It takes a taxi driver…..

To remind me what really matters in life.

2020, as we all know, has been a unique year. For some, it’s been a daily struggle just to keep pushing forward.  For others it’s been a time to take stock of their life.  Are they happy?  Is now the time to re-train and do something completely different?  Should they follow the voice in their head saying now is the time to start that business?

The pandemic, Covid-19, Coronavirus has many names but the affect on humans globally is uniformly devastating or utterly full of potential with new opportunities depending on their particular life and mindset.

For me, this year has been melting pot of everything.  At the start of the year I decided to investigate an alternative to MHFA England (Mental Health First Aid) training which is reactive and non-accredited.  I discovered Nuco Training which offered Instructor training for FAA levels 1, 2 and 3 – the same levels of Adult MHFAEngland training, still reactive but accredited.  Much more valuable.  However, before I could undertake this Instructor training, I had to attain Level 3 qualification in Education and Training – which looked like a year’s course.  Due to the pandemic, I completed this training in less than 12 weeks and became an Instructor able to deliver all three FAA levels regulated by Ofqual by the end of October 2020.

To make things even more interesting, I discovered i-act training and their two courses:

Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health.  The former aimed at those managing teams.  The latter aimed at anyone.  Both courses are accredited by Royal College of Psychiatrists and are proactive – teaching wellbeing before someone becomes unwell.  On top of these positives, it has over 50 self-care tools and was written and designed for the workplace.  A platinum product, head and shoulders above anything else I’ve seen in all of my years in the sector.

The unrest of the pandemic has meant any plans for family gatherings have been scrapped at the last minute and there seems no end in sight.  

Like most, I had holidays cancelled earlier in the year but was able to get some long-awaited outdoors repairs done at home – social distancing of course.

The news is constantly negative.  There appears to be no balanced views given.  This is almost as bad as completely fake news.  If we aren’t given all the information, how can we make the right judgements for us?

Luckily, we were able to keep our Christmas Holiday booked a year ago, but only just.  The day after we flew out of London, it went into Tier 4 constraining travel – unless you are a business mogul as business meetings are exempt!

All of us globally facing various constraints on our lives will naturally feel there is no end.  Logic tells us there is.  Flu was an aggressive pandemic in the early 1900s.  Now we live with it and all of its different strains annually. Those that are vulnerable may succumb to flu.  It’s likely the pandemic will morph into a similar annual event and something we all have to live with.

No matter how old or vulnerable someone is, they are missed sorely when they pass.  There are many people the world over hurting right now.  That is the circle of life, we live and we die – not always when we are ready to.

Coming up to Christmas is particularly painful for those whose family have passed due to the pandemic. Equally, for those for whom this Christmas will be the first without their loved one who died prior.  Not being able to mourn together is an additional pain.

Setting off for this holiday at 4am, the taxi driver shared this is the first Christmas without his wife who died last Christmas from an aneurysm.  He was at work.  His three children were at home.  The guilt and shock we carry when we aren’t with the people we love at times like this hurts deeply.  Not being able to mourn/celebrate on the anniversary must be more so.

That taxi driver’s pain illustrates there is no rhyme or reason to life.  We can’t predict the future nor can we live in the past.  All we can do is tackle each day as it comes.  Make sure we are happy with our lives as they are.  If we aren’t, what can we change?  What can we do differently, do we have any evidence for feeling the way we do? Are there some things we just have to accept?  Only we can answer these questions by taking the time to look at our lives and ask these tough questions to be able to move forward and thrive – pandemic or no pandemic.

Whatever you plan on doing this Christmas, I wish you the best time possible and a brighter 2021!

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