Written by Sasha White, Instructional Designer
Can you believe it’s that time of the year again? I munch on chicken fingers at the table as I try to admire my Christmas tree and strategize on how best to put gifts under it without my dogs Pumpkin and Donut causing an elephant stampede (95% of the presents are theirs – and they know it, too).
Under normal circumstances (normal being the operative word here), setting up the tree is a task that I would welcome with as much fervor as they have over chasing squirrels in the backyard. However, I must acknowledge that the holidays still hit different for me this year.
2020 seems like a lifetime ago. I don’t claim to speak for anyone on how COVID-19 has impacted (or continues to impact) their lives, but I know it did ours as a family and admittedly, I’m still reeling from it. They say that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so what has truly enabled me to get out of bed and put one foot over the other this year are being intentional about three things:
- Breaking free (not breaking bad): I may be a White, but I am no Walter of “Breaking Bad” fame. Kidding aside – how does one leave work at work, when you work from home? It literally takes me five steps to get to the couch from my desk, so the past year and a half was an exercise in setting boundaries where I had to practice clocking out both physically and mentally. This helped me preserve some semblance of a home life away from the office.
- Defining my own self-care routine: Nothing makes me happier than sitting on the couch and petting my dogs, while watching Game of Thrones for the nth time. However, I also miss getting up from my desk at work and walking around campus so I would take Pumpkin and Donut to a park by my house at lunch time. Fresh air always helped clear my head, so this became a set schedule for us that we all looked forward to – judging from their huge smiles and hard naps after.
- Adopting an “attitude of gratitude”: Despite ongoing challenges and uncertainties, I remind myself that I have a roof over my head, a job I love that pays the bills and puts food on the table, and people who matter (family, friends, and colleagues). This mindset has also allowed me to give a little back this year to an animal rescue charity so dogs like my own have a chance at a fur-ever home.
I trust that what I have shared here makes you feel that you are not alone in this. I do not want to sound overly poetic as the year comes to a close, but if there is something to take away from 2021, I would like to believe that it’s a renewed sense of hope and purpose. I am optimistic that we will collectively find our footing again in the new year, and we look forward to reconnecting with you.
Whether you are celebrating the holidays or not, we at the Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB wish you all the good tidings of the season.
*The HUB will be closed from December 24, 2021, to January 5, 2022.