As the saying goes, it’s never too late to start over, and I’m sure most of us have repeated that mantra time and time again as we crawl through the endlessly long months of 2021. And if you’re like me, each time you say it you at least try to believe it, right? Well now that we are about to say the final goodbye to what many will remember as a dark calendar cycle filled with on again/off again mask mandates, vaccinations/boosters/or not, social distancing, global warming, travel stops and goes, political turmoil plus so much more, maybe we’d all benefit by spending some time trying to focus on ending this year on a high note. After all, anything is possible if you just believe, right?
So for starters, why wait until January to begin working on your annual checklists? I’m proposing that in the spirit of the upcoming holidays ahead maybe we should all pause in early December to make an effort to close this year out with a smile on our faces along with a pat on the back for what we accomplished in 2021 under less than ideal conditions. This might require making an effort to connect to your higher self, but I’m confident the search will be worth it.
And I feel like December is the perfect month to make a list of all the positive things that happened in the last eleven months before we are faced with climbing a new mountain in 2022. Because I like to lead by example and follow my own advice, here is my starter list regarding the meetings and work oriented positive activities I experienced in 2021:
- We, our industry of meetings and events, collectively figured out how to meet safely so we could all continue doing what we do. It wasn’t easy and there was plenty of hesitations plus stops and gos along that journey, but we did it! Super big high five on that one!
- Much like we had to do after 9/11, we also learned how to travel again taking into consideration all the new safety protocols the pandemic brought forth.
- We relearned the power of communications in many new formats, even those that required being physically and socially distanced, and while wearing a mask.
Three big ones right there, and I think you get the idea of how this list of positive actions we took in 2021 could continue to grow. And it seems way more productive and forward thinking to recall some of the good that came to us post-pandemic rather than to continue to focus on “the way things used to be” or that magical, mythical turning point when COVID is just a footnote in the history of us. (As if “footnote” could even begin to describe that chapter. . .)
In accepting that most of the health and safety protocols we’ve learned to incorporate into our daily lives are not going away anytime soon, we’ve also accepted our collective desire to keep moving forward. So, let’s bring some sunshine along with us on that journey ahead.
“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary