The Paradox of 2020

Early Lessons Learned from a Year of Pandemic Living

Mid year 2021.  What a difference a year makes!  July 2020, we were deep in the land of virtual get togethers, masks and escalating Covid cases and deaths.  For me, in July 2020, I experienced the unexpected loss of my mom. Navigating grief in the midst of a pandemic seemed to take something that is already challenging to another level.  


I’m thankful that in the 12 month plus period since the beginning of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to confront many paradoxes of emotion and experience.  Deep pain accompanied by unexpected gain.  Frustration one day followed by elation the next.  Grief and relief…sometimes at the same time.  


Hearing about the loss of my mom brought with it a deep pain while there were other moments, in the midst of the sadness, that I experienced gain–gain in my self awareness, gain in my business and gain as a result of restored relationships.   There were days throughout 2020 that I was extremely frustrated and others where I was only mildly frustrated.  But, in both cases, the angst associated with the sudden removal of my “normal life” was overpowering at times.  


And then, there were moments of elation–like when my neighbors gathered on my front porch to help me celebrate a milestone birthday or when I held a family Christmas party on Zoom.  In fact, Zoom became my sidekick for many social gatherings, as I’m sure it did with you.  I hosted a celebration of five years in business as element c on Zoom and had the opportunity to see clients from when I first began to the present and witness the connection and camaraderie among people who only knew me at the beginning of the call.  Sitting alone in my office surrounded by so many virtually lifted my spirits so high, I thought I might not come down from that.  


But, 2020 was a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs so following the elation, there was grief again–my own and those of my friends who lost loved ones or became ill.  And then relief as I saw them get well or emerge every so slightly from their grief.  And, a big relief as life as we knew it started to bloom again around springtime and early summer.  


2020–a year unlike any other.  What were the paradoxes you experienced?  Emotions and experiences that typically don’t go together but somehow, in 2020, a year of anything goes….it somehow made sense.  Come talk with me and others about it in a special session, element c unplugged, being hosted on August 11 at 12p CST.  We’ll process together what the year meant and the real challenges of emerging from the 2020 world.  Hope to see you then!

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