A new way to look at a new year

A day that the whole country yearned for has finally come and gone – 31 December 2020. A year that most people are happy to see the end of.

But to be honest, the end of 2020 was rather disappointing. We all looked forward to a major party, not to celebrate the New Year but to bid the old one farewell. Instead we found ourselves amidst another lock down, with Covid 19 reaching new record numbers. The reality that the end of this nightmare is nowhere in sight is dawning.

To feel the usual excitement of a fresh start that usually accompanies a new year is difficult. I think it is important to reflect on some things that we have learned, and on how we can use these to give 2021 the same place of honour that any New Year deserves.

That you are stronger than you thought

If you had the full script of 2020 a year ago it may have looked impossible to do. But the human race has prevailed, and here we are a year later. For some the virus and all it brought have uprooted their whole lives, taken away their loved ones or cost them their incomes. For others it meant incredibly loneliness and isolation. And then there are those who were simply mildly inconvenienced, or who believe that this is all a conspiracy and a lie. The fact is that everyone was affected in some way and had to make some adaptations.

Because of this you don’t need to be afraid of the future

Because you are strong you were able to adapt. You will also be able to adapt to whatever trials and trepidations your future may hold. This brings some freedom from worry and fear that you may have for the future.

How interconnected we all are

We live in a world where it is each man for himself. But this year highlighted that we are all in this – in life – together. We need each other in so many ways. We need the services and the knowledge of various professions. We need our frontline workers and their selfless service. We need a healthy global economy for our own small businesses to flourish. You cannot live in your own bubble and not be touched and affected by the hunger and suffering around you. For all of us to thrive we need to open our hearts to all of humanity.

How fragile and short life truly is

Our lives are but a single star in a wide eternity. Billions of people have wandered this earth, through pandemics, famines, war and disasters. Each day is precious and should be cherished. It may well be your last.

That family and friends really are what it is all about

In a time when many of our other privileges fell away, what we missed most was the community and closeness to our loved ones. So never take it for granted again.

That you can only control your own behaviour

This pandemic truly showed people’s bad sides as well. Some simply disregarded the rules and had no respect for the loss and sacrifice that many has made. This while following these rules would not have harmed then in any way. Corruption and theft once again raised its ugly head in all arenas, exposing one of the core problems in our society.

So how to go forward?

Many may have seen the Facebook post on the little boat on the stormy waters. At the end of the day most boats sink not because of the winds around them, but because they get filled with water. Don’t allow your boat to be filled with the water of all that is happening around you – fear, negativity and insecurity. This may mean creating some emotional distance between you and people in your life and on your social media profiles who are simply not helping in this time. You only have one life. Focus on carrying on living your life despite all the turmoil around you. Your kids are still growing up. Good and bad things will continue to happen. Make the most of every moment and know that 2021 will also end and that there is no guarantee that it will mean the end of the pandemic. So do not allow it to steal another year from your life.

Have a happy New Year! We look forward to sharing it with you and to seeing the exciting things it will bring.

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Christine Klynhans is a midwife and lactation consultant with a firm believe that gentle parenting can change the world. She has worked in midwifery since competing her B.Cur nursing degree in 2004, and has a special passion for education and for writing. She currently works in a well-baby clinic and give antenatal classes and breastfeeding support. She enjoys working with parents of babies and toddlers, aiming to help them find gentle solutions to their parenting problems and assisting them in incorporating healthy habits and natural health alternatives into their daily lives.