It’s Time to Exhale

Breathe and Let Go of 2020

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If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably been trying to stay forward focused and positive. Thinking the uncertainty around us has to come to an end soon. However, what I’ve noticed is that I’m holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know many can relate. The thought that we needed to brace ourselves because things were only going to get worse. It was like a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. The news didn’t help. I tried to stay informed without getting sucked in.

But, as 2021 approaches, I know I need to let go. I’m done holding my breath.

These 6 days between Christmas and New Year’s I’ve been channeling my inner Angela Basset. I’ve been waiting to exhale and have been doing just that during these final days of the year. I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge the plethora of emotions that 2020 has brought up. I’ve allowed myself to sit on the sofa and not worry about work or 2021 initiatives or my publisher’s impending deadline for the final manuscript or when this seemingly endless coronavirus journey will end. I can’t control any of those things ultimately. What I can control is my reaction and response to each.

During this closing week of 2020, I’ve taken a step back to really think about the past year. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned and what I need to take into 2021 and beyond:

  • Time means nothing. It’s what you do with it that means everything.
  • A few close and true friends are better than 100 acquaintances.
  • It’s not enough to love your spouse. To spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end with the same person takes a deep devotion, not to mention patience.
  • When times get stressful, emotions run raw and are always on the surface. Give others some space and be kind.
  • In a one-sided relationship, it’s okay to let people go and move on.
  • Meditation is even more important when the world outside becomes increasingly loud.
  • Working in alignment with your purpose gives you something to focus on, even when it feels like life is imploding all around us.
  • Listen to your body. If it needs sleep, rest. If it needs exercise, go for a walk. If it needs a good cry, then let it out.
  • Focus on what and who is most meaningful and let everything and everyone else go.

There are countless other lessons. This isn’t about an exhaustive list, but about what is worth remembering from what can only be described as a year like none other. The process of reflecting back on this year is cathartic. It’s how we move forward.

Take a few minutes to write down your 2020 lessons; things you can look back on and tap into when times get hard again in the future, as they inevitably will. Keep this list to add to as the years go on; to look at all of the lessons life has taught us.

And above all else, remember to exhale.

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