We had more control over 2020 than we realized. The year 2021 will bring new choices and new opportunities. What will you do?
It’s almost cliché now to say that 2020 was the weirdest year ever.
Almost no one is nostalgic about 2020. Everyone I talk to is ready to bid this unbelievable year goodbye.
Is this you?
Maybe you had the worst of the worst happen to you in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Plenty of people have lost their jobs, loved ones, homes and livelihoods to the pandemic. None of them easy to replace.
So if this is you, then you’re not imagining that this was a hard year.
For many of us, this may have been more of a year of disruption and nuisance.
Shutdowns and new rules mean we have more to consider every day than just heading out the door for work or school without a care in the world.
Who among us took 24-hour Walmart for granted before 2020? And toilet paper….
So yeah, Adios, Sayōnara, and Arrivederci, 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
But what does that mean for you for 2021?
Will you be happy if 2021 is just “not 2020?” That’s not really a measurable goal, wanting something to just “not be” something else.
Believe it or not, you alone have the sheer capacity to make 2021 what it needs to be for you.
- Not your elected officials,
- Not your boss,
- Not your family, and
- Honestly, not even invisible pathogens.
The choice on how next year — or any year goes — is up to you and the choices you make.
Oddly, for many of us, the availability of those choices was already the case for 2020.
We had the year we chose to have, really.
Barring things like death and losing your job, which you obviously have little or no control over, your results for the year 2020 came about largely because of the perspectives you chose to have on any given day.
Those results came from the action, or inaction, you took because of that perspective.
- Did you put off creating a healthier you because gyms were closed? In most places outdoor exercise is always a good option.
- Did you stop investing in your professional self because the work-from-home environment disrupted your workflow? (I know, you had kids schooling at home, too, I get that was unexpected and hard.) Once the dust cleared a bit, that supercommute many of you used to make pre-pandemic now provided the time to invest in training for your future, even if you couldn’t see the future from the desk you made out of an old closet door.
- Did you transfer the time you used to invest in your mind, goals and mental health over to your favorite streaming service so as to not think about 2020 for a few hours? (Raising my hand on this one.) Virus or not, those hours were still available to you for investing in yourself.
- Did you fill your mind with the emotionally-charged ping pong that is Facebook, Twitter, et al that seemed to uncover every bad thing, everywhere, every day? The off button was still available to you in 2020.
It’s easy to let others tell you that 2020 “happened to us.”
The reality is that 2020 was just a year like any other Gregorian Calendar year, with 365 days and 12 months.
In 2020, you could make decisions for your mental health, your career, your family, and your health just like you could any other year.
It’s just that there were giant buzzards circling over your head all year reminding you that the obstacles may be greater and kind of disgusting.
So what kind of year will 2021 be for you?
You get to decide that right now.
In fact, every day of 2021 you get to make that decision.
The year 2021 will bring you 365 opportunities to have what you want for yourself, your family and your community.
What will you do?
Lori R. Miller is an author and licensed mental health counselor in Stuart, FL.
Check out her latest book, 31 Days of Mental Health Moments at www.mymentalhealthmoment.com.
This post was originally posted on MillerMHS.com.