The clock striking midnight on Dec. 31, 2020, will not bring about a magical return to “normal,” whatever your definition of normal might be. We still have a largely uncontrolled virus, political stress and strife, and the economy is a mess. Many will start the New Year with a boatload of Old Problems.
So, how do we move forward? Well, that’s somewhat dependent on how one approaches life.
How do you see your strengths and weakness? Are you a naturally confident, can-do kind of person? Are you self-motivated or do you need a kick in the pants to get going? Are you resilient? Empathetic? Optimistic? It has been said that if you believe you will succeed, you probably will. If you think you will fail, you probably will. Between the two, which choice will you make and how will that form your strategy for getting from where you are now, to where you want to be in 2021?
My magic formula for positive change is simple. Show up.
- Show up for your family when they need you.
- Show up for friends who are going through tough times.
- Show up to celebrate important occasions.
- Show up to help in soup kitchens, or food banks, or clothing drives.
- Show up in the coffers of a charity that will make life better for others.
- Show up in local small businesses who are struggling in these tough economic times.
- Show up for yourself through self-care.
When I think of our small community, I’m thankful to report that many of my friends and neighbors have done just that, shown up and delivered. At the beginning of the pandemic, when there were no masks to be found anywhere, folks dusted off their sewing machines and made masks, then gave them away.
Our struggling food banks had lots of support from locals. Was it enough? The need for food and personal items for those affected by job loss or homelessness never goes away. The good news is, people are still showing up to help.
Blankets were given to those who needed them. Elders were given boxes of food and necessities. There is so much more I’m not aware of, but I thank every one of you who stepped up and showed up. The difference you made rings through into 2021 and resonates in the hearts of all you helped.
So, what does “show up” mean? Whatever it means to you, but here are some ideas:
- It’s the simple things that add up. Samaritan House always needs socks, scarves, woolen caps, and masks for distribution, especially in cold winter months.
- A telephone call to a shut-in or a friend or a neighbor you haven’t seen or talked to in a while can make a big difference. If you think you don’t have anything to say, be honest and say you just wanted to touch base and say, “Hi,” and let the conversation go on from there.
- Send a card. In the mail. With a stamp. Or a letter. Or a thank you for a kindness. It’s the connection that matters.
- The most important truth our friends and neighbors need to know is the very truth we need to remember: we are not alone. We have a tribe, a team, a family, a network, friends we can turn to. Lean on faith and friends as you look to the future.
- Think of all that you can do and don’t worry about the things you can’t. I don’t know if this is accurate, but I read recently that 97 percent of the things we worry about, never happen. That’s a lot of wasted time that could be spent breathing deep and chilling out and showing up. It doesn’t have to be a big deal to have a big impact.
Please note that when you “show up” in the company of others, be safe and adhere to appropriate protocols to protect yourself and those you encounter: mask up, social distance, wash your hands.
I wish for each of you a blessed and happy and stress-free 2021. When you show up for others it has an amazing effect on you. Try it; you’ll like it.
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