What have we learned from the longest year ever?

You don't need us to tell you. It's December. Again. Already. Finally. 2020, the year that brought us to our knees and punched us where it hurts is coming to an end and we find ourselves again at that significant time where we do best to ponder, learn and evolve. 

Well, we thought we had some reflecting to do last year after extended drought and bushfires but in retrospect, we could've just said, 'we ain't seen nothin' yet'.

Raging infernos, hungry livestock and dusty paddocks were bad, really bad, but to think that a microscopic particle could burrow its way into the very fabric of our lives and turn the whole wide world upside down was something that most of us found difficult to comprehend. 

As news spread of a 'SARS-like flu strain' in January and February, many of us really had no clue what was coming and just how long it would take to recover. Realistically, we still don't.

Last year our analogy of December was the 'rowdy relative arriving unannounced on the doorstep' but this year it's feels more like a bandaged, limping soldier returning ravaged from the war. Some wounds are oozing and obvious but the deepest scars remain reclusive, to be uncovered and faced by the generations that follow. 

So what do you do when the limping soldier returns? Do you rejoice in their arrival or mourn their missing limb?

If there is one word that has had its moment in the sun this year it is RESILIENCE. Often described as 'bouncing back from adversity' resilience is about managing our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to allow us to adapt to our current circumstances while finding meaning and gratitude within the hardship. When you say it like that it would be more accurate to describe it as bouncing forward. When we find meaning and gratitude during adversity we learn. We grow. We evolve. So there's no way we can just go back to the way it was.

So what are some of the things we've learned do you think? Here are some of our thoughts.

1. We learned that one of the things that as a society we're most afraid of is to run out of toilet paper. (Last December as this newsletter was penned, who could possibly have predicted that would be a topic of conversation for the anticipated year ahead? Seriously, if you knew that was coming please drop us a line we want to talk to you, Nostradamus.)

2. We learned that we don't need to commute to the office each day to get stuff done. 

3. We learned that our teachers are the backbone of society and deserve more recognition, resources and empathy.

4. We learned that if you're going to experience a pandemic, it's better when you have the internet.

5. We learned how much we value a hug and the company of the people we love.

6. We learned how fragile we are.

7. In Australia we learned how lucky we are to be actually 'girt by sea'.

8. And regardless of your political views, we learned how fortunate we are to have a government who has mostly worked together to keep us safe. 

Last December we wrote about the tough end to 2019 and sadly, the 2020 we'd hoped for back then was merely a mirage. 

So as not to jinx us all again, we won't be looking forward to 2021 but keeping ourselves well, agile and resilient so that no matter what 2021 throws at us we'll hang in there, search for meaning and build on our purpose. Finding ways to be of service to our community and remain relevant to our clients. We will find joy in things both great and small and treasure moments of presence rather than worry ourselves with what the future holds. Because really, if we made it through that one, we can make it through anything.

It wouldn't be a reflection edition if we didn't talk about some feelings so here's a summary of our collective emotions of 2020.

We started the year excited by the prospect of a calendar filled with programs and bookings only to feel concerned and anxious when everything got cancelled. We felt resilient when we navigated the transition to delivering our programs online but felt uneasy (only briefly) when we gave up our office space to work from home. This was soon replaced with a feeling of relief because we adapted very quickly and we continue to feel more productive with the new arrangement.

We feel proud that we were able to start Face to Face training again and trusted by our clients who continue to entrust us with the development of their teams. 

We felt disappointed when our trip to Sydney to see Simon Sinek got postponed but we then felt satisfied that it was able to be delivered online and inspired by his pearls of wisdom. We feel enthusiastic as we plan for the year ahead, but continue to remain uncertain about what the next lap around the sun will bring.

Of course, when we factor in the feelings we experience in our personal lives the list goes on.

As we round off a year with our reflections, we urge you to take a moment to consider yours. Take into account the feelings you've experienced and how you've handled the trickiest of years on record. Let's face it, no one reading this was around for the last pandemic. Consider the ways you handled this challenging year and the relationships that got you through. Nurture those connections for they are your lifeline to happiness.

Thank you to those who have tuned into any of our Dare2Care Podcast episodes. We have managed to publish 3 different seasons from Gen Z and employers to Ladies in Leadership as well as Thought Leaders. We are excited to bring another year of the D2C Podcast in 2021 with new branding and a new approach to our 5 questions. We want to thank all of our fabulous podcasts guests as well - who take time out of their busy schedules to record with us, and we love zoom because it means we get to see them as we interview them! 

On that note, we'd like to wish you all a very thoughtful holiday season. Thank you for your support during 2020 and for reading this far.

We hope that you can find things to be grateful for as you farewell the year that was and wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Warm regards
Susan & Ros

What have we learned from the longest year ever?