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Guidance Department

Monday 7th December 2020

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and I think this picture of Tilly says it all!

What a year it has been. The constant newness and the unknown of so much of this year has been exhausting and daunting for many people. To have reached the end of it in one piece is an achievement in itself.

This year has taught us a lot. That it's the small things that can make an enormous difference to an otherwise bleak situation. A kind word from a friend, a listening ear when we need one, a nice walk with family or friends, being able to attend an event of any kind (even cuing at the supermarket!) We were reminded that it is these things we take for granted so much of the time which really are what we need and crave as humans: our common experiences and our need for connection.

Resilience is a word that gets used a lot, but when we think about our school environment this year and the opportunities we've had to practice resilience in a real life setting, it shows us how important these messy and imperfect moments really are. We got through it. We worked as a team. We all had to make do with things that were less than optimal and even downright disappointing.

But from it all, I think we can say that despite things being different to normal, despite there being constraints and unknowns, we all learned something about ourselves and we all got through it.

Some people have the battle scars to prove it and some just had to brush off a little dust. No ones experience of the same event is ever the same as someone else's – our own life story and encounters colour the way we see and respond to the new things that come our way. Which is why we must be mindful and kind when someone else is struggling with something that we don't see as a big deal, or kind to ourselves when we can't quite understand the feelings we are noticing inside ourselves.

So as we approach a holiday, what can we remember from what we learned this year? What are some things we can do to recover from a year that has provided so many challenges? How can we nurture ourselves after having done so much? And how can we pat ourselves on the back for showing ourselves that despite many ups and downs we got there in the end.

The fluffy girl lying at my feet has one piece of very sage advice.

Find a couch and lie on it.

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