With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it is the time of the year to assess and reflect on the past year. I know for many people, 2020 was difficult, frustrating and disappointing. It is not a year I would like to repeat at any cost. However, with all the difficult things in life, there are lessons to be learned. I am not someone who is all sunshine and rainbows. I wish I could be and I sometimes envy those people. How lovely it must be to always see the good in everything. This year, I decided to shift my mindset. I was handed a situation that I just couldn’t control. I could either whine and complain about how this situation sucked, or I could adapt and make quarantine work for me.
I am still learning to appreciate the good in every difficult situation and move forward with an optimistic outlook, but 2020 helped to kick start this mind shift. If you’re struggling, know that you are not alone; this year has been tough for everyone, and I am sure everyone reading this has had a challenging time, be it privately. Most people aren’t brave or authentic enough to publicize their struggles, so don’t be fooled by Instagram posts and filters. Even though this year was challenging, I write this post with gratitude because I choose to see the glass half full not half empty.
Below are the 6 reasons I’m grateful for 2020 and you can be too.
It taught me to slow down
When the pandemic first started, I was restless. I wasn’t used to being forcefully “locked up.” Oftentimes, our lives are so busy and we get stuck in this rat race. We take pride in having busy schedules and always having something to do or somewhere to go, but that leads to burnout. We don’t take the time to reflect and just sit with our thoughts. This alone is an extremely valuable thing to do. 2020 forced me to slow down and with that came greater insight and peace.
I increased my savings
Since everything was locked down, people couldn’t eat out or take exotic vacations. Even your daily coffee splurge was limited. More so, more people chose to escape the city and give up their apartments to save on rent. These expenses add up, so eliminating them, resulted in fatter bank accounts.
I became resourceful
I realized I didn’t need my $100.00 gym membership to stay fit or a fancy workspace to get my job done. In fact, my at-home workouts were just as good as going to the gym and much more cost-effective. I also avoided the hassle of having to wake up at 5 am to get a workout in. Working remotely gave me more flexibility to workout. I also found that I was just as productive working from my bed than at a standing desk or formal workspace.
I realized that “your art matters”
With more free time, I got back into reading and writing. I always plan to read a certain number of books a year but with work, social gatherings and other obligations, reading gets deprioritized. This year I was able to read books that I’ve wanted to for a while. Additionally, I began sharing my writing. Quarantine was the push I needed to take a chance and share my work, regardless of the outcome and other’s opinions, and it has been so rewarding. I had a reader direct message me to tell me how one of my articles helped her and gave her the clarity that she needed. That small gesture was extremely meaningful for me. So, if you’re looking for a push to share your art, DO IT. Your art matters!
I learned that less is more
With everything shut down and nowhere to go, I quickly realized that I didn’t need to do my hair or makeup. More so, all those beauty regimens that are pitched to women are not necessary. This quarantine period was a break for my skin to breathe. Granted I don’t wear tons of makeup, but when we go to work and out in the world, we want to look our best. Having no pressure to get our nails, hair and eyebrows done, made me realize that less is more. Besides getting your haircut, everything else is manageable and not really needed.
I learned what really matters
At the end of the day, your health and family/relationships are the most important things in life. With no escape, people had to rely on their family and partners for companionship, empathy, advice, and entertainment. For some, this strengthened the bond. For others, they realized some relationships were not working. Regardless of the outcome, the clarity and time spent together was valuable and showed you what you needed to move forward. That is a win in my book. Finally, your health is a precious gift and one that you should be grateful for every day.
I hope after reading these reasons you can take some time to make your own list and find some light and positivity for this year. And if you can’t, that is okay. I hope you can challenge yourself to try to shift your perspective for the New Year. Sending you so much light and love to you for 2021.
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