Who doesn’t like a surprise if it’s fun, beneficial, fascinating, or comes with cash attached? Like most of you, I’m not so fond of having plans derailed or feeling out of control. 2020 has been the year of the latter (to state the obvious). None of us would hope to repeat this time no matter how many silver linings we’ve discovered.
There’s a cognitive behavioral technique for gaining perspective that has to do with seeing a negative period or event as merely a dot on life’s timeline. Of course, the older you are the longer your timeline and the more dots you have. The idea is to place the current unappealing spot on the line then let your imagination view it from further and further away until the dot is tiny or ceases to be discernible. Now it’s just one more in a series of life events; this too shall pass.
2020 has given some people one damned lousy dot on top of another. If you have a sinkhole on your timeline, you may have to view this year from the International Space Station to gain any perspective. Rest assured that, eventually (and with enough distance), this past twelve months will find its place among the blips on life’s path.
Even in the worst years, there are positive moments. Often there are more of them than the negative. However, if you’re in a funk and focused on what’s not working, or caught up in one catastrophe after another, it’s impossible to see the balance. If we’re lucky, the good is apparent in the moment. During a tough spate, you might have to look in the rearview mirror to find pleasant memories. I’ve extolled the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal to keep the positive in front of you, but if that’s not your thing, perhaps a timeline with both types of dots would do the trick. It’s a reminder that life’s not unidimensional.
As we come skidding into 2021, all of us have hopes for a better year. Momentum from 2020 will create basic scaffolding, but we can be certain there will be many surprises—and a number of them will be pleasant ones.
We might like certainty more than not, but the very promise of a new year an optimistic type of uncertainty. Enjoy dreaming about the yet-to-be revealed! A very happy and healthy 2021 to you.
What momentum is propelling you into the next year? Please comment in the box below.
Sending you appropriately physically distanced encouragement—and a reminder that your local businesses would appreciate your patronage!