This year has taught me many lessons. I’ve learned to spend more time alone. This is the first time in my life that I have spent so much time on my own. As an uber-extrovert, I’m proud to say that I’m getting better at it!

Asking for help is the next big lesson I learned. When the first lockdown was announced in Toronto in 2020, Spoken Lives had an event in 2 weeks’ time. What could I do? I asked Nadia Bassett to help me come up with a plan and she supported me on all the digital details as I moved forward with that plan. That’s why I call her a Digital Diva! She’s so good at all that she does!

Although I’ve learned a great many digital things over the last nine months, I have continued to need to ask for support from other people. We decided to move to monthly events to help others with their isolation. Thank you to all our lovely sponsors! They stepped up when I asked for support and helped pay for the expenses of bringing these events to life.

Next, I needed to ask people to take care of all these other tech stuff. My heartfelt thanks go out to Kwasi Kyei Mensah for designing the clever Silver Linings Summit logo, my gratitude to Tim Paulsen for website support and what would I do without Jim Woodbridge? He provided tech support at the Silver Linings Summit and some much-needed computer support. Liana Cook helped me stay on track with weekly meetings and our social media plan and Leah Meddaoui designed our Summit workbook and trimmed the video recordings for future viewing. I really needed this Dream Team to make it all happen. They made it look so easy, too!

Thanks for reading these newsletters and please understand that you are an important part of this community. I do enjoy your comments on my lingering thoughts. Thank you to each person who bought tickets for our online events in 2020. It’s been lovely to share these events with you! I delight in finding and sharing stories from the women I meet. Eighty women shared their stories this year! Believe me when I say that it’s been a heck of a busy year! Finding eighty women with interesting personal stories to share, and helping them shape these stories, hosting our meet and greets to check sound quality and lighting and finally, promoting these events to find the people who want or need to hear these particular stories.

New plans are brewing for 2021! I will host a monthly Tea Time, online. I’m so excited! It will be on the second Sunday of each month, at 2:00 pm. This will be for our community at no charge. I’ll host a meeting format where we will chat about a topic, together. Spoken Lives will continue building community as we deal with the impact of COVID-19. If you put your computer or phone on the kitchen table, it might feel a little like BC (before COVID) times!

We will curate four regular Spoken Lives events (January 26, March 30, May 25, September 28) online and please save the dates? I’m mulling over what’s possible for our 2021 Silver Linings event. Time will reveal the answer, as we deal with community transmission rates. If possible, it would be sweet to host a hybrid event. I’d like to continue hosting people from other cities at our events.

Life is filled with U curves and detours. We all know that in theory, but 2020 has brought this fact front and center! And, I do believe that I’m getting better at rolling with these changes. When my computer died 4 days before the Silver Linings Summit, I bought another one. Jim Woodbridge did all the magic necessary to pull important files out of my dead computer and get me up and running by Tuesday. I was off and running. So grateful!

This is the first December I can remember that I haven’t been busy planning my goals for the next four quarters. A few of my goals will roll over into 2021, but I’m waiting to find out when this lockdown will end. I’m nesting in my place and decluttering (again!). I’ve pulled a pile of books from my shelves and put them beside my bed. These books call to me to read and relax. I’m puttering away on two new writing projects. My ‘new normal’ is less intense.

I’m letting go of the need to have deadlines in these unusual times. There’s so much outside of my control in this new normal. It’s a brand-new reality and I’m curious about what I can learn from it. I’m reflecting on this Chinese Proverb for December: “Be not afraid of moving slowly, be afraid of standing still.” If I’m focused on my goal, even baby steps will get me to where I’m going. In time.

Now that I mull it over, is this what 2020 (vision) was supposed to offer us?

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