The End to an Amazing Year – Tips for Survival

We’re at the end of an amazing year. While I look back at all the wonderful memories, I can’t help but wonder what 2021 will bring. I’m excited. I’ve waited patiently for this year. While it might be Agenda 21 year, I have my own agenda, and ain’t no government going to stop me.

Personally, I couldn’t see 2020 being worse than 2019, a horrible year from hell for me. This year, 2020, has brought many amazing things into my life: new friends, incredible adventures and a boat.

While others were consumed with news from around the world spouting off one disaster after another, bringing fear with every headline, I ignored it all and lived life the way I always do: day by day. I worked at a seasonal job I loved, met many wonderful people doing it, talked with countless customers on topics I enjoy, bought a boat with my extra money, paid off bills, went camping, sailing, hiking, exploring and reconnected with nature miles away from civilisation.

Through it all, I learned that I can depend on myself when the going gets tough. I mean really tough; oh, my god I’m going to die if I don’t knuckle down, ignore the pain and get the job done tough.

Through it all, I recalled the advice given from inspirational gurus, a list of things to do when the going gets tough. Apparently, it was the philosophy of men stuck in the ice in Antarctica in 1915. It’s what brought every man out alive. Every man.

Harry “Chippy” McNish, carpenter and master shipwright, and Mrs. Chippy. Public Domain. From Wikipedia.

HMS Endurance, a three-masted barquentine, captained by Sir Ernest Shackleton, set out in 1914 on an Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Shackleton and his crew of 27 men and one cat (Mrs. Chippy) became frozen in the ice on January 18, 1915, and that’s where they stayed for 10 long months until the ice claimed the ship. The men with lifeboats and everything they could salvage from the sinking ship, survived to tell the tale. If you want to learn more, History has an article about it, but there are plenty of others on the Internet: The Stunning Survival Story of Ernest Shackleton and His Endurance Crew.

Horribly, Mrs. Chippy, who turned out to be a male cat, was shot when the ship was lost. The captain feared it would have suffered more if allowed to live. Chippy’s story is here: Mrs. Chippy.

Shackleton advertised for his crew with this advert: Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

Would you have applied?

Back to the Survival Tips

Apparently, Shackleton had a philosophy, and these simple rules kept the men alive to return home. While we are not living in such cold, desperate times, if applied to every-day life, life becomes easier. So remember:

  • Cultivate optimism in yourself. (You can do it.)
  • Stay grounded in reality. (Don’t imagine the worse possible scenario. Facts only; no opinions. React with the brain, not the heart.)
  • Be aware of your self talk. (No telling yourself you’re stupid, that you can’t do it. Instead, tell yourself you are wonderful because you are.)
  • Find outlets for your feelings. (This could be talking to a friend, writing, drawing, sword fighting, beating up grass – you get the picture.)
  • Let go of guilt (HUGE; just let it go. It’s doing you no good.)
  • Long term goals and short term milestones. (Write ‘em down. Read ‘em often.)

I have these Rules for Life written in my Journal, and I have them posted to my kitchen cupboard. I read them often. I want to commit them to memory, so they are with me always.

Keep these in mind when facing hard times, particularly that self-talk. Self-talk destroys a lot of people.

Happy New Year, everyone, and don’t forget to order your

“I Survived 2020” T-shirt.

14 thoughts on “The End to an Amazing Year – Tips for Survival

  1. We survived well enough, too–with not quite so many accomplishments. Still for us, it was a wash between 2019 and 2020. Like your survival tips though. Our plans for 2021 are to defeat any and all obstacles that come our way AND get those goals done we’ve set for ourselves.


        • On the surface, I agree. However, without the bad stuff, we tend to not appreciate the good stuff so much.

          This morning while walking up that snowy hill I tackle with every walk, I was about to curse the climb as my legs get so tired, especially now that there is snow on it. Then I thought about how the hill makes me stronger, and I thanked the hill.

          I was reminded of an old sailor’s saying that goes something like this: Calm seas never made a skilled sailor.

          A calm life doesn’t make a strong being.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Our attitude about things is certainly important. You only have to look at how two people react to the same situation to see this.

    I’m so glad that 2020 was a much better year for you, Diane, Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Back in 1993, I worked at a pizza place as a cook. A large sign on the wall said, “Attitude is Everything”. We had many discussions about that sign, and I have since thought a lot about it. It is everything. Where others see tragedy, some see opportunity. Where some see the glass half full, others see it half empty.

      I think of this more when in difficult situations. When I’m freezing, wet and tired. I enjoy the discomfort knowing the warmth, dry and rest will be that much sweeter.

      Happy New Year, Laura.


    • I agree, Darlene: life is what we make it. I’d rather think of all the positive things, not dwell on misery and gloom. If you look for it, you’ll always find it. Happy New Year!


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