In the United States we have been transfixed by a sitting President who refuses to accept the results of an election and assist his successor’s transition team. Regardless of these efforts to resist change, they will come with the Inauguration in January. In many ways, this current situation is symbolic of the emotional ruts many of us find ourselves in because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So many life dreams have been put on hold last year as normal life patterns have been disrupted and endangered. Too many people are finding it difficult to cope with today’s reality and make difficult decisions about the future: Do we send our children to college campuses or keep them home for a gap year? When can we look for a better job or perhaps finally retire and enjoy travel? Will our small businesses survive the shutdowns? Will layoffs and joblessness become permanent? Is it time to cut housing costs and downsize or perhaps add a new home office and work out room? Is this the right time to buy a home or build our dream house? How long can we put off happy occasions like weddings or adding to our families? Can we afford to wait until sometime next year to place our loved one in a memory care community? Life goes on whether we like it or not.
It is natural to prefer stability to change, order to chaos, growth to demise, increase to loss. It is also appropriate to plan ahead for a major life transition in order to develop a strategy to cope with that new situation. Unfortunately, it is difficult to move forward in uncertain times and these are indeed uncertain times. It takes courage to take the first step toward change, especially if you feel alone and confused. Imagine how difficult it is for older adults living with dementia-like cognitive loss trying to sort out the past and come to terms with the last chapter in their lives. Denial does not yield positive results for anyone at any stage of life.
This is the time of year when we close the book on the old year and make resolutions for the next. We are all happy to say goodbye to 2020 and the misery that was caused last year. It is time to ask: What will be your priorities for 2021? Can you finally begin to imagine a post-COVID world which empowers you to live your best life? It is time that we all embrace change, plan for it, move ahead, and work together to make 2021 better than the year before.
By: Fran Bulloff, VTI President