2020 is definitely a year for the history books. Not necessarily a good year, but a year. While many refer to 2020 as the dumpster fire of the century, there are still positive things to take from the chaos. Let’s discuss my #1 positive take from 2020 – the practice of resilience.
According to my friend Google, resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. More than any other time in history, 2020 taught me that I have an amazing capacity for resilience. I daily take the hard and move through it into a new and better reality. It is not easy. Matter of fact it takes a lot of conscience effort on my part to make it happen. None the less, resilience is now more a part of my reality than any other time in my history. 2020 taught me how to adapt.
What Does Resilience Look Like?
Resilience is not a majestic act that overtakes the negativity of our life and molds it into something better. Resilience is a million little steps, taken one at a time, to help us reach a more positive existence. It is finding the things that make us feel better and doing them over and over again. It is not a one-time thing. There is not a single path to follow. With each difficulty comes a new opportunity to recover. With each recovery comes confidence that we can recover again. Resilience grows with practice.
Sharing the Practice
As I walk the journey of resilience in 2020, it is my honor to share the practice with my children. Teaching them that we can do hard things and come out better on the other side is a practice that will serve them well in adulthood. We never negate our feelings. Admitting how difficult something is becomes part of the process. Then we look at what we have done so far. We compare the beginning, middle and end of the last hard thing we overcame. The result is a realization that we lived through that hard thing and everything is ok. It was hard, but we still made it work. If we did it once, we can do it again. Each time we become a little more confident that hard things are not the end of the world.
Reflect to Move Forward
What were the toughest parts of 2020 for you and your family? How did you move past them? We should be proud of all the ways we found to adapt to our less than ideal situations. Take virtual learning for example. Can we say this sucks? Yes, we can. Are we making it work? Also, yes. Is it ideal? No, not at all! Some days we have to toss the whole thing in the corner and try again tomorrow. Some days we decide what we have done is “good enough” and move on to the next thing. We understand we are only human and perfection is unnecessary and unattainable. Through it all, we figured out how to survive a difficult situation with our sanity intact. This is resilience. One step at a time, making the hard thing doable.
As we move through the last days of 2020 celebrate all of your tiny moments of success, no matter what they are. Realize that you are more resilient than you imagine. Focus on what you accomplished. Move into 2021 knowing that you are strong and can make it through difficult situations. Let us take what we learned and make 2021 an amazing follow-up to a difficult period in our history.