By Kelly-Marie Baker
Adaptations One evening, whilst scrolling through the usual social media noise, I was struck by an image that stopped me in my tracks. It was a standard, unfiltered image of a mum. Headset on with her laptop at the kitchen table. Her son sitting with her on his tablet completing his own work. They were sitting opposite one another with their respective paperwork encroaching on each other’s side of the table. Beautifully representing the new adaptations both mother and son had to make during 2020.
Family rhythms and flows have changed and adapted in households all over the world this year and I have come to realise that no two households share the exact same experience. Each home and its occupants are unique. Homes with key workers, some with their main earners furloughed, others completely at a loss when their small business can’t open. We have families forced into a homeschooling situation, whilst others relishing at the chance to spend more time together. Half the population are enjoying a slower pace of life whilst others are highly stressed. Families suddenly all under one roof, all day, every day. It has been a bizarre and challenging time.
Resilience There is enough content out there to delve into the hardship that this year has brought to humanity. I would like to focus on the resilience that has been displayed. Especially from the women in this world.
Many are concerned (and rightfully so) that the progress and advancement for women could have been undone this year, with early lockdown studies showing that even when working from home, the mothers have taken on the majority of household chores and the homeschool burden.
* Side note: I would hope by now (December 2020) a better flow and fairer sharing of household and family admin has been worked out in your home. If not, then that is something to think about and discuss amongst your fellow house people. ASAP!
I see these points and my initial feeling is anger. Why should it naturally fall on us? We have advanced and why is it when things get tough, we are the ones that end up digging deep and make everything work?!
Well unfortunately for us, I believe it is because we have the capacity too. History has shown how adaptable and determined we are. I would like to celebrate the sheer grit and resilience amongst women. This year the world has needed a female’s touch. It has needed kindness and strength, flexibility, and compassion.
The incredible spirit displayed amongst the women in my life has been beyond inspiring. Their ability to ride the highs and lows, but most of all the way they process their situations and just crack on with life. They always manage to find the strength and creativity to pull through and flourish.
Finish Fierce Lately all I see are Christmas cards, GIFs and memes all striking 2020 off and wishing next year to be better. As funny as some of them are I just can’t get on board with wishing time away. Every single day of our life is borrowed time. During this year we have still been living and experiencing life. It’s just been a version of life that we are not used to. And NEWS FLASH! it’s not about to magically change at midnight on the 31st!
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times I’ve felt worn out, desperate and fed up. During those times, I noticed how little that state of mind actually served me. It just amplified those gloomy feelings and felt rubbish. By switching our mindset to a place of gratitude and compassion is the only way to get the most out of today.
Lesie Dwight put it best:
What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?
What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw – that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.
A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.
2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.
I urge everyone to use the final days of 2020 to reflect, process, be grateful for the lessons and look forward to a better you and a better world. If there is anything this year has taught us is that it’s the small things in life that bring little pockets of happiness. The compassion and connections with our fellow humans and environment.
I believe if we adjust our focus to experience joy in everyday wonders, we can get the most from life. Not just in these crazy times but always.
Stay fierce and finish strong.
Lead Author : Kelly Marie Baker
Kelly-Marie is a tree loving, free spirited mum of two. Based in Southsea, she leads her family on a Home Education journey, learning from life and the world around them. Over the years her creative soul has been fed with the likes of poetry, dance, choreography and, more recently, writing. Her writing is predominantly focused on personal growth and development with a special interest in using the platform to challenge social norms and provoke deep thought. Kelly believes that The Arts are an immensely important tool to communicate complex and delicate issues and is proud to be collaborating with Pamodzi Creatives. Kelly’s favourites are nature, travel, personal development and coffee…all the coffee!