2021 - Practicing Patience
There have been more than enough musings about the year 2020, so I won't start with a dissection of the year that changed us and challenged us. Instead, I'm taking this opportunity to talk about 2021. And no, this isn't a new year, new me post!
I want to talk about patience, something we're all familiar with, and yet never has is it felt so up close and personal than in this moment. You see, the new year didn't wipe the slate clean when it comes to coronavirus. Instead, it served-up a large side of fresh restrictions and continued uncertainty.
It really is a virtue
Which means that once again we must invoke patience when it comes to our progress and the road ahead. I could spend the next three paragraphs ranting about all the reasons why this is infuriating and anxiety-inducing, but instead I'm going to shine a light on why patience really is a virtue. Particularly in the switched on, fast-paced, high octane world that we live in.
Before you roll your eyes to the heavens and scream TOXIC POSITIVITY!! bear with me on this one. 2020 was the first time in a long time that we were all forced to pause, to take a breath and to look around. So many of us had spent the preceding years running around like headless chickens, so focused on success that patience had become a dirty word. We wanted it all right now, and if it wasn't happening fast enough for us to post it on our highlights reel, we deemed it a failure and scrambled to move on to what was surely going to be the real overnight success move.
Somewhere along the way we've learnt to poo poo patience, if it moves slowly its a sinking ship we have told ourselves. And yet, how many times have you started watching a film or series that is slow to burn but well worth the wait. You persevere, and you are rewarded with epic entertainment. In fact, it's so good you tell anyone who will listen 'please stick with it, it's sooo worth it'.
Small steps in the right direction are still success
What if we thought about our life, our goals and our self-development like that? What if we stopped getting caught-up in the quick-fix, overnight success stories that are promoted on social media and be honest with ourselves, and each other, in acknowledging that they were YEARS in the making.
There is no set time for achievement, it doesn't have an expiration date and there is no stopwatch. You don't need to be successful in leaps and bounds for it to warrant a pat on the back or a celebration. Small steps in the right direction are still success. I say this as much as a reminder to you, as it is to myself. It's so easy to become consumed with scrolling through other people's success, that we forget to acknowledge and appreciate our own wins, or they just don't seem as great in comparison.
Let's stop doing that.
Let's make 2021 the year we all have a little more patience with ourselves, with the world, and with each other. We aren't moving at the same pace we once were, and it's okay to embrace that. We are allowed to slow down, take stock and re-charge.
Knowing that it might take longer to arrive at our destination doesn't mean we turn the car around and head home.
It means we choose to slow down and take in the scenery of our small wins. Marvel at the wonders of our progress and stop for self-care and nourishment. We commit to learning from the wrong turns and roadblocks. And most importantly, we realise that the journey can be just as beautiful as the destination.