Looking forward to 2022 with hope
Two years have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic single-handedly shut down the entire world. The flow-on effect has been compelling. Life has been transformed into something resembling a mere stranger in the dark. We live in a state of uncertainty; no one can predict what tomorrow or next month will bring. Yet, as we adapt to our new world and our inner sense of self-identity slowly reconstructs, we have an opportunity to shape and influence what comes next. Let us clear our minds of yesterday’s heartache and frustrations and look forward. Are you ready?
I recently found these quotes:
“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way. Look forward.”
“Looking into the future is better than dreaming about the past.”
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
It’s January 2022, and it’s time to focus on new beginnings and pat ourselves on the back. Why a pat on the back? We’ve managed to blindly navigate our way this far, dipping into our reserves of Resilience when faced with immeasurable adversity. Resilience has been a common theme throughout my blogs in 2020 and 2021. Likewise, Resilience is at the heart of my book, Resilience- A Year in Pictures. If you haven’t already figured out the obvious, you and I are strong and can survive significant hardship when required. That’s a comforting piece of knowledge to possess because life is fraught with difficult situations.
The more I look at this concept of resilience; I realize that another equally valuable quality deserves attention. A quality that we’ve fiercely held onto throughout this grim period in our lives. Today I introduce our friend “Hope”. I’m not referring to Hope, who lives down the street (as lovely as she may be.). I’m referring to that deep optimistic state of mind that lingers within our minds. The sense of hope is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to the events and circumstances within our own lives and the lives of those we hold close. I’m talking about life, the big and the small, today and into the future. When we possess hope, we’re more likely to take action.
knowing things will get better
My hopes for 2022 and beyond
I hope COVID mutates itself into oblivion. What do you hope 2022 will bring? Admittedly, I have a pretty hefty list with a lot of lost ground to make up. My list will be underwhelming and trivial to an onlooker. My list reveals how I have chosen to live until the current day. No matter how trivial my list of hopes may seem, my hopes tare significant steps that currently sit outside of my comfort zone and that I hope to have the strength to challenge in the coming months and years.
- Walk into a shop without second-guessing or feeling intense fear AND
Enjoy going out for dinner in a restaurant full of people
While some of us have been able to slot nicely back into society as 2022 gets underway, the same cannot be said for all of us. COVID-19 brought with it an unrelenting sense of fear of doing some of the most basic daily activities such as shopping. I admit that I’ve chosen to spend more time in the comfort and safety of my own home, more than I’d ideally like to be doing. However, in the current conditions where Omicron is running rampant, there is no shame in choosing to keep one’s family safe. My advice for anyone who feels pressured or shamed for making similar decisions is to politely tell others to mind their own business. We can only re-enter the bustle of community life when we feel comfortable doing so. As I look towards the coming months, I feel anticipation for the day when I will feel at ease spending a few hours at a shopping centre or a nice restaurant without a second thought regarding the well-being of my family.
- The spontaneous stuff
Sometimes, the best plans are to have no plans and instead go with the flow. When possible, I hope to relinquish the usual routines, plans and sense of comfort in favour of something more exciting and unplanned. Notice the words “when possible”, because, for some, the very thought of living spontaneously can be a difficult concept to grasp and can bring an intense sense of fear. For others who have young children, living a life of spontaneous last-minute decisions is not always possible. Young children need routine, and this is okay, small steps for now, and leave the rest later down the track. What would this look like for me? Easy! I look forward to jumping in my car with my camera equipment, a bag and my pillow in tow and going wherever my interest directs me. Maybe I’ll book a flight interstate, spend a few days alone and do what I love. Again, without fear trying to convince me otherwise.
- The kids return to a regular school routine
Parents look forward to the day our children can return to the classroom with confidence. No self-doubting or questioning whether this is the safe choice to make. Sending our kids to school knowing they’ll enjoy a year of consistent face-to-face learning will be a dream come true for all of us. If we allow ourselves to be more hopeful, maybe the usual activities, camps, excursions and birthday parties will be back on the agenda. What a beautiful and happy picture for our kids; hold on tight, don’t let it out of your sight. It’s coming.
- Travelling interstate and overseas
Sitting in an overcrowded plane is another scenario that is out of the question (for me). When COVID-19 first reared its ugly head, I had in my possession two tickets for a greatly anticipated trip to New York City. It’s been a long-time coming, 12 years to be exact. I’m still waiting to board that plane, and I will have to wait a little longer, BUT I’m determined to get back to the city I fell in love with 12 years ago. This time, I know I won’t waste a single second sweating over the small stuff. I’ll be too busy capturing everything on my Cannon and doing something amazing with those shots when I come home. I also can’t wait to take my children to experience Disney World and visit the countries of birth of both of their parents. How amazing does this sound? These are just some of the experiences that hope is giving me.
- Producing more books
Like many of us, I’ve previously worked in professions that felt dull and unsatisfying. I have learned my lesson, and I now know that this is no way to live, quite frankly. I have no intention of repeating past mistakes, and I can confidently say my days of feeling dread each day are in the past. I’m excited at the prospect of producing more books, more beautiful photos and who knows what else? I’m open and waiting for the world to give me a signal.
Healing tops my list of hopes
“The best is yet to come”
You may feel tempted to dismiss my words as overly optimistic in a world where hope seems a distant memory. I get it; we’ve been on a long and arduous struggle, only to be greeted by more of the same. At some point, however, I feel we need to choose. Hope is a choice; the alternative is hopelessness, a word I have no desire to consider. The best we can do is start small by hoping that tomorrow will be a better day and move forward from there. By doing this, we’re choosing to believe something good, something better is coming our way. With persistence, we may even believe our mantra. In closing, I’ll share a special hope:
Won’t it be wonderfully heart-warming to see our world begin the process of healing? This remains at the top of my list of hopes for the years ahead.