As the world comes to grips with what was a very different year and Christmas for most of us, I took the time to reflect. To reflect on my hurdles, my challenges, my lessons, my dark night of the soul, my growth, my transformation and my successes. With introspect you realise that to really grow, you have to peel away a significant number of layers, dig deep, face your darkness, own your mistakes and understand it’s a process and nothing can be bypassed if you really want long-term growth.
Leading up to Christmas with all my plans in disarray due to a COVID outbreak, I was uncertain exactly what I would be doing Christmas Day. Initially upset and disappointed, I moved past this quickly and just accepted the day would be whatever it was going to be. I know many people go all out and dress up and make a fuss about the day but I’ve never been like that. I liked to decorate the place when the kids were small and always celebrate with loved ones but, I like a much more relaxed approach to dress codes etc. Sometimes I feel the day causes some people a great deal of stress and if 2020 has taught us anything it’s to appreciate the small things and be grateful for what we have.
The need for expensive gifts is also something I’ve never been into. I like to spoil others but not necessarily by spending huge amounts of money but rather trying to find something special. I received some very special gifts myself this year and they were special due to the thought and meaning that went into them. They were me and were chosen knowing who I am and that is the most precious of things.
Another thing that warmed my heart were the amount of messages I woke up to and continued to receive throughout the day. It’s of course common on Christmas Day to receive many messages and calls but what stood out this year were the extra one’s received as people knew my plans were cancelled and I was possibly spending the day alone. I am incredibly grateful to have so many people reach out and care, it was so very thoughtful. I even had a phone call from my State General Manager whom I’ve never met in person but he had heard of my situation and was concerned I could be alone, so called me on Christmas Day to check in and wish me a merry Christmas!! I too ensured I reached out to those I knew were struggling. People should always know that you care!
I used to be so easily upset and hurt by others. Of course I still do get hurt and upset but this year has taught me that I cannot control how others behave. I cannot expect that others will treat me in the same way as I do them, as everyone is on their own journey and have different levels of self awareness. My biggest learning is that another’s behaviour is always a reflection of them. I’m finally in a place where I’m unapologetically myself and that is raw, it’s beautiful, it’s messy, it’s real and it’s genuine and I’m ok if I’m not to everyone’s taste. My tribe know I’m always in their corner.
I was very fortunate to spend the day with my two kids and my daughters partner. I had a very relaxing, happy and enjoyable day. It was a day of love and meaning, yet it was simple and peaceful. There was no stress and no fuss. We shared stories and spoke openly and honestly about the past year and what our hopes are for the next year. We exchanged our gifts and ate some yummy food. And we simply enjoyed each others company.
As I sat there on the couch as dusk fell I looked over at my daughter snuggled up with her partner and I had my sons head on my lap, something he has always done since he was a little boy, as I tickled his head. My two kids who can argue with each other over the smallest of things, yet are fiercely protective of each other fill me with such pride. It was in that moment that I realised how absolutely lucky I am and how grateful I am for everything.
All that has happened to bring me to this point in my life. The strength, courage and belief in myself that I have gained has made me become a far better mum because I have taught them that you can overcome the darkness, you can stand up and own your sh*t in complete honesty, you can follow your passions and purpose and begin achieving your dreams at any age, and you don’t have to stay in situations or relationships regardless of expectations. I am teaching them that happiness comes from within. I am teaching them to be real, to say what they mean and mean what they say. I’m teaching them that authenticity is such an important trait. Speak your truth and don’t slide through life in a mask. I’m teaching them that your actions should always match what you say.
So Christmas 2020 was different to what I had planned but I accepted whatever was to be and for me my day could not have been more precious. I have raised two beautiful human beings. Of course they have their issues as we all do. They have made mistakes and hopefully continue to make mistakes and take each lesson they learn forward. They will be the caring individuals to reach out to others in need, just like the beautiful souls who reached out to me. What a blessed and lucky woman I am.
“Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be genuine. But most of all be thankful”.