By TMoM Team Member Anna Keller
This has been quite the year, and now that the holiday season is upon us I think we’re all being reminded of just how strange and insular 2020 has been. As most of us make plans to spend the season in much more contained ways than usual, perhaps the holiday season feels like it’s missing some of its shine this year.
Although the next couple of months will most certainly look different than in years past, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the silver lining of 2020. After all, amidst all the weird and uncomfortable and downright sadness, there’s also been a lot of good. During this season of gratefulness, it feels right to lean into that good and appreciate the special things that have come out of this year.
(I want to mention, too, that I know our family is fortunate to have not experienced either the loss of a loved one due to Covid-19 or a job loss. I know this year has been heartbreaking for many families as a result of either or both of those realities, and want to be sure to acknowledge that.)
I stumbled across a Buddhist proverb recently that has been echoing in my mind ever since I read it:
“Enough is a feast.”
Isn’t that powerful – and so true?
Enough is MORE than enough. Enough is worth celebrating. Enough is a gift.
This year, I think I’ve been able to embrace that more than ever before. I’ve always worked to not feel like I have to be doing more or buying more or trying to keep up with the fast-paced world around me, but in years past that’s felt like more of a struggle. In 2020, especially with the holidays coming up and the gift buying beginning and wish list making, my overall feeling is of contentment. We don’t need to go crazy with gifts. I certainly don’t “need” a single thing. We have enough – we have MORE than enough – and enough is a feast.
After all, in years past I would have bought so many more clothes than I have this year, but where am I going to wear them right now? I would have spent much more money eating out, but now we are at home for most meals. I would have wanted to squeeze alllll the things into the Christmas season to make it magical for my 3.5-year-old daughter, and while we can still do many magical things, they’ll feel more low key in a good way.
Speaking of my daughter, she’s been out of full-time preschool and instead home with us since March, and though that’s come with its share of struggle and frustration at times, it’s also been such sweet and special time we never would have had together otherwise. She’ll be starting a part-time preschool program in early 2021, but the pandemic helped our family reassess her childcare situation and realize that – with my work as a Beautycounter consultant, freelance writer, and Pure Barre teacher being as flexible as it is – we actually don’t need her to be in a full-time program at all. I love that even when she goes back to school, she’ll be home with us more each day than she was last year. After all, she’ll be going to kindergarten before we know it, and I love that we’ll have what feels like bonus time with her – all as a result of the pandemic.
My husband works for himself as well (he’s co-owner of the men’s grooming company Fulton & Roark if you’re looking for a great guys’ gift idea!), but would typically be working from his office all day. Now, he works from home and so we see each other so much more frequently. (And we’re lucky that for us that’s a good thing!) I manage our daughter, Maggie, most of the day, but he’s there to step in so I can run a quick kid-free errand or take a Pure Barre class, which is so hugely helpful.
“When the people start feeling better” (my daughter’s phrase for all things post-pandemic), there will certainly be much to celebrate. I look forward to spending time with friends and family we haven’t seen in months, to holding friends’ babies, to traveling freely again, to seeing full faces at all times, to attending parties and events, and so much more. But I also hope we can all collectively hang on to some of those silver lining things that have come from this time, too.
It’s good for us to slow down and to make our worlds feel smaller from time to time (and as a result, to remind ourselves of how little most of us actually lack). It’s good for us to have to get creative as far as how we share ourselves, our work, our gifts, and our time with the world. Let’s be sure to give 2020 the respect it deserves for helping us truly realize those things, and carry them into 2021 and beyond.
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