I have read and listened to so many people say they do not wish to remember or celebrate 2020 – everyone simply is trying to erase and move on as quickly as possible to a ‘normal’ 2021. Since we have just turned the calendar year to 2021, I wanted to reflect on the meaningful takeaways and connections I experienced in 2020 precisely because the Pandemic mandated that we shift our behaviors and assumptions. My hope is that you too can reflect on 2020 and pick out lessons learned and insightful “aha’s” that came amidst the chaos of the year so that you can move forward wiser and more centered.
Early in the pandemic, my husband and I came to realize that we had little control of the unfolding events that compromised our ability to work, canceled our once in a lifetime cooking school trip to France, canceled most of the activities we looked forward to every year and took the simple pleasure of eating out, off the table. Though we did not have to juggle children’s education, we had to juggle budgets, expectations, and our lives to adapt to a new normal of being homebound and having planned events constantly canceled based on the spread of Covid both within our state and internationally.
It could have gone 1 of 2 ways: We could be angry and defiant or embark on a new path of deepening our relationship and rolling with the waves. We chose the latter. We scaled back our spending, searched for paper products and meat like everyone else, checked in on family and friends and started grocery shopping for at-risk families. We created a schedule that kept us engaged and focused on results. We found activities that we could do and routinely scheduled outdoor time. I signed up for a lot of online training in my field while we were following ‘shelter in place’ orders and Don worked his artistic side and created some really beautiful furniture. We planted and grew a wonderful vegetable garden and shared the abundance with those in our circle.
At night, we set an intentional table. Nice music, well presented meals and candles. We gave thanks for what we had and talked. We took the time to create intentional joy and deepen our partnership. It was, and continues to be wonderful.
What we discovered through all of this was that we could choose to control our attitude and be creative to make our time meaningful and memorable for years to come. We had losses and missed spending time with our family and friends in person. That was a challenge, but we helped others in our community, and I did a lot of cooking that we shared with others. It was a year of quiet relationship building and recalibration for us. Covid19 slowed our world down to the point that I got to spend real quality time with my husband and recalibrate my goals and values without the noise of our typical life and hectic client schedule. I believe my husband and I are better for having experienced a year of suspended expectations and a refocus on what is really important to us. As we come out of this Pandemic, we will be changed for the better and more reflective. We remain grateful and look forward to a positive 2021 with family and our community.
Can you identify 1 or 2 lessons learned or things that you are grateful for in 2020? Focus on these things and bring them forward on your journey. Never throw your time or experiences away. It is all valuable and it gives us the opportunity to choose our responses and create a more meaningful and joyful life moving forward. Happy 2021.