2020 – the year that could have been a meme, bad joke, or missed flight. This year, it’s felt like everything has landed on Chance, been sent back to GO, and collected $200 to start over. When I look back at what this year has been, it feels a lot like my own life; unexpected, memorable, and rich with unexpected surprises, love, and opportunities.
A few years ago, I set a weekly reminder to watch a short clip from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Link: https://youtu.be/VrKB6SGFPu8) where the daughter of the main character reads a letter he wrote her.
“I hope you see things that startle you…I hope you see things with a different point of view.” He writes. “I hope you have the strength to start all over again…”
When I first saw the clip, I set the reminder because I wanted to encourage myself to live life this way; unexpected, bold, timeless, and full of new sunrises in remote place. At that time, I was living a life that seemed far from that dream; unhappy with my circumstances, in professional flux, and picking up the pieces from difficult circumstance.
Transparently, it was hard to see the light in that moment. That’s exactly why I set the reminder every Friday night to encourage me to make it through one more week.
I’m reminded of wisdom I got from a man on his deathbed:
“Aaron, feelings follow actions. Choose first to make an action, such as forgiving somebody, and wait for the feelings to follow. Sometimes you aren’t given the chance for these two to to occur at the same time.”
One man dying, giving a young man advice on how to forgive his own dying Father…
The words stuck. I took his advice, made things right with my Dad, and now have peace knowing resentment wasn’t in my heart the morning He left us.
I think that advice can be taken to heart during a year like 2020. It’s been hard to ‘feel’ like things will return to normal, or that the world isn’t completely going bonkers. I choose to see this year as a beautiful one, and know whatever is around the corner, I’ll be able to handle. And so will you.
Whenever I feel lost, I remember that gratitude has the power to heal, restore, and remind me of how wonderful of a life I’ve had – and how wonderful of a life it is.