I’m struck by my inner conflict so early in the year. As part of winter festival celebrations, we often wish each other a “happy new year” and, as the song goes, “hope it’s a good one”. Yet, as with most experiences in life, the year will inevitably be a mixture of good, bad and indifferent.
Splitting the good vs bad
We so like to box our experiences into the positive and negative and in so doing I feel we lose much of the nuance of a situation. There are so often gains and losses in any experience. I wonder how we feel about letting the gains, losses and neutrals sit side-by-side?
I’m mindful of the holidays many of us have just had. Was it good? Was it bad? I imagine there were highlights and lowlights within the time off. What didn’t go to plan? What went better than anticipated? What was within our sphere of influence and what wasn’t?
When we are experiencing a lowlight, is someone else able to benefit from that in a way they wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to? Whilst on a walk over the holidays I got talking to a neighbour who is a teacher. They were talking about the negative impact of covid-19 on the exam system. Alongside offering some empathy and understanding for those impacted students I wondered aloud the potential positive impact for students who sitting exams is tortuous and unhelpful, hard working though they may be. I wondered about the potential positive impact on future workplaces to potentially have colleagues they may otherwise not have had – continuous assessment rather than exams having given them an opportunity they otherwise might not have had. The teacher said they hadn’t considered this position. Sad, I thought. When we are not able to do something we want to we understandably get upset, frustrated etc. Can a curious attitude help us to see not only what we might have lost and gained alongside what someone else might have lost and gained in turn?
I think we can all benefit from getting curious about what we feel entitled to and why…and is everyone entitled to the same thing…if not, why not? Whilst you are getting curious about what is helpful to you and to others you will be building resilience to face whatever lies ahead.
So, whilst wishing you all a happy new year I also wish you a curious one, where good, bad and neutral can sit in the same year and all be learned from.