’s important to realize it also gave us all gifts, brought us all some kind of happiness. Especially during the holidays, as the year wraps up, focusing on and staying positive is really important as the holidays are often the most stressful part of the year. So happy holidays my friends, whatever or however you celebrate, may you find joy and peace as we end one year and move on to the next. Have a happy day ~ Rev Kane