There have been a lot of gray clouds this year – a lot of loss and grief, pain, and fear. And much written on those topics. What I am noticing is that those who have not experienced loss or have navigated through it, are reluctant to share their silver linings.
Life happened this year – for some, messier and more emotional and more complicated than past years. But others experienced the happier side of life – births and marriages, new jobs, success in professional settings, cash windfalls. There is a sheepishness in sharing those wins, a reluctance to feel joy amidst others' pain.
Those are the silver linings.
We are all allowed to see silver linings. They remind us that there is light and hope and opportunity.
We are allowed to be happy for others. It is a form of being of service and can help to heal our own pain by feeling joy for those we care about.
We can celebrate our wins even when others are suffering.
As we come to the end of the year, it is a great opportunity to reflect; to look at the totality of 12 months. What were your wins? What perspective can you put on your challenges? Our work world changed dramatically, but in return, we had more family time, no commute, no business travel.
Did you navigate difficult conversations on really hard topics and grow from engaging on meaningful, important issues? Did you close ranks, living small, and staying safe?
For me, the silver linings were the unintended consequences of the things I could not control. It was living with more intention. It was reminding myself of the areas where I did have agency: my thoughts, my actions, my generosity, my integrity, my time.
As the work year comes to a close, I encourage you not to measure your success against last year's goals, but in the challenges and growth that you experienced. I hope you can find your silver linings.