Word of the Year
So many words come to mind to describe this year. Certainly the most challenging year I’ve ever experienced and I think that’s true for most of us. The one word that describes this year to me is bubble. We are all living in our own bubbles, aren’t we? Whether that is due to CoVid, politics, religion, education, income, race, family, geography or mindset we find ourselves inside a bubble. It’s fragile and can feel either safe or claustrophobic.
Bubbles can be helpful or harmful
Our bubbles can protect us when it comes to surviving and managing a pandemic. We define our parameters, who we will be physically close with, and how we will interact with the outside world. Some of us are essential workers and don’t have the luxury of a limited bubble. Some of us feel trapped inside a bubble with people or circumstances that are difficult and challenging on our best days and downright terrifying on bad days.
Our beliefs and education create another type of bubble whether we realize it or not. We may surround ourselves with others who live in the same sort of bubble and feel threatened or uncomfortable with new information or experiences that threatens to burst our own delicate bubble. To learn why people behave and believe as they do, especially if it is completely different than our own beliefs can be an eye-opening and even uncomfortable experience. It takes courage to listen, to learn without judging or blaming.
We’re in the storm
Right now we are experiencing a perfect storm and it is filled with unknowns and daily threats to our bubbles. In the US we are in the midst of an election that will change the course of our nation – regardless of the outcome. We will go in a direction that may or may not be consistent with our own beliefs. The CoVid Pandemic has a path of its own and we do our best to protect our bubbles and keep it at bay, but those little spiky viruses are tricky and we can only hope that we are going the right things to stay healthy.
Recognize your bubble
I’m looking forward to the day when I think of bubbles in terms of nice warm baths or kids sitting on the step with a plastic soap-filled bottle and tiny wand. Or even Glenda, that would be a good bubble. But until then I hope that you are in a safe bubble and that you find ways to witness and be gentle with others who have different experiences, different challenges, and needs. As the quote of the year has noted, “We are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.”
So, in the meantime, wash your hands, keep a distance from other people and please wear a mask when you are outside. It’s no guarantee but it’s a way to make a positive difference and show consideration for others. Bubbles are fragile.
All the best,