Mourning and Moving on from 2020's Plans

April 20, 2020
by Laura

I know there’s been a few thousand articles about picking ourselves back up again and carrying on in the time of the pandemic but I felt like I just needed to get some things off my chest about it.

A lot of people are suffering right now; there’s no doubt about that. There’s also a lot of people taking it less seriously and making the situation more difficult than it needs to be by spreading disinformation, and disregarding government advice. There are more still that are attacking other people for how they’re coping, or for what they’re choosing to do during this time. I’ve seen people being attacked for being “too sensitive” or “not sensitive enough”. I’ve seen that old mental health trope dragged out time and time again: “what do you have to be sad / anxious / depressed about?”

The thing is, that no matter who you are, this situation is completely unprecedented. There is no roadmap for how to react right now.

When I contact friends and ask how they are, we say the same things to each other. “Things suck, but other people have it worse, so I can’t complain”. And sure, for a lot of us that's definitely true.

But I also know that it helps no one, especially not myself, to invalidate my own feelings.

I had really big expectations of myself this year and like a lot of people, I’d built 2020 up as “my year”. I did a huge amount of personal growth in 2019 and it seemed like I was approaching my light at the end of the tunnel. I was focussed, motivated and kicking goals.

And then all of a sudden, I wasn’t anymore.

I went away on holidays, and then I came back and the whole world shut down and everything was bad.

Even now while I write about how I’m allowed to feel my feelings, I feel ridiculous because life has largely gone on as normal for me. I lost some clients, but not all and I still make enough money to pay my bills and buy food.

However, there’s a global sense of mourning right now and if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, it permeates every part of your soul.

Alongside my fear and anxiety for the people I love who have lost their jobs, who are in risk categories, who don’t have a support network, and a general feeling of loss for what the world has lost, I also feel a deep sense of personal loss.

I feel that loss for what this year might have given me if it had had the chance. A sense of loss for the dreams I’ve had to put on hold again. A sense of frustration at what feels like another year of failing to reach my full potential and have the life I want.

By a lot of people’s standards, my year will still be a successful one. And again, I know how lucky and privileged I am to say that - I swear I do. But by my standards, this year will be a failure because right now I can’t see how it can live up to my expectations of it.

I know what I need to do; I need to reframe my expectations. I need to lower my standards from “reaching full potential” to simply “surviving”. But doing that makes all this a whole lot more real. It’s acknowledging that things probably won’t be OK, and won’t be OK for a while yet.

I will shift my perspective. I will refocus on what feels achievable this year.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to mourn what we lost… even if it feels minor, if people see it as silly, if it all seems a bit ridiculous.

We’re allowed to feel our feelings. And other people aren't allowed to invalidate us for having those feelings.

Until next time, look after yourself!
Laura x

[RELATED] Giving Myself Permission to be Imperfect
[RELATED] Asking for Help in Life and Business
[RELATED] Year in Review: 2019

 

Liked that? Try these

32 Lessons I've Learnt in 32 Years

Having recently turned 32, I've revisited and reviewed a blog post I wrote 4 years ago when I was 28, with 4 new lessons learnt!

Read More
New Year, New Me: Hopes and Dreams for 2021

In the year no one saw coming, I'm choosing to draw more positive energy, trust and visibility to myself for the Year that Will Be

Read More
My Year in Review 2020

What is there to even say about 2020? In a trial by fire year, there's actually quite a lot to reflect on and take with us into 2021.

Read More
1 2 3 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I acknowledge the First Nations people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which I live and work, i.e. Meanjin, Brisbane. Sovereignty was never ceded.
Copyright © 2022 Laura F Gosney ABN: 88 413 183 164
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram