2020: The Great Unlearn

Thursday, December 31, 2020

If you ask anyone their thoughts on 2020, most if not all would respond that it was simply a terrible year. In many ways, it was, as we each were forced to navigate tremendous loss. From loved ones to weddings - the weight of loss was heavy and we were and still are burdened to carry it. 

But in that loss - one theme persisted and that was unlearning. Initially, it was necessary for us to unlearn the common rules of engagement. No longer greeting strangers with a handshake or loved ones with a hug. Waiting in line to enter places once meant to hold as many people as possible. 



Keeping a safe distance and sanitizing produce. And of course the more difficult things. In many ways this year exposed the frailties of our society. How fragile economies can be, that there may truly be enough resources for everyone without leaving the most vulnerable behind. Though swift action was taken globally, we continue to identify new gaps and abandon the old way - to embrace a new way that includes everyone. 

Socially, the voices of the marginalized became amplified. Emboldened by centuries of quiet injustice suddenly exposed in broad daylight for everyone to see, Black Lives Matter took center stage, and the world was forced to listen. This unlearning the most difficult for those who refused to acknowledge their role in injustice. Fearing they may be considered 'bad people' as the result of systemic issues - many threw their hands up in the air and believed never uttering a racist slur was enough. As mentioned before, the old rules of engagement no longer apply. The sneaky ways racism continues to persist in our society continue to be exposed, thanks to the tireless efforts of those directly affected. It is no longer permissible to be a bystander to racism, as that only perpetuates it. 

Personally, spending an increasing amount of time alone led me to awareness, and the need to unlearn many things as well. Quietly unlearning intergenerational traumas and maladaptive thinking patterns took center stage. This was very helpful for me and I will continue it into the new year. I also came to appreciate many of the little things I once took for granted. Mass every Sunday, sitting down in a coffee shop, petting a stranger's dog....all things I hope we're able to resume sometime in 2021.

I,like many, am hopeful for what the new year will bring. The renewed hope found in vaccine access, and the commitment of many to never return to old ways of doing things - brings us closer to a world which promotes fairness for everyone.


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Gift Guide: For the Booklover

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hello!

I know it has been quite some time since we last spoke, but in the interest of trying to get into the Christmas spirit - I'm here today with a gift guide. 

At the beginning of the year, I set out to complete my most ambitious reading goal to date of 120 books. Thanks to COVID-19 I am just 5 books shy of completing that goal. Reading has always been something I enjoy, but throughout various quarantines - I really clung to reading for comfort. 

As many of us are currently in a similar situation, I'd like to offer a guide of my favourite books that I have read this year, which I believe will make excellent gifts. 



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