Looking back on the first half of this year arises a mix match of emotions in many. Covid entered our lives early on, forcing us to adapt to a new daily norm which made our plans and goals difficult, if not impossible, to complete. Almost overnight, we had to learn to let go. Looking back on all this today, there were both pros and cons.
Yes, we all had to let go of plans we could no longer fulfil. Maybe it was a special trip you could no longer take, an exciting work project that got cancelled, a fitness regime that flew out the window as the gyms locked up, or a competitive sports season that was no longer there. As a fellow athlete myself, I can only imagine the disappointment of those heading to Tokyo 2020. Yet, with every cloud comes a silver lining.
Tokyo 2021 is booked in, giving the athletes another year to perfect their form further. Those working long hours and a hectic travel schedule got a break from commuting and planes whilst gaining more time with their families. Those with children got to experiment with home-schooling which is a challenge for sure but also, for most, the only time they will ever get to experience it in their lives. Others simply learned to slow down and savour the simple life in their sacred homes. Even our beautiful Planet Earth started to thrive as the pollution dropped when so much of the world stopped moving.
Still, I know how hard it can be to make peace with the fact that your first half of the year didn’t go to plan and as a result, a lot of the goals you were aiming for didn’t either. So, today, I want you to take a moment to reminisce your journey and remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Anything goes. It can be as small or big as you want, and it doesn’t matter what other people thought of it. The most important part is that you were proud of yourself for achieving those things.
Personally, as a bit of a nerd, I do take great pride in my education. I have always loved studying and I am proud of all the things I completed – from my bilingual Baccalaureate Diploma to my Undergraduate degree to my Coaching Accreditation to my Masters in Positive Psychology.
Naturally, I’m also proud of so many achievements with my horses, both in and out of the competition arena. Moving across countries, time after time. Speaking four languages fluently. Being brave enough to walk my own path. Being brave enough to share my own truth. My work as The Happyologist. Every talk and workshop I’ve ever delivered. My two wonderful books.
Having the guts to leave an unhappy long-term relationship that everyone told me to stay in. Having the guts to open my heart again to another one. The real one. Having the guts to swap the hectic city life of London to a calm and quiet one in rural France. Having the guts to keep doing what I know is right for me.
Again, this is yours to answer however you wish. You can go rational, emotional, or spiritual. Whatever feels right for you. Remind yourself, again, how far you have come as the beautiful human being you are.
As for me, I am proud of how my courage has grown and how true to creating my own path I have been. Initially, it started with me deciding to commit to the equestrian sport as a teen when literally no one I knew in my school or neighbourhood understood it. Then, leaving the university I didn’t enjoy to go to one I absolutely loved. Entering the corporate world only to leave it three years later when I realised it wasn’t for me. Doing a Masters in a totally new field not many knew anything about. Starting my business. Becoming The Happyologist. Speaking my truth every single day.
Let’s take a closer look and find those silver linings in the first half of this year. What were the moments that enabled you to feel contentment and calm? When were you feeling your most fulfilled? Which moments made you feel one with yourself and one with the world?
For me, it was snuggling with my pup Bond on our sofa during lockdown. He clearly knew I was a bit down about not being able to see my friends or family and as a result, he always stayed close. Being unable to ride or even see my horse also meant that all my animal attention was on him and I love how lockdown brought us closer together. Equally, the first time I sat on Mickey after the lockdown was pure heaven on Earth.
I also loved working on 1000-piece jigsaws with my husband during lockdown. It was mindful and it put my focus to work whilst putting my mind at rest. I also ended up gardening like never before, planting flowers and rose bushes for the first time. This I also found incredibly meditative and rewarding. The same goes for getting creative with cooking based on what ingredients were available and simply testing lots of new recipes, both with cooking and baking.
So, really, if you look hard enough, you can remind yourself how far you have come. You see how much you’ve achieved, how much you’ve grown, and how many amazing moments you’ve had. Sure, this year hasn’t exactly gone to plan for many of us but that is one of the ingredients of this mad adventure called life. Enjoy the ride. And stay safe. Always.