Survive and Thrive

I forgot where I picked up this line but it stuck to me and when I looked it up, much to my delight it is not only the name of a movement / alliance but also a WHO programme for mothers and newborns. With the advantage of hindsight, I think it should also be declared the motto for 2020 and 2021. Those of us who have been fortunate enough this year, have survived in one way or another. Special thoughts to all those who are still fighting for their lives, for all the healthcare practitioners who are battling for the afflicted, not just the COVID-19 and all its ramifications, but also those in crisis areas doing emergency relief work – they too have not only survived but paved the way for a new moral imperative for everyone:


Sechserbrücke: survived, recovered, thrives ©FrogDiva Photography

2020 has taught us many things, but two of the greatest take-aways are
1. Never take life, family, movement, friends and health for granted. These can never be replaced by an online shop, social media, home office, or e-academy.
2. We need far less than what we have accumulated materially to be truly happy and at peace. Let’s face it, being stuck at home during lockdown, quarantine, relegated to home office, or suddenly finding yourself unemployed has forced all of us to re-examine our possessions, needs and most important of all – space. How many of you wished you had less furniture and clutter to walk around and realised that space was more important? You need more room to do your yoga, home workout, play with the children, or feel less imprisoned. Lucky those who have gardens or roof terraces to hang out as an alternative!

Many realised, much to their horror, how little family members have to say to one another anymore, and hopefully took the time to rediscover each other over the past months, either as parents and children, or couples. At some point the realisation that it was no longer about getting through this alone hit us hard on the head. Pretty much like the war times, it was a call to pull together as strong and cohesive units that are able to lean on each other when the going gets tough.

Survival is only the first part. Think of it as being a ship out at sea in the middle of a storm, bouncing and thrashing around while the wild waves threaten to take your life, but you hold on with all your strength, accepting the wounds, cuts and bruises as a result. These will all heal eventually. Then, before you knew it, the storm calms down and moves on, but you are still out at sea, having completely lost your orientation and direction. This is the recovery phase, and that is what 2021 offer us. We have pinned our hopes on the distribution of the vaccine, but the chaos is just beginning. Next week we will all be waking up to the true aftermath of the Christmas holidays – and find out how detrimental all those family reunions were that ignored all the social distancing rules. I was livid when I read about all those who insisted on going skiing or crossed borders to visit family and brought the virus mutation with them as a result. Restraint and caution is something many still refuse to follow, insisting on their selfish ways of not caring how the next person will be affected. It’s a basic law of physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Let this sink into everyone’s brain!

Life hasn’t been all doom and gloom in 2020 though, and neither will it be in 2021. It is essential that we take the lessons of 2020 with us, difficult though they were, and head the call:

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pine.

It was always a source of great amusement to stumble on a social media post of someone who has taken the past months to learn a new skill (cooking, for example), polish up an old one, or resurrect an old hobby from the bowels of the I’ll-do-that-when-I-have-time basement, or worse, the save-it-for-when-we-retire attic. Idleness is the devil’s playground we were told as children, and never was it truer than this year because if all you did was wallow in self-pity, junk food and online movies, then yes, 2020 was a complete waste of time and you have no right to complain about all the weight gained. I celebrate all book launches this year that happened against all odds. Then there were all the webinars, online concerts, coaching sessions, phenomenal networking opportunities, that were free of charge, selfless and incredibly uplifting. I smiled each time I received posts of couples going on long bike tours, or watched families paddle down the river in front of my apartment, or friends cooking and baking delicious goods to send or sell to others. Thrive in the face of adversity people! Thrive!

There is an inordinate amount of articles and blogs of people who decided to re-structure their lives and change the way they work altogether. Many found the courage to take the plunge with a career shift altogether, and this is not a good thing – it is fantastic! Taking everyone out of the rat-race at the same time forced us to see that we don’t have to be slaves to it any longer. Regardless of whether you are in your 30s, 50s or 60s, thrive on leaving a lasting legacy for your family and community.

Bring it on 2021!

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