Writing about COVID-19 was something I wanted to avoid, but with many positives emerging from the pandemic, I did not want to let the opportunity slip by.
Many will just focus on what has been stripped from their life during the virus period, but if we all review our lives, many good things will have happened.
Speaking at an Agriculture Kangaroo Island conference several years back, I was delighted to be on the same platform as Nuffield Scholar David Reilly - a Riverland fruit grower, who specialises in growing dates.
David and his family had been through tough times due to water restrictions during the 10-year drought. Despite dire times, David remained positive.
At the conference, he put a slide on the screen which I will never forget - it said "Out of adversity comes the seed of an equal or greater opportunity".
Related reading:Life's setbacks offer useful lessons
The main thing that enabled David to see the opportunities was his positive attitude.
The last thing you ever want to do in a tough or difficult situation is to exercise self-pity and adopt the victim mentality.
The problem with becoming fixated on the downside is that it leads to negativity and that takes us nowhere.
While we are not out of the woods with this pandemic, it would pay to create a log of all the positive things that have come through the modification of our lives and lifestyle.
Having done that, comparing notes with other liked-minded people will result in a better toolbox of skills and ideas should the pandemic continue or reappear.
Sure, sacrifices have been made this year by countless individuals, but most have still had a good life by world standards.
It was not until my son Tim, a Melbourne-based advertising voice artist and AFL broadcaster's life turned "pear shaped" that I started to understand.
He and my daughter-in-law Alison have two children and they lived in Kensington, Vic, when the pandemic hit.
Related reading:Take action to stop negativity
Their sequence of battles commenced with their one-year-old son Harvey having a major health issue requiring hospitalisation in the Royal Children's Hospital.
No sooner had Harvey recovered and Alison contracted coronavirus, necessitating time in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Unable to use her legs and arms, impaired vision and hearing and an inflamed heart made for a serious situation.
Tim had to step to back from his diminished work to look after the two kids and conform to COVID-19 rules.
Alison returned, still very ill, for two weeks of quarantine in the front bedroom of their home. No one could go out the front door for two weeks.
Tim was leaving meals at the bedroom door for Alison and he would take the kids to the front window so they could see their mum each morning. Neighbours were leaving food at the front door and between lockdown one and two, they sold their house and purchased another, requiring a shift in late September.
The frustrating thing was that we as a family could not go and help. As a family we were extremely proud of the way Tim and Alison coped.
While Alison has not fully recovered, she and Tim have a new understanding of resilience and what is important in life and have made several changes to ensure 2021 and beyond is much better.
I look forward to reviewing the year and making sure that I take on board all that can be learned from 2020.
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