Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Hindsight for 2020

Reflecting on one more blog post from 2020.

Many people started 2020 talking about clear vision. What do you need clarity in? I touched on it in this blog post…

https://othermother.blog/2020/01/10/2020-clarity/

So what became clearer for you in 2020?

We all started the year with a certain level of optimism and hope for what could come our way… nobody saw what was coming! As people have cheerfully kicked 2020 to the curb and expressed their relief that it is over I wonder if the year was exactly what we needed?

So instead of writing off the year like a bad dream we are glad to have woken up from, let’s stop and think about what the year brought to our lives.

What became clearer for you in 2020?

In our world we became more aware of how important it is to be intentional about connecting with people. We knew this before, but the extra effort required to connect online and be present in the moment drove it home in a new way. We saw first hand how challenging maintaining connection could be as we lost touch with the Other Mother completely and the government became Permanent Guardians of our foster kids. Through no fault of their own our kids became isolated from family. We chose to fill in the gap and be there for them. We will continue to do so for the immediate future.

Even when making the effort to connect I may have been on a video chat with people in the first part of the pandemic and also been doing a crossword or checking email on another device… present but not available.

How many times have I done that in person… been sitting with someone physically but been off to the next thing in my mind? Meaningful connections take time, energy and focus. As gaps in relationships grew this year, it became very clear to me that connection needs to be a priority.

We also became aware of how we misuse time. Being forced to step away from the frantic pace of life made us see clearly how much easier connection is when you have time. Time is a precious gift and we all have a set amount of it! What deserves your time? Your phone? Your housecleaning? Netflix? Your spouse? Your job? Your children? Your dog? I wish it was a simple formula that showed clearly your priorities, but it’s not.

All of the above use my time… I continue to need clarity on how to divide that time in a way that honours what I desire to become! Although it seemed like time was endless as we sat in lock down unable to go out and do the things that used to fill our time, I was surprised more than once to realize I had just spent 2 hours watching videos on Facebook of cute animals, food creation or heart wrenching stories full of annoying advertising. What else could have been done with that time? Defining the purpose of our actions can help us put things in their proper place.

We had a choice to dread the long days or to shift our focus to what a gift it was to have time. Then choose to spend that time intentionally on the things that matter. Our home renovations have come closer to being done than they have ever been in 30 years! Being home with time has inspired hubby to finish up lots of little projects. Those things contribute to a sense of peace, beauty and calmness in our home that is an important part of what we do.

People have resurrected cooking together in the kitchen and sitting down to family meals! Dogs think 2020 was the best year ever as they have been on walks so often and showered with attention. I have loved seeing the testimonies of people on social media talking about how important being creative has been for them in this season. Would this have become clear to them if 2020 hadn’t happened?

So the challenges of 2020 are behind us. The open book of 2021 lies ahead.

It has been said that “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. The quote has been used in various forms by different people, the version I know usually attributed to Winston Churchill. Let’s learn from 2020 and move forward so that no matter what 2021 looks like we continue to grow as individuals and a community!

I am more aware than ever that all our plans need to be held with open hands. We have no idea what 2021 will hold. We might think we know where we’re headed but it remains to be seen how time will unfold in front of us!

So as you start to fill the pages of the book that will become 2021 I pray that you do so with purpose! Fill the pages with things that you will be proud of when you look back on this year.

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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