Like a crocus bursting through frost with petals of hope we are emerging from what feels like a year- long winter of lockdown and restrictions to our everyday lives. Some bruised with hearts aching after the loss of loved ones, others impatient with plans and projects to implement so they can leave the last year behind. But what is the ‘new normal’?
I imagine this will look different for everyone. We have had time to reflect, re-evaluate our priorities and make shifts. Some of the things and activities we may have valued before may have changed. Maybe it is the people around us, people who were there and people who dropped away. Maybe it is a shift in career, partner or definition of what makes a happy and fulfilling life. Whatever the changes it is important we treat ourselves and others gently. One person’s year of home-schooling and banana bread may be another person’s illness or loss. We can never know the fullness of another person’s experience so if in doubt we should be kind.
A year of tumult
It has been a year of tumult politically, socially and personally. Views have been polarised from conspiracy theorists, to anti-vaccers, to people trying to do the right thing and keep each other safe. We have all reacted in accordance with the neat set of values and socialisation processes that we have grown up with. They may have differed from that of other people and we may have been disappointed. Alternatively, we may have found our tribe and the freedom which comes from knowing exactly what you want, who you want to be around and what you wish to spend your precious time doing.
So, as we emerge blinking into the sun, shaking off the lockdown dust and venturing into a brave, changed world we can tread gently in our newly discovered vulnerability and take tentative steps forward. With hope comes fresh opportunities to reconnect, to follow our heart’s desires and though uncertain, grasp this new life by the hand as we make the welcome transition to summer.
By Emma Conally-Barklem, 2021, All rights reserved.