Merry Christmas and a happy festive period. 2021 is seeing a Christmas like no other, and although it's not entirely cancelled like last year, it’s probably still a very different version from what we're used to. Considering all that we've gone through over the past two years, a different Christmas may come as no surprise. Many of us have sadly lost loved ones and may be experiencing unexpected bereavements. This may have been exacerbated by recent Government announcements in England putting further restrictions on plans to engage with others, whereas in parts of the UK certain safety measures remain in place.
On the Board, we’ve had our share of thwarted plans. Our long awaited, in-person Board meeting in December had to be adapted at a moment’s notice. Taking precautionary safety measures is our priority, however, the value of being face-to-face in a room to work through what can be complex issues cannot be ignored and that is a real tension for many at the moment. So, although our hybrid Board meeting wasn’t the same as it would’ve been with us all in the boardroom, we managed the disappointment having benefited enormously from previously meeting at the AGM in November and at our away day earlier in December.
At the AGM this year, there was much humour in discovering that some of us, having been working online for almost two years, were hardly able to recognise each other in person! I’ve heard similar stories from other therapists who are beginning to venture out to meet their online clients in person for the first time. While I haven’t taken that leap as yet to do the same, I imagine allowing some extra space for re-orientation would be useful for me personally and necessary for clients.
There was a very special connectivity, which could be felt at the AGM, and I really don’t have the words to capture what was experienced on the day. The closest example I can relate it to is meeting friends and loved ones after such a long period. But there was also something else, which was quite unexpected and makes it difficult to describe. When I begin to express to others what our first meeting at BACP House was like, both the strangeness and the familiarity, as well as the camaraderie, collaboration and commitment to get the work done - I realise that you would’ve had to be there to fully grasp what I mean.
My take away from this year is that although we've been through a very, very difficult period, we can still find joy in the smallest of things. Whether you celebrate at this time or not, I hope you spend the time in a way that suits you best. That you find ways to reset for the year ahead, stay safe and do whatever is necessary for your own self-care.
All the best,
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.