This year we all took a trip we never would have chosen to take.
Normally, we would be in the driver’s seat deciding when, where, and how. Being the passenger gave us a little more empathy for the kids in the back wondering, usually out loud, “Are we there yet?” Sometimes it seems like the journey will never end as mile markers whiz by us with no exit in site. All we want to do is make it stop. We become weary of the confined space that is the back seat. We want to stretch our legs, breath some fresh air and long to hear another voice. Even, “he’s touching me” is a distant fond memory.
Staring out the window until our eyes become heavy and we drift off to sleep only to be jolted awake – the car has finally stopped moving. A little disoriented, groggy, and out of sorts we discover we’ve arrived and what awaits us is not at all what we expected.
Well, here we are – it’s January 2021. It’s the end of a year many of us will never forget. How could we? Should we dare to try, history will ensure we remember. In the midst of the tragedy that was 2020 what did we learn that we never, ever, would have without this time of isolation and reflection? Here are a few travel parallels that became obvious during this yearlong trip.
What are you packing?
- “Make sure your carryon fits in the overhead compartment or can be stored safely under the seat directly in front of you”. It’s always important to put the things in our carryon that we know we absolutely don’t want to be stranded without – just in case the checked baggage checked out somewhere other than where we intend to go. There was a lot of emotional baggage that met these criteria this year. Not to mention the weight of what we packed. Who wants to pull around all that dead weight when we could simply “check it”? This is a life lesson. Packing is important, what you take with you is as impactful as what you trust to the belly of the plane or in some cases what you decide to leave behind entirely. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually we did a lot of sorting, unpacking and repacking this year. Where we were going – we were traveling light.
- We spent a lot of personal time with ourselves this year. Many of us found out we liked ourselves better than we thought. In some cases, we found we didn’t know ourselves at all and for some of us we knew we had to make drastic changes. So, this year we spoke up more, because it mattered. In some cases we choose to measure our words or remain silent because it didn’t add value, and the weight of both mattered.
- Check the big, heavy, burdensome stuff. Traveling light meant carrying only what is necessary, what we absolutely couldn’t live without. In that, we found things were not essential. People became the single most important thing in our lives. We learned they cannot be replaced, or substituted and neither could we. We recognized relationships sustained us, nourished us and kept us sane during this trying time regardless of how little or how much space was between us. People first, family, friends, strangers, suddenly they were all the same, we couldn’t make it without them.
- The definition of necessary was redefined. We shifted our focus and reprioritized our priorities. This year we learned how much we could live with and how much we could do without and still be okay. We downsized our lives, our homes, our relationships. We became aware of what we needed to survive and in so doing we found a new lease on life one based on quality vs. quantity.
- We learned to say no and mean it. We became more grateful. No matter how hard we had it – somewhere in the midst of this crisis someone had it worse. It was a blessing to make a phone call and have groceries, food, and emotional shopping delivered right to our door steps! It was also gut wrenching to watch our nation be shut down, torn apart and our loved ones separated from us especially during the holidays when we needed them the most.
It’s not the distance or the destination. It was the journey we took.
As we journeyed on, “WE”, became the most important thing we learned this year. That we are in this TOGETHER – we’ve made it this far and we will not give up. WE will do great things in this New Year and WE will do it differently. WE will show more love, more compassion, and more commitment than ever before. WE ARE HERE and WE plan to stay as long as the good Lord allows. We intend to enjoy the time and the life WE have been blessed with. WE will make the necessary changes, WE will not be afraid.
So how did we unpack this year? With courage. We faced reality, acknowledging it’s time to make new plans. See what we have. See what we need, because everything has changed – including us.
Pathfinders Downsizing Solutions is here to help with those difficult life altering decisions. We help make them every day. We would be glad to answer any of your questions and assist you to make a plan that works best and meets your needs.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We’d love to help you find the right path.
Or look us up on Facebook >> www.facebook.com/pathfindersdownsizingsolutions/
Authors Bio – Sherri Lanier-Goldston
Sherri Lanier-Goldston began working with Pathfinders Downsizing Solutions in February of 2019. She has written for Nest Entertainment and is currently working on solo book projects for children and young adults. She is a native Floridian and lives in Lutz with her family.