We are in what is often the slowest 7 days of the year. The space between Christmas and the new year. Many organisations and businesses, not in retail, shut down during this period. Some offices remain open and those who turn talk of a completely different vibe in the office. This is the time of year where we lose a sense of time and what day of the week it is.
And as 2021 comes to an end, for many of us, it has been another unexpected year. Many of us thought this would be year things would ‘go back to normal’, however COVID remains. We have people on they third or fourth vaccine dose, while huge amounts of others globally are still waiting for the opportunity for their first dose.
Jobs, family life, social patterns have all been in flux and discombobulated again this year. And after two years of this, many don’t want to go back to normal. Many urban dwellers talk of the joy of less cars, more bikes on the roads. Or speak of children coughs disappearing because there is less pollution. Therefore, they do not want to go back to ‘the way things were’. Many others speak of appreciating nature, parks, and green spaces more. Or a slower life. A more connected less with those in the same house as them.
And yet, we know this too comes with a cost. Mental health is in a terrible state. We feel trapped, isolated, lonely, and disconnected. Domestic abuse rates have soared.
Change always has at least two sides. Often it is multisided and multifaceted. We like to think it is ‘this or that’, but rarely is it that easy.
And so in this ‘slow week’, perhaps it is helpful to reflect on 2021. Do the usual and remember what happened including some highs and lows. Perhaps list 12 things, one per month. But go beyond this and give your reflection so colour. What made you soar, filled you with delight? What was mundane? And what caused you to weep? What filled you with terror, fear, and made you go a different way? And who surprised you? How did you surprise yourself? What are some moments you’d like to repeat?
Being human is being multisided and multifaceted. Understanding ourselves helps us connect with others. Understanding ourselves helps us be better change makers as we embrace the complexity.