What We Loathed, Loved & Learnt In 2020
We have all struggled in 2020, and no one could have predicted what has been an unbelievably challenging, and at times, torturous year! As we get to the end of 2020, it is time to take stock of what we have LOATHED, LOVED AND LEARNT in this year like no other!
What have we loathed?
- Being separated from our family and friends who live interstate and overseas; we have missed seeing them in person, spending time together, talking and laughing and being able to hug them
- Not being able to be in face-to-face contact with our work colleagues, our sports teams, and social activities
- The constant “blame game”, as people and leaders sought who to blame for the COVID virus, the spread of it, lack of medical equipment, increasing unemployment, difficult economic conditions, race riots and everything else that happened in 2020
- A feeling of loss of control of our lives, our environment, and the hopelessness of not knowing what the future holds, when the pandemic will end and when we will stop feeling like we are on an emotional rollercoaster
- Loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, ability to visit people and places we love, loss of employment of millions, loss of small businesses and the guilt and grief that goes with such losses.
What have we loved?
- The realisation that material things do not really matter; it is our family, friends, community, and health that matter most
- We have loved proving that working from home is a good thing, that people are productive and can collaborate by Zoom. Working from home is not a “working mothers’ thing”, it is for everybody, and there are a multitude of benefits for individuals, organisations and communities!
- The value of community and connecting to the local communities we live in in a way that would not have happened if not for COVID, social isolation and lockdowns
- Thanks to ZOOM technology and Facetime, we have re-connected with old friends, colleagues, and family members around the world through virtual catch ups and re-established relationships for the long term
- The value of meaning and purpose. It helps everyone remember that difficult times and long hours of work serve a purpose. We thank all the healthcare workers for focussing on their patients even at great risk to their own health.
What have we learnt?
- The leaders who led with authenticity, kindness, listening, and honesty were not those we expected in countries and companies which dominate the headlines, e.g., the US, UK, large economies, and global multinationals. It was smaller countries, often led by women, e.g., New Zealand, Iceland, and Denmark, and activists who highlighted inequities in society, e.g., “Black Lives Matter” which has become a global movement. Agility, flexibility, authenticity, and empathy IS the NEW LEADERHIP MODEL!
- Reframing a crisis as an opportunity for learning and innovation turns uncertainty into hope and possibility. We can choose to focus on what we can do to contribute to finding solutions, demonstrate compassion, appreciate others, express gratitude daily
- We have learnt that we humans are fragile by ourselves. Our strength lies in being part of caring, sustainable communities
- We have learnt while in isolation the importance of taking care of ourselves and that we all need to devote more time to ourselves so that we might flourish
- Humour and laughter can dispel tense situations, bring people closer together and help address difficult situations. Humour enables co-operation and being open to new ideas and different ways of thinking.
We would love to hear your thoughts on what you have loathed, loved, and learnt in 2020.
On behalf of the AHAA team: David, Martin, Selena, Melissa, Emma, Benny & Buddy and myself, we wish you and your loved ones serenity, quiet time, good health, joy and meaningful connections during the festive and holiday season, and throughout 2021. We will see you in the New Year.
DO sweat the small stuff!
Because little things DO matter.
Be kind rather than right,
Be gentle with yourself and others,
Practice self-care as the ultimate act of love!