There is no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year. For some more than others. But the one thing we all have in common is that the year took us by surprise and there was a whole lot of fear to overcome.
I believe that whenever we are challenged, it’s important to search for gratitude in that situation; a Golden Thread.
As this year comes to a close, I wanted to examine the golden threads in not just mine, but others’ lives, as a way of closing the year in a place of appreciation – and hope for the future.
So I asked some of the beautiful friends from my Instagram community I felt connected with during this strange year to share their golden threads with us…
What Has been your Golden Thread of 2020?
“Slowing down and realising that life does not have to be lived at full speed and finding simple joy in not doing much at all. The forced time at home reminded me of when my children were babies and we made very few plans. Instead of rushing about to school and activities and going out to find our fun – we made our own fun at home. 2020 peeled away our ‘busyness’ and we connected in the most simple and joyful ways.” Karyn
“A lockdown filled with sunrises. While my shop was forced to close, I kept my habit of waking early and appreciated the sunrises. And from a professional point of view, I was able to build my online presence. I would never have gotten to that point without COVID; I had such a digital phobia.’ Anna Loder, owner of Anna’s Shop Around the Corner.
“The one positive thing to come out of a year that took so much away but gave so much too, was a chance to take a long breath and have uninterrupted time to catch the small shifts that made my daughter grow.’ Demet Divaroren, author of Living on Hope Street.
“Above all, 2020 has taught me to be grateful. I am grateful for my family and home and to live in Australia; to have opportunities to connect with others from all over the world; to be a doctoral student researching storytelling and history; to have a publisher who believes in my stories and takes them out in the world. I am grateful for the power of words and sentences, and for the beauty and heartbreak of stories which help us to better connect with each other. I am grateful to be here in this moment.’ Nadia L. King, author of Jenna’s Truth and Claire Malone Changes the World.
“Time spent in my garden. Being grateful that we had such a natural haven around us as the world locked down. It gave us the chance to really slow down and notice changes day by day, and learn lots too. Every time my daughter and I took a walk through our ‘garden sanctuary’, we saw something new, be it a plant, flower, fruit or insect.’ Inda Ahmad Zari, Author, Artist and Doctor.
“For me, the bright light in this strange year was the publication in April of my debut novel No Small Shame. At a time when I was locked down and unable to go out and see and sign the book in stores, the outreach of the writing community, offering a multitude of online opportunities, kept me positive and I’m sure really bumped my book sales. The overwhelmingly positive feedback for No Small Shame has brought me huge joy, both from readers I’ve never met as well as friends and peers.” Christine Bell, author of No Small Shame.
“My most positive thing to come out of 2020 was an even greater appreciation for where we live. I’ve always loved living in the country, but in lockdown I felt unbelievably grateful for the luxury of living on a small rural block. Every day we were thankful for the space we had around us, the veggie garden and chickens, the short stroll to the (nearly always) deserted beach, the neighbours we knew we could rely on, the distraction of lambs to bottle-fed three times a day, the fresh air and bird song, trees for the kids to climb and the sunsets over the ocean that reminded us time and again, that this too will pass.” Maya Linell, author of Bottlebrush Creek and Wildflower Ridge.
“I am grateful for Connection; strengthening and appreciating the connection with my loved ones. Realising and being humbled by how many connections I actually have, how many people care about me. Hopeful from the new connections I was still able to make. New clients made me feel positive and hopeful about the future.” Suzie Crozier, Marriage Celebrant, author and personal trainer.
“I am grateful for the year that was 2020 because it has reminded me of the art of stillness; of stopping and simply being, not rushing from place to place or through each task, of really listening and spending quality time with those important to me.” Leanne Lovegrove, author of Keeper of the Light.
“If 2020 were a teacher, it taught me how to re-prioritise my life. I’ve lived and breathed FOMO culture. It’s tiring, the constant running toward the next hype thing. Getting my life in order also means reprioritising people who have access to me, both in real life and in the media. This pandemic has shown us how fragile life is, so I’d like to spend mine with the people who bring positivity, joy, growth, and warmth. I’m bolder in saying no; I’m more selective with my time and with people. Overall, this reprioritising project does wonders to my mental health and wellbeing. God knows how much I needed that.” E.Mellyberry. Author of Fly for Both of Us and the My Lea series.