What a year! Global Pandemic. Toilet Paper Shortages. Elections. Devastating Bushfires. Recessions. Mass Unemployment. Murder Hornets. And the impending doom of environmental destruction…. Feeling good? Anyone?
2020 has certainly had a lasting impact on our existence, and we could all be forgiven for wanting to shove this year in a garbage bag, throw it in a bin and leave it to fester in the rubbish tip with all the other refuse. But as we bring this highly eventful year to a close I would like to bring some much needed joy to our lives and reflect not on the apocalypse but on the wonderful things that have happened. Like Santa bringing gifts to the children, and because I do really love a bit of pink, I bring you…
2020 – Through Rose Coloured Glasses”
What a year! Teamwork. Connection. Clarity on what is really important to us. Community spirit. Kindness to our fellow humans. Cleanliness and hygiene etiquette. Gin factories selling fancy hand sanitiser. Love. And the gratitude we now have for the small victories and happy experiences we may have taken for granted. 2020 has certainly had a lasting impact on our existence, and while it hasn’t all been a bed of roses, we can all say unequivocally that we have learned a few things, and I was always told education is pretty darn important!
In my 16 ½ years of hairdressing I have come across all manner of people from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. The thing that has always struck me, is that as soon as you sit in that chair, talking to your stylist, all that difference just fades away. There you are just a person, sitting in front of another person, asking them to listen to you. To understand you. To take care of you. Sound familiar? I may have vaguely plagiarised that line, sorry Richard Curtis, but the sentiment is just so apt! The desire to be truly looked after and heard is one we have all had deep down and sadly, it tends to be a casualty of our busy existence.
During this year, through all the trials and tribulations, this is the shining example of our resilient human spirit. Our ability to reach out a *metaphorical* hand and pull each other up. Out of the ashes, out of the mire, and out of the battle zone. To finally hear through the noise and understand that we CAN listen, understand and care for one another. Countless examples of strangers putting aside their own comfort to comfort another have emerged. Laughter and fun to bring even momentary cheer to a bleak time has increased. Actually actively listening to one another. Acknowledging the care the others take of us. These are the hands we are extending to another, hands we have often held to ourselves. And what a beautiful privilege it has been, to hold those hands together. Even virtually.
I can’t speak for everyone – although if you talk to my siblings they might tell you I give it a pretty good shot!- so In honour of the year that’s been I would like to share MY top 20 joyful experiences this year ( in no particular order of course!)
- Achieving Master Colour Expert status though Wella.
- Becoming the Creative Director at Bach Hair.
- Watching my children discover the world with wide eyed enthusiasm and laughter.
- Discovering and rediscovering music that permeates every cell of your body.
- Old friends returned and new friends gained.
- Accepting I actually love the taste of Chardonnay.
- Creating an entire 12 days worth of Christmas wardrobe made by myself
- Working with incredible humans every day.
- Helping people become a new version of themselves.
- Allowing myself to be proud of my achievements.
- Making awesome playlists on Spotify – an actual talent I’ll have you know!
- Queensland winter.
- Being a role model.
- Sharing the achievements of my teammates.
- Being sincerely loved by friends and family.
- Reclaiming past joy in forgotten activities.
- Spreading my creative wings every day whether a mere flutter or a soaring high.
- Discussion, connection and shared happiness with so many amazing people.
- Unapologetic time to do what I want.
I’m of the opinion that internet chain letters are (almost) worse than 2020, so please don’t feel obliged to share – although I’m a huge sticky break so please, feel free to! – but I invite you to make your own list. Let your year not be an accumulation of horrendous anxiety, deprivation and sadness. Let it close with a celebration of the remarkable things you achieved, big or small, and the anticipation that your new found appreciation for your wonderful life is going to bring you such marvellous future experiences you can not even imagine them.
A wonderful woman I was privileged to work with as an apprentice used to say “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones”. Diamonds, those glorious sparkling gems, are formed when intense heat and pressure are applied to ordinary old carbon atoms over a period of time. Which in my mind means – 2020 might have been a pretty big stone, but gee whizz it’s going to make an epic diamond!
See you in 2021!