It’s about that time. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. For many, this is the month and even more specifically, the week that the towel gets thrown in.
Let’s face it, many of us threw in the towel months ago. Coronavirus. Quarantine. Riots. Political uproar. Home schooling. Empty grocery shelves. Work from home. Fear. More fear. Even more fear. At one point I think there were killer hornets too.
If you haven’t already, chances are you’re at the tipping point and ready to throw in the towel, fall on your knees and pray that 2021 magically fixes everything that was broken this year.
This week, I’m here to tell you to stop right where you are. Get on your feet and head to the underwear drawer. It’s time to put on your big girl and big boy pants.
When I worked in corporate America, this was my favorite time of year. I loved the hustle and bustle of the 4th quarter. I would think, “This is it! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! The end is in sight, and a sweet sigh of relief comes with it, but not before the final push!”
All year we put our blood, sweat and tears into driving performance and hitting our goals. If you were on pace to achieve your goals, it was time to kick into an even higher gear and blow your stretch goal out of the water. If you were behind, it was time to call in the troops and plan your final attack. The expectation didn’t change. The efforts of your final push did.
I’ve experienced several final pushes, mostly in athletic events. The duration of the race was always known and regardless of how I felt, the finish line stayed in place. Just because I wasn’t pacing to hit the time I wanted, didn’t mean I got to quit. Just because I couldn’t feel my legs at mile 22, didn’t mean I got to quit 4 miles early.
The end is the end regardless of how we are feeling. With that being said, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we have 10 more weeks folks! 10 more weeks before we can kiss 2020 goodbye. So what’s the good news? The good news (besides the Gospel) is that it’s not too late to come out of the dark places where many have been, feel thankful and make the last 2.5 months the best of the year.
How to Turn On the Light in 2020
- Gratitude Challenge
You may have seen this challenge before but I can’t imagine a better time to start one. Grab a jar, a vase, or even a bowl and some scratch paper. Every day write down at least one thing that you are grateful for. If you have more than one, write em’ down! Have one note in the jar for every person in the house. An attitude of gratitude, or at least an acknowledgment of the things we are grateful for, shifts our mindset to abundance. How can we want and pray for more when we are not happy with what we have? It’s the opposite of a scarcity mindset, which generally throws us into a state of worry and despair. We’ve had enough of that this year. If you’re having a hard time coming up with something, remember that every day above ground is a gift from God.
- Turn off the TV
I double dog dare you to cancel your cable or streaming service! I spent 12+ years in the cable industry, working around the clock to grow subscribers and increase our market share, and I barley watched television. My mind is busy enough and a scary enough place to begin with, without constant commotion from outside sources trying to make a permanent seat within my brain. Think about it. TELL-A-VISION. Who’s vision? Certainly not our own. Let’s just add it to the list of things that got cancelled in 2020.
I’m proud to say my husband and I cancelled our YouTube TV and Netflix subscription. When we look like lost puppies not knowing what to do during our usual tube time, we pull out a book or go for a walk. With only days left until the election, this week will be the most vicious across all outlets regardless of who your party is. No one is “still deciding.” Get the garbage out of your head and step outside for some fresh air.
- Write a letter to 2020.
This may sound just as crazy as cancelling TV, but formulating your thoughts and feelings on to paper is a form of cleansing and relief. One of the reasons I started the Breadcrumb Trail was because getting my thoughts and feelings out took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I also hoped to inspire others but I’ll admit a big component was for me. Here’s a guideline to follow should you be so brave to look 2020 in the eye.
Part 1: Write everything 2020 took away from you and how it made you feel. Feel free to vent and get it all out. Include things you had to do that you didn’t want to do because of the year’s events.
Part 2: Write what you could have done better in 2020. Maybe it’s how you handled one of the situations from part 1. Write what you would do differently if you were in the same situation again.
Part 3: Write what has gone well in 2020. Include things you are grateful for and any positives that might have come from part 1.
Part 4: Commit to finishing the 4th quarter strong, whatever that means to you.
- Get on Your Knees and Pray
Or just close your eyes right now and take a moment to feel God’s presence. Whether you are a believer or not doesn’t matter, because He is there regardless. Take a moment to ask God to help you be open to believing that the final months of the year can be the best yet. Pray this every day. Thank Him for everything in part 3 of your letter.
No television for us means no football, which is something we agreed not to watch before we cancelled our subscriptions. It means not relying on anyone else to come through and grant us a win in the 4th quarter. This year, that’s our play, and we’re going for the win.