Cataclysmic sh*t show is how I would describe the last 12 months, in a nutshell. I thought 2020 was bad, then in wandered 2022 like a Tarantino baddy wielding a baseball bat to casually smash up my tentatively held together reality.
Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to in the last few weeks has their own version of ‘Things Fall Apart’ from the preceding 365 days, I’ll bet you do too.
Get your violin ready as I share my cast of catastrophes in order of appearance: my Stepmum died of cancer and I did my best to support my Dad in his grief whilst living 9800 kms away, several anxiety riddled personal life challenges, couples counselling to try and save my collapsing relationship, the scary realisation that the work I’ve been doing for almost 20 years wasn’t fulfilling me anymore and the icing on the cake; my 13 year old dog died and my daughter left home within the same 48 hour time window in the third week of December.
Death, grief, loss, unhappiness and unplanned change punctuated this past year for me. It was, without a doubt, incredibly tough.
This is the point at which it’s easy to get stuck, then stop, drop & roll in ‘why me?’, ‘what did I do to deserve all this?’, ‘why does life have to be so hard?’ and then utter the ultimate self pitying phrase that pays; ‘it’s not fair’.
The trick, I have learned, when life gets all unfair, is to recognise the opportunity amidst something that looks superficially to be a big pile of sh*te.
I’d be a rubbish life coach if all I did was whinge, so here are the golden moments that arose from the seeming crap heap of my 2022:
- In February I made it to the UK to see my parents after a COVID-19 enforced three year hiatus and I spent a wonderful four days with my terminally ill Stepmum before she passed away. Her death was a massive wake up call for me to spend more time with my parents, daughter and partner and start to re-evaluate what’s actually important in my life (guess what, it’s not working harder).
- I visited my parents again in May & September and I’ve ended up spending more time with my Dad this year than I have in the past decade. I’ll add here that I’m incredibly grateful to have the financial means to travel so frequently (thanks to working my ass off) and also to run my own business so I have the flexibility to do whatever I want because I set my own schedule (suddenly freedom trumps fulfilment).
- Rather than focusing on what I don’t get from my relationship with my partner, I’ve been able to appreciate what I do get and that’s been a game changer.
- My search for purpose and clarity on WTF I’m doing with my life led me to try mescaline (a psychedelic) which was the most profound experience of my human existence to date – FYI if I go off piste in the New Year, you now know why.
- Dogs die of old age and children grow up & leave home. The passage of time isn’t something any of us can fight, all we can do is accept that change is inevitable and make a concerted and daily effort to enjoy the time we have with the people and creatures we love.
- I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve shown kindness, support, friendship and offers of assistance this year and I’ve felt more valued, held and loved than ever before.
Viewed through a lens of gratitude and appreciation 2022 was, as can be expected from a year named after a large and scary looking predator, one that required courage, resilience and strength by the boatload. It was also a year of connection, kindness, self discovery and genuine wonder. A simple perception change has me quietly closing the back of the book on 2022 rather than setting it on fire and watching it burn.
As the year ends tonight to make way for the next one, I invite you to make a list of the moments of joy you’ve experienced, however small and fleeting they might seem. I guarantee that even if looking back on 2022 feels like gazing into a garbage bag of doom, you’ll find some hidden sparkles in there somewhere.
Thanks to an abundance of opportunities to navigate myself through transformational life events, I’m rather adept at helping others get through them too. If you’re ready for a better, simpler, bigger, more (or less) exciting 2023 I’d love to help you make the necessary changes to get you there. Please book a complimentary call with me here and let’s see what’s in store.