It’s a time when you’re supposed to be happy, but a nightmare when you’re not. Feeling alone at Christmas is the worst feeling in the world.
Or at least it’s definitely up there.
Christmas is a time where there are many images of joy displayed throughout the world, bombarded into our eyes and minds from every conceivable angle. Smiling children, singing carolers, joyous gift recipients and very content and full feast goers. The colours are bright, the music is upbeat, and the mood is entirely festive.
All this can be quite hard when you don’t feel any of that on the inside.
It’s cool to hate on this year, but is 2020 the worst year ever? Here’s my annual review of the year that was – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
With a final few weeks to go until the start of a new year (seriously!!), the excitement is palpable. All the memes are out in force to pretend 2020 never existed, to flush it out of our lives, to be the year that never happened. A lot of things went wrong in the world this year, and it’s hard to blame a lot of people for feeling this way. I think that’s why everyone’s singing January, February, Quarantine, December.
They told white people to listen, so as a white person I did just that. Here are 7 things I learned because of Black Lives Matter.
If you’re reading this, you would probably already be well acquainted with Black Lives Matter, #BLM, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and a number of the movements that have been sparked in response to acts of police violence over the last few decades. Most recently, the death of George Floyd recorded on camera as four police officers stood around with one holding him in a chokehold has sparked global response. Mass protests, even during times of pandemic presence and strict distancing rules with COVID-19. Police departments being completely defunded. Constant debate in the news. Harsh conversations in person and on social media followed by a lot of anger, blocking, and termination of relationships.
You really need to have been living under a rock on a different planet to have not been affected by recent events.
I’m usually not the type to despair, but sometimes I do. Here is the thing that fills my heart with sorrow.
Our world is in one of its most trying times in existence. International borders closed, families and friends kept physically isolated for extended periods of time, bushfires and hurricanes, unknown and highly contagious diseases, injustice and violent protest. You’ve gotta wonder, what on earth could happen next? You hope for it to get better, but it’s very likely things will only continue to get worse.
If music tells you a lot about a person, get ready to learn a lot about me – here are five bands that have shaped my life and gotten me through the ups and downs of life.
If you appreciate music, are looking for some new tunes to check out, or just like people being reflective, give this one a read.
Everyone’s being super reflective at the moment. Being an INFJ super reflective type at most times, I’ve definitely appreciated seeing people taking stock and sharing about themselves in a more intimate fashion. I love hearing people’s dreams and their life journeys and so loving to see the innermost machinations of people’s hearts and minds being put to writing at a time when the world needs it most. Good job, world.
With the need to be physically distant from others in this season, it can be a very trying time for human connection. Here are 8 ways to be physically distant but stay socially connected.
A positive look at our great opportunity during this trying time.
I’m writing this in the midst of a world in chaos. COVID-19 AKA Coronavirus is ripping through the world and destroying much of the societal norms that have existed to this point. Affecting China for several months at this point, the spread of the virus has become fairly widespread. As a result, governments everywhere are making necessary decisions with far reaching consequences – closing borders, reimbursing small businesses, and mandating that most social gathering and large scale events not occur, or occur within certain sizing limits.
There’s been a fairly simple, fairly underrated yet fairly profound encouragement echoing through my mind for the start of the year – do the right thing even if you get the wrong result.
The Twenties are back, baby. I hope you’re putting the full four digit year down on dates to keep the lawyers happy, that you’re over the jokes about 2020 vision (although I hope you have it physically and towards your purpose), and that you’re well acquainted with Baby Yoda.
There’s been a fairly simple thought going through my head for the start of the year. Usually I write in much greater depth on things with a whole bunch of research and reflection on the facets of life I’ve been thinking about, but in starting this year, I have been thinking about and living through what seems to be simple… and yet is one of the hardest things any of us can ever do. That is this – do the right thing even if you get the wrong result.
In life we face so many challenges. There is great power in sowing and reaping, and I think all of us have seen its power in full effect. And yet it can feel at times that you’re doing all the right things and not seeing the results you would expect or hope for.
It can be in the simple things like trying to keep a dog’s teeth clean, keeping up the exercise with slow results, or even wondering why the grass in your yard doesn’t stay growing. Or it can be in the more complicated things like investing in people without seemingly seeing any difference or return, like forgiving without reconciliation, like being your best but not being seen to be doing so.
And yet consistency will always win the day.
As I read it written recently, if you’re doing the right thing and not getting the right result, then at least you’re doing the right thing.
The truth is that nothing sown in faith is ever wasted. While we don’t always see an immediate harvest or a return in one area, the right actions will always come back to us. Just like the wrong actions will always come back to us.
So my simple encouragement to you for the start of the year is this – keep investing. Keep serving. Keep sowing and being generous. Keep forgiving and keeping an open heart. Keep opening your life to others. Keep treating people as you should, rather than hesitating when they don’t return in kind. This is my charge to you, and certainly the biggest charge I am giving myself at the moment.
Because one day, it’ll all come back to you, and if you’ve stayed faithful with what you can control, it’ll be a happy day indeed.
And don’t grow weary doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest… if we don’t give up.
Through the ups and downs of the year, one thing is clear – 2019 has been a classic example of the constant struggle of expectations vs. reality.
The end of the year is one of the most reflective times in our calendar. Please join me in looking back on my year with a lot of “oh yeah that happened” and “oh wow that happened?”, and hopefully in finding something useful reflecting on your own.
“I want a man who’s unemployed, lazy and directionless”, said no woman ever. Here’s why men need purpose, direction, and yes – income.
The last post I did was a response to a very popular ABC article about man drought in the faith community. That post definitely got a lot of attention and a large number of readers in a short time. It’s a topic that really resonated with a number of women who feel like it’s extremely hard to find someone to settle down with. In that post, I tried to rebalance a number of the criticisms aimed towards men, and called for a more realistic look at what’s really happening.
It’s a terrible thing trying to lead a full life while running on empty. Here are 8 ways to recover from burnout.
There are few things worse than having the desire to live life to the best of your ability when your energy is absolutely sapped. When you know there are so many things you should or could be doing, but you’re just not able to do it like you used to.