The Bettr Blog

My 2020 – a mix of great pain and lessons learnt

Dec 15, 2020 | Happiness, Inspiration, Living life, Mental health

Growing up I used to think my accomplishments would bring me the most joy in my life, but now I know that it’s the moments and memories that I treasure most.

A painful start…

Without a doubt the first few months of 2020 could not have been much worse for me. I lost my much-loved father (to a long standing illness) and my own health was rocked when I was literally incapacitated for almost a month barely being able to walk more than 20 metres as a result of recurring back spasms.

Dad, having been nursed at home by my Mum for several years, spent his final years in the fabulous dementia wing of Murray House, Kelso.

I cherish those moments holding Dad’s hand or stroking his brow in the same way I cherish those moments spent rocking my three kids back when they were babies.

My father’s Dementia taught me many things – enjoy every moment but above all cherish what you have… especially the memories.

I love the memories of our whole family trips to Tunisia when Dad (Pops) was referred to as granpere and Shona’s Dad as granpere deux! Our family trips to the house in Donegal where four seasons in one day became the norm. My times walking hand in hand with the kids to school. Helping coach Roly as a junior rugby player. Our family ski stories over dinner back in Hotel Suisse in Chamonix…you will have your own…all special for your own unique reasons.

These moments are imprinted on my heart. Memories I will treasure forever.

COVID and Brett Investment

And as expressed in my Buzz Lightyear article COVID and the subsequent lockdown hit me hard. Short staffed at work and stressed is not a great combo!

My default is to dig in when things get a bit tough and whilst most clients were enjoying their new found spare/extra time I was very much at the other end of the time continuum…no spare time and definitely no control over it!

The first half of 2020 was definitely my ‘demi-annus horribilis’!

Some new beginnings

But like with most setbacks new perspective can dawn and for me it was no different.

Losing my Dad whilst not unexpected was a tremendous blow but his departing, and long illness, has taught me that family and friends, and those special moments together, mean everything.

Life now is busy and very, very full but in a good way. Work once again feels purposeful and, with Nick (Alston) coming on board, my confidence and desire to develop all things Brett Investment is back…and I am enjoying it!

Smell the roses…

In the same way that writing my Dad’s eulogy was cathartic penning these words is a wonderful thing as I take the time to think back to some of my most favourite experiences. The moments and the memories they create are like tiny capsules of joy… in some instances bittersweet but in the main wonderful, uplifting and ultimately so human.

So, what is my message from this year?

During 2020 the loss of my dad was on its own a crushing blow. When you add in my debilitating back issues and for the first time ever my business not functioning as I would like, then maybe I had some reason to feel a bit down on life.

In their own way, each of these incidents left me with a real ‘pause for thought’. Wrongly, you always assume that your parents are going to live forever…many of us live a full and active (I try to do) and I am lucky in that I have a pretty successful business and a healthy and loving family. But as 2020 has taught me none of this lasts forever

Sometimes the greatest moments in life pass us by because we are too busy (or unaware) to notice them. It is easy to be on automatic pilot. I get it. I still do it! But I also know that life is not a dress rehearsal, and there is much to be thankful for….

Look forward to future memory-making moments

It often takes a bit of a jolt to our existence before we start to fully appreciate all that we have and also the opportunity that life can bring.

If ever there was a year to embrace this message 2020 has to be it. Life isn’t forever and won’t always be perfect but in a funny way those unexpected ripples and imperfections can lead to a sweeter existence.

Whilst a fair bit of 2020 was personally pretty horrible my resolve to learn from it and take forward a determination to grab those special and magical moments has never been stronger.

Thank you 2020 – I truly do treasure you.

Disclaimer: This document is intended for informational purposes and no action should be taken or refrained from being taken as a consequence of it without consulting a suitably qualified and regulated person.  It does not constitute financial advice under the terms of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. It is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, the instruments described in this.

Investments involve risks. The investment return and principal value of an investment may fluctuate so that an investment, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than its original value. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee strategies will be successful.