Minimalism Life

Way back in late December, most of us looked ahead to the new year with enthusiastic focus and clarity. Six long months later, it might seem our attempt at 2020 vision was blindsided.

We never saw it coming!

The coronavirus pandemic. A presidential impeachment. Record-breaking unemployment. Wildfires. US drone assassination. Murder hornets. A global shut-down. Deadly plane and helicopter crashes. Social unrest. Saharan dust clouds. An imploding economy. It's enough to forget the UK left the EU and Harry and Meghan packed up their baby and left Buckingham Palace.

In times like these, we're tempted to throw all that vision stuff right out the window, but having a clear focus for our lives is even more crucial during uncertain times. Truth be told, people have always lived in chaotic times. That’s the human condition.

An extra wacky year is no time to abandon our resolve to live a more intentional life. “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision,” wrote Helen Keller.

Since we are halfway in, now is a good time to check-in and see how we’re doing. My own vision for 2020 was encapsulated in the word seasons. Come along with me to see how I’m doing so far, particularly in light of the unexpected pandemic.

  • This year I envisioned more consciously delighting in the natural beauty and seasonal gifts offered by nature. Honestly, the lockdown made this even easier. Since we’ve been staying home, I spend lots of time watching our world slowly morph from winter to spring to summer. Against the backdrop of the daily news, I’ve appreciated more than ever the peace and beauty nature faithfully provides.

  • This year I envisioned embracing my current season of life. At 58 years old, I’m as comfortable in my own skin as I’ve ever been. In the scheme of things, wrinkles, age spots and wild gray strands of hair seem like silly things to worry about. I’m grateful for a body that will never be tall and thin, but is fabulously strong and healthy. When I hear the increasing number of people who have tragically died from Covid-19, I’m reminded of my own mortality and the importance of enjoying all my days.

  • This year I envisioned being compassionate to those in more challenging seasons of life. Since my husband and I are retired, we haven’t had to navigate working from home. We haven’t faced unemployment or financial insecurity. We haven’t felt loneliness or isolation. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to extend help and empathy to those who don’t have it as easy as we do right now.

Evaluating our vision for the year brings it back into focus and reminds us to make it a daily priority. So what was your 2020 vision, and how’s it going? There are still six months left in this crazy wonderful year. What do you intend to do with those months, weeks, days, and hours?

Nelson Mandela offered this wisdom:

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”