noun. recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something; a full understanding of a situation.
It’s our final #MonthlyWritingChallenge of 2020 and our theme is Appreciation.
Reflecting on who and what have we appreciated this year, a year like no other, seemed like an apt way to wrap up the emotional rollercoaster through positively affirming who and what has kept us going, individually and collectively.
“If you stop showing appreciation to those that deserve it, they’ll learn to stop doing the things you appreciate”.
The things I appreciate that I have had as a constant this year include: my home, my car, my income and my health. I have perhaps taken some of them for granted in the past and this year has made me realise how lucky I am to have financial security and emotional safety. I know it has been a really stressful year for many people due to the lack of certainty in their lives, and I appreciate that this has not been my experience. There have been low points but on the whole it has been a good year.
The people I appreciate that I have had as a constant this year have been a mixture of who I expected and who have surprised me. My parents have struggled in lockdown so I have spoken to them lots, similar to my best friend in Canada, as she always struggles when she feels helpless and miles away. I have lots of different girly friendship groups and we have got in the routine of having regularly zoom catch ups which I thank lockdown for. I relocated from London to Oxfordshire 4 years ago, so we grew apart for a while as our physical catch ups were less frequent, but some of them have since followed suit in relocating so we are now more geographically spread out and we have ironically spoken more this year than we have in a while which we have all appreciated and it has re-cemented our bond as friends.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance”. Eckhart Tolle
The things I have discovered that I appreciate through lockdown are: the pause and the slowness, the peace and quiet, the garden, the simple things in life such as a delicious homecooked meal, the walks with friends. I love sending cards to others and I have been touched by the cards and gifts I have received through the post this year.
The people I have discovered that I appreciate through lockdown are: my coaching community who I have trained with, my coachees who I have grown very fond of, my new clients who I enjoy working with, my new colleagues from some of the bigger projects I work on. Moreover, my network of champions and critical friends who support and challenge me. A shout out needs to go to the support team I am building around me, my brand designer, my web developer and my VA who I appreciate as they have kept me organised this year.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”. Aesop
The things that I will appreciate even more once they return are: my freedom to move around, my independence to travel, my love of the arts, my enjoyment of eating out, my curiosity in people watching. Most of all I think I will appreciate the hugs, and I will hold on that little bit longer once we are allowed to embrace each other again.
The people that I will appreciate even more once we are allowed out are: the people who have checked in with me regularly as they know I am single and live alone, the people who have created opportunities for me and who have recommended me for work this year as it has made my transition to working independently easier than I had anticipated. I appreciate the people who have had their own stresses and pressures this year who have continued to support and check in on me and others regardless of the burden they were carrying.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”. Marcel Proust
Yes it is has been a tough year. Yes there have been lows. But there has also been a lot to appreciate in what we have gained, what we have learned, what we have become more grateful for.
We should all be grateful for those people who have kept the country going by being on the frontline. As a former teacher and headteacher I appreciate the stress and pressure that my friends and former colleagues have been put under this year in keeping schools and hospitals open. I also appreciate more than ever the people working in my local shops, my local post office and the delivery people who come to my house to keep me in supplies.
Is it enough to be thinking and writing about the appreciation or should we be verbalising our appreciation to others too?