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Lessons Learned…

There’s no way to get through this past year without some introspection…. I mean, we all learned something, or gained something different.  It’s hard to come through  a global pandemic unchanged.  The world we live in certainly changed forever, some good some bad but most likely changes that were going to happen and they were just accelerated.  As I continue to reflect on this past year, I wanted to share my key take aways and how I’ve changed/changing…

  1. Tomorrow is not promised….this has obviously always been true but when your son’s bar mitzvah ceremony gets smaller and smaller until it’s finally canceled and just viewed on zoom it really puts things in perspective.  So many activities that we take for granted were simply gone.  School, sports, even the beaches and hiking trails was forbidden for a few months.  This all made me have a whole new appreciation for all the daily activities I take for granted.  I will never again complain about my kids playing in a weekend long tournament (ok, maybe I will, but I will appreciate it at the same time!)
  2. No More FOMO… I used to be the person that had to be at everything, even if I didn’t want to go, I needed to go. I needed to be in the know!!!  Now, I’m really happy just being home with my hubby, kids and dog.  I was a little anxious about the few invites we have gotten since the world has opened up!!  So unlike me!  But, I’m appreciating the idea of slowing down and truly not having plans.  My husband would make fun of me because I had to fill every waking minute with something, even if it was downtime I had to make sure we scheduled downtime (you feel me?) But now I’m learning the art and beauty of no plans, of saying no to plans, of not having to fill every waking moment with….something!
  3. Happiness is an inside job…..I was on a very long and very tumultuous covid emotional coaster.  So many “tough” days.  I seeked professional help and just tried really hard to get myself out of it.  It was not easy.  I really tried to analyze why I felt so low;  I was safe, we had an income, I was able to stay home with the kids but still work, we were all healthy….so many great things in my life despite the pandemic.  I almost felt like there was something wrong with me for feeling so down.  But emotions are emotions and we don’t always get to choose the ones we feel.  Here is what I discovered, happiness has to come from within or else it’s just way too elusive.  I realized that my pre-covid life kept me so busy I didn’t really have time to analyze my feelings.  I was counting on outside events to make me happy, which is ok accept when all of those events are canceled and you can’t meet your friends for mom nights anymore! I realized that I’m blessed to have friends that fill my soul and events that fill my calendar, but I simply cannot count on those things.  Happiness IS an inside job.  No person or event (even a global pandemic) should have the power to take that away from us.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t feel sorrow, it doesn’t mean we walk around with a smile plastered on our face no matter what happens.  It just simply means we feel an inner peace with ourselves, that we are happy to just be ourselves regardless of what or who is around us.
  4. Everything I need is inside my home (and in my heart) ….It’s a good thing I like my family or else quarantining would have really sucked!!! Yes, we all were hoping for a little more alone time, a small escape to somewhere other than the bathroom.  But it really emphasized the importance of family and time together.  I know we will always fondly remember our game nights and movie nights (watching the entire Star Wars series)  Family is truly so important and those of that were lucky enough to be locked up with them developed special bonds for sure. 
  5. A new appreciation for staying in gratitude….truly, just so blessed to have been in good health and safe in a home with people I loved.  So much gratitude for the every day mundane.  At one point, I remember writing in my gratitude journal that I was grateful for stocked shelves and no lines at Trader Joe’s and I completely meant it!!  Living a life in gratitude for the everyday simple things….yes please!

I’d love to hear your take aways from this past year?

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

-Robert Brault

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