"Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in.”
~ Sebastian Vettel ~
There is no denying that for pretty much everyone on earth, life has been turned upside down since January 2020. We’re only halfway through the year, but in just seven months, our way of thinking has drastically shifted. One major change is that face-to-face time with people outside immediate families and roommates has been greatly limited. Meetings are usually confined to a computer screen, and although we are blessed that we have the technology that we do to connect with each other, it is different, and sometimes it feels like a profound loss to have to interact screen-to-screen instead of face to face.
In all of these changes and even deep grief at things being different and lost, it is important to remember that in spite of the sadness and the void of certain things like hugs and movie theaters and fancy vacations, there are always positive elements. There are always things to be grateful for. I don’t say that lightly, as if it’s easy every day to shine a light on the things I’m glad about. Sometimes it’s very difficult, but it is imperative that we do so. Gratitude is not just a word that we put up in some artsy way in our houses; it is an irreplaceable building block in an authentic, healthy life. Perhaps most pertinently, it keeps us from the ledge of despair. If we are in despair, we can’t help ourselves move forward. And continuing to grow and become our best selves is one of the things that brings color and purpose to our lives, through easy and difficult seasons alike.
What if we took a moment to pause and take everything in from 2020 so far, the good and the bad and the strange and the funny? We might find that in this quiet place, we are grateful to the moments that got us to where we are today, even with all the challenges. When was the last time that you thanked your younger self for helping you learn and fail forward? It can be easy to be critical, but finding the good qualities in the past versions of ourselves can be quite healing. We can be grateful for what we have learned and how we have been challenged to step up without having to be glad that we had to live through that time. I also believe that by honoring the journey and taking a moment to be still, we can access a reservoir of dignity and resilience that has been there the whole time. This is a ritual that we need more than ever, and can build into our routine. Even if you can only set aside five or ten minutes a day, it’s possible that being consciously present and grateful could change your perspective for the rest of it. And that is a pause worth taking.