Here are a list of things that, I swear, all happened this year:
- Significant rain finally brought relief to areas in Australia devastated by bushfires.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family.
- Kobe Bryant died.
- "Parasite" won Best Picture at the Oscars.
- The Senate held an impeachment trial of President Trump.
- Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual abuse charges.
- Bernie Sanders was briefly the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was rumored to be dead. He wasn't.
Feels like a long time ago, right? I mean, sure, kind of a lot has happened since then, but still, it's almost amazing how little the events of 8-9 months ago have stayed with us. Obviously, those who were close to Kobe Bryant or live in an area devastated by wildfires in Australia have seen their lives upended. Things for them are certainly not "back to normal," regardless of the global pandemic.
However, I do want to point out that, for the vast majority of people, all those incidents that may have seemed so present and important in the moment are now but distant memories, gusts of wind that have long since left our day-to-day experience.
This is the nature of all things and one of the lessons we should learn from daily meditation. The things that may feel so omnipresent now – COVID-19 and a contentious presidential election – will one day be distant memories. They may impact our thinking and our lives for years to come, but they will one day (relatively soon!) be but tiny specks of light on the horizon of our experience.