To sum up this year so far, I would say it’s been pretty shit. Now more than ever, it was (and still is) so important to take care of ourselves and each other.
Although the obvious circumstances weren’t ideal, I found this year allowed me to spend time doing things that truly bring me joy. Reading until my eyes can’t see anymore, playing Harry Potter board games at home, taking the cat outside on his lead, just normal grown-up things. In all seriousness, I think being forced to stay home was a good thing for me – usually I would have volunteered for this in a heartbeat. Now, I know how blessed I am to have beautiful friends and family in my life who I want to see in person, not just the lagging screen on my phone. Going for a simple walk in the middle of the day can be the highlight of my week. Being okay with my own company has taken some getting used to, but I’m grateful that I got there in the end.
Before writing this post, I Googled “How to write about your life without sounding narcissistic AF”. It’s a tough line to walk, let me tell you. It seems selfish that I feel like I got my life together (for the most part) in the middle of a global pandemic. I have spent so much of my teens and early twenties stressing about where I’m going, that I forgot to enjoy what’s happening to me now. For me, getting my life together was about finding balance and being present. Being ‘stuck’ allowed me to do that. Laughing with my friends, putting my phone away when I’m with them, walking along the beach in silence so I can hear the waves. Swimming in the ocean usually bothers me (don’t pretend you don’t have a mini stroke when seaweed touches your foot, too..), but it was so beautiful the other day, I quickly jumped in my wetsuit (hello Tassie summer) and just swam, floating in the water until my fingers went numb. I was the only person on the whole beach, and it was so serene and heavenly.
If I had to take anything out of 2020 so far, it would be gratitude. Every night before bed without fail, I get out my daily journal and write the highlight of my day, alongside one thing I was grateful for. Even on the darkest days, you can still find the smallest of things that were a blessing. Sometimes it’s as simple as the sun coming out that day, or a random text from a friend that made you smile. In trying times, it’s important to remember the small things – they make the big picture look so much brighter.
Making time each day for something I love has improved what tended to be mostly gloomy days – getting up an hour earlier before work to go to the gym, hopping in bed early to read before sleep, catching up with friends for coffee, jamming to Harry Styles on repeat. Our time is so precious, and although this year gave us more than enough time to figure that out, I hope it’s been an eye opener for you too (I think it’s okay to feel positive amongst all the craziness, too).
While I sit here preaching good vibes and positive energy to you, nobody is perfect. It’s okay to have down days, as long as you can get back up and keep powering through, or talk to someone who can help you get there. We need each other now more than ever, and remember it’s a bad day, not a bad life.
Let’s smash out the last month of this wild year. Take care of yourselves, each other, and always be kind.
Until next time,