What if I told you that I’m not mad at 2020? That the “Fuck2020” ornaments I saw throughout December see just annoy me. That although 2020 was a completely life-altering year, I’m extremely grateful for the changes.
I understand, I’m extremely lucky to not have been affected by job loss or death this year – and I don’t take that lightly. I have deep empathy for those that have experienced real loss and hardship this year. But I don’t tolerate the notion that we should all collectively “give the finger” to 2020 – especially from those that I know are doing just fine. That’s not real growth. That’s self-pity. And what self-improvement can possibly come from self-pity? I’m not about that life.
Instead, I’m focusing on what 2020 has taught me. The ways that it helped me grow. The failures that turned into lessons. The way it taught me to savor the stillness and cling to the moments (and people) that matter. The way it completely shifted my way of thinking and stretched me, taught me to pivot and accept change (something I’ve struggled with accepting my entire life).
My biggest takeaways/lessons from 2020 are this:
- Slow down. No, really. SLOW DOWN. People have told me I need to “slow down” for years. It’s always annoyed me. Like, “you have no idea how much I have to do, how could I possibly slow down?” Well, this year taught me how little I really need to do and how much better my quality of life is when I actually slow tf down. I posted something yesterday on Instagram that said, “we need to STOP glamourising overworking…Too many people wear their burnout as a badge of honour and it needs to change.” FULLY noted, 2020. Thank you.
- You really don’t need anything else but family and a few good friends. I feel like I’ve always been surrounded by people. My whole life I’ve just wanted to know and be friends with everybody. That hasn’t changed – not really. But gosh do I sure appreciate more than ever the close few in my inner circle that get me by. Shoutout to the real ones.
- Save that money! Nothing like a global pandemic and the fear of not having a paycheck for the rest of the year to teach you to curb your spending. We focused more on our investments this year and that’s something I am super proud of. We still spent more than we should, but definitely saved more than we spent. Here’s to more saving and less consumerism in 2021.
- All I know is that I know nothing. Exactly one year ago today we were making resolutions and plans for the year, and then BAM Coronavirus set our plans to a screeching halt and turned everything upside down with no butts left behind after toilet paper hoarders everywhere emerged. Like seriously, wtf?
- PIVOT! Even in the face of a global pandemic with so many unknowns and paralyzing fear, YOU HAVE TO PIVOT. Spend those marketing dollars and get back out there. If you don’t swim you will sink. Period.
- This isn’t really a lesson, but something else I’m SUPER grateful for in 2020 is that it taught people to STAY TF HOME if you are sick. OMG, it’s always bothered me when people come around me sick (when they don’t need to). I don’t have time for your germs, ok? I’m not trying to feel like shit like you do, ya know? And I’m so glad that 2020 has brought an awareness to others to keep their germs at home and to themselves. THANK YOU!
I think that’s it for now. My lessons may not seem that profound, but to me, they are significant. Here’s to putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time in 2021. We truly do not know what the future holds. Seize the moment and savor it.
Feeling exactly what you wrote about! So many great lessons learned in 2020! Looking forward to lots of better days ahead but also appreciated so many things learned this past year! Happy New Year Leah!!
You too, Diane!