2020 was a year like no other. We have all been through so much- we have all weathered this storm and continue to weather it. It has been said the storm has been the same for all of us, but each boat we are on has been different. Some people have lost their jobs, their homes, their loved ones, their time spent with family. There has been SO much loss. Not to undermine or discredit the loss by any means, but I tend to be an optimistic person, so my mind switches to…but what have we gained? For me, I’ve realized it’s time to show up for the people in my life. It’s time to follow through and do what we said we would do. It’s time to make a commitment to the people that are important to you and stick with it.
On New Year’s Eve morning, I took a long walk by myself. It was cold, it was dark, but the lights were twinkling uptown and I was overcome by emotion. WHAT.A.YEAR. I stopped in my tracks and stared at the lights. I reflected on the losses of the year for quite some time, but the joy the lights brought me made me see just what I had learned. The lesson could be summed up in just five words: It’s Time to Show Up.
Before Covid, many people, myself included, made excuses for not being able to do things, not keeping in touch, not sending the card, or the text simply because life got in the way or we were just too busy. The term “busy” has been glorified for many people. Remember in the first few months of the pandemic how we all came together and showed up for our neighbors, family and friends in any small way we could? It felt as though we all made an effort to show up for each other. Can we bring that back? Can we remember that it’s still time to show up?
How Can You Show Up?
When someone has a birthday parade for their little one, even if it’s not your child’s best friend in the class, make a poster and grab a balloon. It’s time show up.
When you think of someone, text them or call them. Don’t put it off. You never know what a simple text with a smiley face can do for someone’s day. It’s time to show up.
When you think of an older relative who can’t leave their home- send them a note. Send them some artwork that your child made that you are tempted to throw away. It might just make their day. It’s time to show up.
If you want to stand up for what you think is right or participate in conversations that promote kindness for injustices in the world, then it’s time to show up and speak up.
When you make a resolution or a commitment to be different this year- less alcohol, less sugar, more working out, drinking more water- then stick to it because it’s time to show up, even if it’s to yourself.
When you see a local business owner on Instragram, trying to stay afloat, order from them and share with them how their business has impacted your life! It’s time to show up.
When your kids ask to jump in the car to go to their grandparents, think of the times you missed seeing them this year. Get in the car and show up!
When your kids ask you to play a game or play with them, put down your phone. This could be their way of saying they had a bad day at school and need some one-on-one time. It’s time to show up.
When you’re rocking your baby to sleep and you’re beyond tired, look at them. Stare at them. Remember the day, take a picture with your brain. Time flies. It’s time to be present and show up.
A family member can’t properly celebrate a milestone birthday this winter? Bundle up, mask up, and show them another trip around the sun matters by having an outdoor gathering. It’s time to show up.
Find yourself complaining about the hybrid model for school or remote learning? I may be in the minority here, but I love the hybrid model. A day in between not to rush out, a time to reconnect with my kids on their off days. I know it’s hard to remember, but if you are able to… hop in the car and go on an adventure. Explore a new park. Go on a hike. Play with your kids. It’s a time we will never get back. It’s time to show up and embrace the schedule we have.
Covid took a lot of things from us this year. But when I think about what I missed the most this year- it was the connection. Connection with family and friends and the freedom to go spend time with people whenever I wanted. This is what I will carry with me going forward.
When you have the chance to connect with someone, don’t make an excuse or pass it up. Look outside of yourself and stop asking yourself, if it serves YOU, but how can it serve someone else? You might just find that even though it serves someone else, it will serve your own spirit at the same time.