Everything But Normal—Year 2021


everything but normal


2021 was everything but normal.  So where were you this time last year?   Last year this time I had so many things that I was hopeful for about the upcoming year. Wanting to put “Corona” behind me.  To be truthful, I had some angst!

Everything was– but normal. In 2021,  I,  too, had difficulties and obstacles. They showed up without consulting my day planner. On the way to my goals, there were many battles and valley moments.   Growth is still possible even when everything is but normal.   Within, these experiences, though, came the “stuff” I needed to grow.   And, the growth came.



I can only imagine the mental and spiritual battles you faced this past year.   I have been a witness to so many women’s struggles.  Women having to manage their professional lives, be caregivers to aging parents, see about parenting their children—ensuring their emotional and social development.

Not to mention, women who lost their spouse due to death or divorce.  This has been exhausting!  So much so, the goals we set seemed to be unimportant or at best impossible.


Valley Moments



Watching my husband and daughter sick with COVID was frightening.  Having lost a childhood friend and relatives to COVID, jolted me. Certainly, these are everything but normal experiences!   The possibility of abandonment of goals and intentions seemed more realistic.  In the midst of the things I could not change, I realize that to keep going is the best action.



Ever wonder or consider how you got through “that thing?”   That divorce, that loss, that situation— “the valley moment.”  Looking back, you may find that in these moments you were growing—gaining strength in a strange way.  What or who helped to do this?https://nbhi-llc.org/2021/10/spirituality-in-psychotherapy/


Supports come in different ways.  At times, they come from sources we least expected.  In the past year, there were times in your difficulty, you probably felt listless, depressed, bored, and maybe somewhat forgotten.  This was my experience.


everything is but normal



Subsequently, I am always amazed at how the laws of nature and the laws of humanity reflect our predicaments.   Did you know that valleys are important for our environment? Everything but normal was 2021

Now, like you, I DO NOT want hardships or obstacles in my life— “valley moments”.  In fact, If I could see ahead, I would find a detour.  Wouldn’t you?   Like, skip that marriage altogether in the first place!

None of us want “valley moments” or “valleys.”  In order for nature to harmonize, valleys are necessary.





Valleys are geological formations that are created by running rivers and shifting glaciers.  They are depressed areas of land scoured and washed out by the conspiring forces of gravity, water, and ice.   Some hang, others are hollow.  They all take the form of a “U” or a “V” (National Geographic 2002)



Consequently, valleys come whether we want them or not. Since the beginning of humanity, valleys have been an important place for people. Why? Given the resources and supports available there.   For example, their presence close to rivers or water supply. Other resources are good soils, and food, such as fish provisions.


when everything is but normal



“Between a rock and hard place” is a proverbial that is fitting.  It acknowledges where some of us find ourselves. But what is our decision?  It is known that valleys may occur in relatively flat plains or between ranges of hills or mountains.  Our circumstances are reflective of this.

During my “valley moments,” I felt listless, bored, and alone.  Then I paused and allowed myself to embrace this:

“Between stimulus and responses there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our responses.  In our response lies growth and our freedom.” (Viktor Frankel)


Similarly, in these moments, I have discovered invaluable, reusable resources.  Nourishment and movement are some of which the valley moments made possible, the following:

  1. ACCOUNTABILITY: I am not a victim. I am responsible for my happiness and I can encourage myself.


  1. EMPOWERMENT: I am capable of being resourceful and finding ways to of meeting my needs in the “right now” to the best of my abilities. I understand that I may need to reach out to others or change my environment.


  1. CLARITY: My valley moments are at times outside of my control but useful and necessary.


valleys are necessary



It always amazes me that growth and opposition lie in the same vicinity.   Without resistance or “force” there is no growth. Like it or not!  Counterintuitive, but as humans, we are afraid of pain.  So, we shy away or run really hard when it comes— The “valley moments.”


Undoubtedly, you have had obstacles and setbacks this past year.  You have learned some things about yourself and others.  To improve yourself, relationships, maybe even prune or “get rid of” unhealthy relationships and habits.


Valley Moments



Firstly, purpose and intentions are so much more than “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Secondly, if it’s not “marked”, it will not be intentional.   What are the resources you are taking with you from the “valley moments” in 2021?   The “stuff” that helped you to move through this past year.   Thirdly, now would be a good time to take stock as you prepare for your INTENTIONS in 2022. Finally, remember, whatever you focus on will expand. I invite you to reflect on your struggles and growth.  Focus on what you want more of.  This focus will help you expand on the things that are important and keep you practicing with those resources and tools.

Remember, the “valley moments” and the “forces” will come.  However, your “gleaning” will not have been in vain.  CELEBRATING you— let’s welcome 2022!


Copyright © 2021 by Copyright K. Henry