Almost 5 months in and I’m reflecting back on the word and colour I chose for 2020. To recap, I like the simplicity of having a single word to keep top of mind, and the power and symbolism of a single colour. With a milestone 50th birthday coming up in July, I took extra care in choosing my word and colour for 2020. As it turns out, I’ve found them to be extremely appropriate.
I chose the word EXPERIENCE for three reasons. First, I wanted to share my experiences over the last 50 years in ways that might be helpful to others. Second, I’m appreciating and learning from my past experiences so that I can be a wiser, nicer, more thoughtful, self-aware, and fulfilled person. And third, I’m prioritizing significant new experiences — big and small — because they touch my heart and continue to create joy and satisfaction for many years.
My goodness, what a year so far. The novel Coronavirus pandemic and everything that goes along with it is unprecedented, surreal, and will have a lasting effect on us all. I couldn’t have imagined or dreamt a more unexpected and nerve-wracking new experience for my 50th year. It brings tremendous uncertainty, sadness, and stress that I can barely put it into words. Our little family of three quarantining at home in Seattle are thankfully safe, strong and healthy. But worrying about our fragile, vulnerable, and less than perfectly healthy 88 and 82 year old Dads, who live alone in the Netherlands and South Africa, is extremely stressful.
I cannot fly to the Netherlands to help my Dad in critical ways that are much better in person. This is a steep learning curve for me. The situation is completely beyond my control, and I am not used to that. For a while at least, my brother and I need to manage the situation from afar, and trust others to make many decisions that impact my Dad. Although the lack of control fills me with anxiety, I am simultaneously soothed by the thoughtful and compassionate village of people who are looking after my Dad. They are going completely out of their way, simply because they are incredible, selfless people who care about my Dad. I’m deeply touched, and will forever hold a place in my heart for these magical people.
This experience is teaching me that I cannot be in control of every aspect of my life no matter how organized, hard-working, energetic and conscientious I am. Trusting others and relying on them to do things in my place is sometimes the only way, and that’s okay. Trusting that a tough situation will eventually work out and staying hopeful about it takes strength and flexibility. I am building that kind of strength every day.
My happiest experience this year is that the stay-at-home order in Washington state has allowed hubs Greg, Yorkie Sam, and me to spend much more time together. Greg was working in Salt Lake City during the week, which meant that our family lived apart for much of the time. To be happily staying at home with my favourite person and doggy for three months and counting is my COVID-19 silver lining, and the best gift of all.
I chose the colour blue because we live near the Seattle waterfront and we were planning a trip to Greece in June. Blue is also associated with stability, and it symbolizes wisdom, confidence, loyalty, intelligence, tranquillity, good health, expertise, calm, serenity, and precision — all of which I aspire to as I age.
Well, we cancelled our trip to Greece, but the spectacular water views from our loft apartment continue to spark daily joy. Although things are very uncertain and stressful at times, I feel that my life is relatively stable, my persona upbeat, and my mind generally calm. I feel wiser and mentally stronger, learning from new-to-me experiences. I am extremely grateful for our good health.
From a fashion and style point of view, blue is one of my favourite neutrals because shades of blue work well with my beloved sour brights, all shades of white, blush pink, some earth tones, and black.
Here are some of the blue items currently in my wardrobe.
Emotionally, I’ve had my fair share of feeling blue because of the hardships the world is facing as it battles through the pandemic and deals with its aftermath. But each day brings hope, more expertise, more wisdom, and a sense of serenity as people and communities pull together to help and support one another in these great times of need.
Over to you. Would you like to reflect on how your word and colour for 2020 are shaping up?