We did it. We can officially say we have made it through 2020. This year is not what everyone expected it to be and has provided many obstacles for the most part. However. 2020 has provided us the opportunity to grow and learn through these obstacles and challenges.
I am sharing what 2020 has taught me, some things I am grateful for that happened this year, and what I’ll be taking into 2021.
- Self Care is absolutely a priority – during all this craziness going on, it is very important to take care of yourself as best as you can. I think it’s safe to say many struggled with their mental health this year, myself included. Whether it was speaking to my doctor, reaching out to my partner, or taking those moments I needed to breathe, it was very important for me to recognize the signs that I needed help or time to myself, which is harder when you are home most of the time, but I took advantage of the resources around me and that is okay to look after yourself first. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup.
- Not everything works out as planned, and that’s okay – yes we may have planned for a family get together at Christmas time, but it didn’t work out. That’s okay. We took the opportunity to spend time together just our household and made it the best we could. You know what, it was a wonderful Christmas.
- Keep a positive mindset and have something to look forward to – No this doesn’t mean abandon the present and always look to the future. This means that having a goal or moment in the future you are looking forward to, it’s okay to celebrate that, even if it gets pushed.
- Protect your energy, it’s a limited resource – It’s easy to see the things now that you have been forced to let go. Some of those things have taken a weight off my shoulders and it’s made me appreciate the energy I put in other things more.
- You don’t have to be productive all the time – Having a toddler and being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic has made me appreciate those moments of downtime. I cannot get everything done and I spent more time soaking in the moments around me with the family than feeling like I have to accomplish every chore or organization in the house (even as trendy as it may have been this year)
- You don’t have to go broke showing people around you your love – you’ve probably heard this before but with businesses shutting down, and many people losing their jobs or having huge financial set backs, it’s more true now this year and it made me appreciate just having our health, home over our heads, and the ability to show we love people by staying home, being safe, and lots and lots of FaceTime!
- Don’t take what you have for granted – this ties into a lot of the above. I’m so thankful for our health, a roof over our head that we can be safely quarantined in, and a family that keeps the days interesting and exciting. We have been able to enjoy time together that we wouldn’t normally have had.
- Make the best of the worst situations – When the schools shutdown back in March, I knew that was incredibly devastating for my (at the time) ten year old son. It was also one of the best things that happened this year for him and us, because we also made it the best of the worst situation. He was able to be home for six months with his baby brother and he was able to experience his milestones and build a very unique and strong bond with him. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything in the world.
- What my definition of “busy” truly is – The amount of times that phrase would dribble out of my mouth is insane. Now that the “busy” is taken away (in relation to family gatherings, events, plans, work, and commitments) you truly see how you use your time. Taking a step back from social media and overall phone usage is very important going into the new year. The time spent planning and never doing is something that really hit with me this year. We planned for all these events and they didn’t happen. That okay. But what about all those projects you wanted to tackle that you were too busy for… planned and planned but never completed. I will be reflecting and acting more on how I use my time and how much I invest in planning rather than doing and redistributing that time accordingly.
- This may not have been the year we expected, but there is always good within the bad – With all the lessons I learned this year, the biggest one, that ties into all of those above, is how much good there is to see within the bad. Yes the lockdowns happened, we were unable to see family and friends, people sick and dying, I started a business right when the pandemic hit, my youngest wasn’t able to experience the world and family like he should have at one years of age, and pregnancy during a pandemic is terrifying. BUT. With all of that… I was able to conceive and grow our family (due in 2021!), I got to spend every day with my kids, growing, laughing, and enjoying one another. We got to get things changed around the house, and enjoy our space more. We experienced new ways to keep in touch with family and friends. We picked up new hobbies, and rekindled old ones. We didn’t feel pressure to go out, to attend more events than we can manage. It was easier to say no to things because yes there may have been a bigger reason for it (ahem, not legal…), but I was able to start feeling comfortable saying no, which will be huge for me in years to follow.
I feel like I have more lessons I learned this year and everything tends to tie together but these are big takeaways for me this year. I love to hear about all the positive things that have happened to people this year. And guess what, if all you “accomplished” this year was getting up ... that deserves a HUGE high five too! It is not easy to want to get up and get going when everything around you seems like it is falling apart. What is something you learned this year that you are taking into 2021?
Happy New Year! Cheers to 2021 (even if it is just ginger ale in your cup like me because well, pregnancy!) I hope 2021 is an amazing year for you and remember, it is what you make it to be, so let’s (despite everything going on) make is as best of a year as YOU can.