A Merry Christmas? Indeed, it was. And a Happy New Year, too.
To say that 2020 knocked us down to our knees is the most underrated statement of the year — nay, the decade.
The pandemic hit us all, the world over, in all our industries and, worse, in our families.
Ordinarily, we, Filipinos, would have already gone on full holiday mode, stressing about what we would give to whom; doing the rounds of company and barkada Christmas get-togethers; braving the infamous Manila traffic (or any major city traffic for that matter); trying to do logistics with family about who would be going where and what the schedules would be for everyone; digging into our pockets to give to those that need it the most; highly anticipating some sort of 13th month pay; and pretending to not want to drink and eat anymore.
But, as with the rest of what 2020 showed us, these were all thrown for a spin.
Even our most beloved holiday was turned on its head. So now, what is Christmas? How do we redefine it? Can we redefine it?
Again, like the rest of the year that was, the answer to that is a yes AND no, at least to me.
I believe that though we have tried to survive this pandemic, the volcanic eruptions, typhoons and overall heartbreak, this was the one time during the year we were all looking forward to because in its essence, Christmas reminds us of what is important.
The year in its entirety had been a relentless lesson in this.
It pounded it ever into our minds about what we have, and to be grateful about what we had or have: our health, sanity, family, and whatever little silver linings we could add onto that, right? Well, let us face it: now, more than ever, 2020 taught us this lesson.
Christmas was like the final (hopefully) exam to this lesson that I truly hope we all have learned.
I, for one, have.
I have held on tighter to people I value and let go of people and things that are not inspiring me to fulfill my purpose and reach my potential.
A lesson I have particularly learned this year is one that is about choice — about choosing in what makes sense to me and recognizing things that I need, and the hardest ever lesson, doing what makes me better.
photograph courtesy of ig/werenotreallystrangers
I have also learned not to waste time on things that really do not matter.
Learning not to waste my time on things that, pardon me for the cliché, do not spark joy, has been another big lesson.
What I hope that we, collectively as humans, have learned is that there is a direct connection between what we do and our surroundings.
The drop in pollution all over the world was a direct effect of us not going out as much and having the opportunity to build up our garbage.
I am hoping that this somehow continues, or we find ways of lessening our waste this coming year as a result in this unforeseen consequence to the pandemic.
I am hoping that we all learn the direct relation what we have with the environment impacts us heavily, especially as we are in the ring of fire and one of the forefront countries that will be highly affected by climate change.
With this in mind, I have TWO major hopes this coming year for us all: I hope we enter the new year with more kindness and understanding in our hearts most especially to those who are in complete opposite views and beliefs of ours.
Perhaps we can learn something new in this practice.
My second hope is that we, as humans and especially as Filipinos, look out for our country and environment.
That we should think of how every little purchase or habit we have impacts our surroundings, other people and ourselves. Because as we get more attuned to this, we are able to do better and be better ourselves.
As with holidays past, I am hopeful and though utterly exhausted, excited for the season! I wish you well and that you and your family are together and happy.
I hope you all have a well-deserved respite, in whatever form that takes this holiday season. Be safe, stay healthy (but of COURSE, yes, eat that lechon!) and happy holidays!
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