December 28, 2020

As we approach the end of 2020, I soak in the feel of this past year. I myself, have said more than once, “I can’t wait for this year to be over”.  We’ve carried a lot of heaviness this year. As a nation, we’ve suffered so much change, and so much loss.

It’s easy to focus on all of the bad stuff. All of the baggage, and pain of the year. The forced changes, and decisions that left us weathered, and broken. The isolation that has left us depressed, and lonely. The heavy burdens of the holiday that just didn’t feel “Christmassy”

Change is difficult. As a mother, I’ve continuously questioned every decision I’ve made over the last few months, and most of them, I wasn’t really given a choice. 2020 came with illness, financial difficulties, businesses closing, career changes, home offices equipped with the dual purposed classrooms for our children. So much transition. While our moving weight was tossed into the quicksand, we call life.

In the moment of despair, where do you find yourself as you’re sinking, do you find yourself allowing yourself to panic? Are you reaching your hand up for help? Are you screaming for your neighbor or are you giving up?  Caila Ball-Dionne, a freelance writer shares “fear not” in her tips to survive sinking in quicksand, and in this research, I’ve learned that much of this is like surviving year twenty-twenty.

In her quick tips she writes: Make yourself as light as possible. Toss your bag, jacket, and shoes. Try to take a few steps backwards and keep your arms up. Try to reach for a branch or a person’s hand. Take deep breaths, move slowly and deliberately.

In the words of my children who study survival hacks daily… Dude…bruh….This is 2020. This is life. These are everyday life survival strategies while we’re drowning in the daily sand that we were tossed into. Sometimes head first, others slowly.

  1. Make yourself lighter. Take time to unpack the daily baggage. The mental heaviness of the day. A hot bath, journaling, calming music and meditation. Soak in the word of the bible. Just a few minutes of this can help unpack the sludge we’ve carried all day long. Give it to God. Lay your burdens at his feet. He can carry it, so you don’t have to. You are already lighter if you give him these bricks that weigh you down. In prayer: Just offer him the weight. “Lord, I need you. Carry these heavy burdens for me Lord. They’re too heavy for me. Let me see your love, and feel your hedge of protection around me”.
  2. Take a few steps backwards and keep your arms up. Your head is hung low, you’re tired. But don’t give up. Take a few steps back, reevaluate the situation. Life is hard. This is hard. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s not okay to stay there. Ask for help. Make a call to a friend. Lift your hands up. Allow someone to take your hand and pull you out. Don’t tread alone. Don’t be afraid to yell out for help. Someone will come along. Someone will become the miracle you’re praying for. Just don’t be afraid to cry out for help.
  3. Take deep breaths, move slowly and deliberately. Evaluate the situation. The choice, that you’re about to make. Move slowly. You can’t run a race while breaking free of the heaviness of the quick sand. Often, we try to make quick impulsive feel better decisions, a quick diet change, a new health routine, with big goals that we want to achieve quickly. All of this is good, it’s a good focus, but it’s not something you can just jump from the pits of depression from and throw yourself into head first. You have to unpack the baggage first. Make small achievable goals, and cleanse yourself of the things weighing you down. Move slowly and deliberately. Once you’ve cleansed your soul, find a coach, a mentor, to help you move towards your goals. There are incredible programs out there of people who have the same desire for you to succeed. Find that tribe, love them hard.

When we are deep in the sand, it’s often hard to see the gifts God gives us. We are so focused on surviving that we often forget the very life line beside us. All. The. Time. Take the heaviness of today, this year, this moment and find them as a gift from God. A way to help you reevaluate what matters, who matters, and how to achieve your ultimate goal. We’re all-in a race of survival at this point and although we’re moving into a new year, it is coming after a long, tiresome race.  We have a few months of darkness ahead before the sun starts shining, and the birds start singing. It’s important to have these life- line survival hacks available to us- to be prepared, so we can in deed finish the race. It doesn’t matter if you finish strong, or if someone carries you across the finish line, but we all must finish. Together.

This time of year, is always one of my favorites. I thrive on new beginnings and clean slates. January first of every year opens the package of hope, and a fresh new year. New planners, new calendars. A whole year to work towards a better me, a healthier year.

It’s easy to make fresh, new goals, and fail. It’s okay too. Don’t give up. Today, tomorrow, it’s just as new, clean, and fresh as January first, twenty, twenty-one.  Just unload the baggage, take a few steps back, reach out your hands, take deep breaths, move slowly and deliberately.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:29-30

Be Blessed, and Be Kind.