I sit here writing this in the living room of our new house in Scotland . Up until last week, we had no furniture and were using a cushion fort as a makeshift sofa. Not to forget the mug I was using to drink coffee, water and Prosecco from. Despite all of the above, for the first time in a while, I’d felt the urge to start writing again. Nothing forced or inspirational just my honest thought reel that I wanted to get down on here.
There’s something about the challenges of 2020 that have taken me back to the year my dad died. Although very different circumstances, I still find myself drawing parallels between the two with one common denominator, change.
Although we experience change daily like the change in weather or our schedules. Many of these minor adjustments to our day to day life are expected and don’t really affect us. But what about the big (sometimes unexpected) changes in our life? Like the new jobs, the breakups, the losses, and the big events that hit us with no prior warning. Whilst some of us thrive off change and take it in our stride when life throws a curveball. Others (me) are lovers of routine, and absolutely hate things not going to plan.
Whatever life throws at us we deal with it differently. The last four years have been filled with so many changes and challenges. They’ve taught me that it’s not the circumstances or events that happen but it’s how we handle them that dictates how they’ll affect our lives. It’s also taught me not to be fearful of what’s to come but instead accept that all good things (and bad) come to an end. I like to think I have some sort of control over my life but also accept that much of the big stuff I don’t and that’s ok.
Whilst this year has brought a fresh new set of challenges, there are a few lessons I’ve learned about change, especially unexpected ones, that I wanted to share on here.
Life really can change in an instant, so don’t put things off. I’m not talking about the washing or your household chores but the big things. Like taking that course you’ve been talking about, going on that trip, or reconnecting with an old friend. We really cannot predict what’s around the corner or how much ‘time’ we have. I don’t think many of us will ever forget the day the entire country went into national lockdown, over a virus that last year sounded like a sci-fi film plot. Or for me the day I found out my dad had died. We think we have time, and sometimes we don’t.
The only constant in life is change. Nothing stays the same. Our friendship circles, our houses, our jobs. We were built to evolve, adapt and move on. The good times do end, but so do the bad times. If it weren’t for change none of it would be possible.
It’s really hard to be prepared for the ‘un-prepareable’ so don’t waste your time trying to do so. ( I wrote a blog a while ago on this topic). You can’t predict the future, so getting worked up over worst-case scenarios that haven’t even happened yet is a waste of energy. Try to only focus on the here and now. While the thought of not knowing what’s to come can be scary, it also means that some of the best days of our lives are still to come and we don’t even know it yet.
Control what you can, but accept there is far more that you’ll never be in control of. Make peace with that.
Life never goes the way you plan it to and that’s actually a good thing. 5-year plans, 10-year plans give us the illusion of control. But what we think we want in the future very rarely pans out that way. I look back on what I thought I wanted 5 years ago to now and it’s drastically different and in a way I’m grateful for it.
So before we write off 2020, it might have taught us more than we think.