2020 was a year of so much unknown and uncertainty and it tested our strength and resilience in every possible way. I can’t spend too much time complaining because I count myself as one of the lucky ones. I didn’t lose my job, my friends and family remained healthy, I was able to to work from home and remain productive, and I didn’t have to deal with the pressures of parenting during a pandemic. I had my share of lows, which was completely natural to feel, but as I look back on the year that will forever have a place in history, I am choosing to focus on what I learned, what I gained and how I grew.
On Instagram today, I posed 5 different journal prompts for you all to start your own reflection on 2020. If you find yourself reading this post, here are my answers to those questions.
3 Things that 2020 Taught Me
Happiness exists in the simple things. The pandemic took away a-lot from us, mainly those big, milestone events that we plan our lives around but it gave us one big thing. Presence. It gave us the small moments. Long walks, discovering nature, sleeping in, playing games, cooking, baking, movie marathons, picnics, long drives, staying in pjs all day and doing absolutely nothing (with no-guilt). My hope is to take the feeling of being present and finding joy in the little things into the next year and beyond.
Your energy and your time are your most precious assets, Choose wisely how, and with you spend them on. Having the pandemic take away the ability to do anything made me evaluate how I used to spend my time. I’m very much an introvert and certain situations and people can actually drain me instead of fuel me. I almost felt like the pandemic let me start from scratch and discover how I like to spend my time, what I missed the most about my “old life” and who were the people that fuelled my energy. I want to remember these things as we slowly and surely start getting back to a normal life.
You can’t control life but you can control how you react. This is not a new lesson but one that I was definitely reminded of this past year. Of course I had moments where I complained and wanted to go back to doing the things I used to, but it was important to recognize that there are things I can’t control and focusing my time on those things wasn’t going to change anything. By shifting my mindset and focusing on what I could control, it allowed me to appreciate more of what I had vs what I didn’t.
I’m proud of the way that I….in 2020
I’m proud of the way that I stayed connected. Not just to people but to my mind and my body. I had to make small shifts in my approaches and habits but I maintained my physical exercise, found time to disconnect and found new ways to connect with the people I love. Human connection is one of the most important things we have and when we can’t see each other in person, we have to make effort to stay connected however we can.
3 People I am grateful for
My Best Friend – not only has this girl been in my life for the last 20+ years, but she was a constant presence during the pandemic. Even though we couldn’t see each other as much, she constantly checked in, made plans where we could and made the most of the hand that was dealt to us all. She’s always been an incredible support system and someone I’ve been able to rely on for anything, especially when I need my butt kicked! It was a true demonstration of how important it is to show up for your people regardless of distance or circumstance.
My Boyfriend – you can call us a Covid Couple. We met just before the pandemic hit and have been together ever since. He’s shown me a love I didn’t think was possible and I’ve learned so much about myself while growing together as a couple. He’s been such a source of joy, strength and positivity and I don’t know what I would have done without him. We’ve made so many beautiful memories over this last year which make it hard for me to see 2020 as anything but a life changing year.
My Mom – I get told all the time that I am a spitting image of my mom. I am in awe of how she has handled herself during this crazy time and saw the positive in every situation. She became the Zoom Queen amongst her friends, finally learned to FaceTime and hold the phone right and experimented in the kitchen which I got to benefit from! She’s been such a light during this dark time and always brings a smile to my face.
3 beautiful moments from 2020 are….
My birthday – which fell right at the start of the summer about 3 months into the pandemic. I didn’t know what kind of birthday I would have but my friends threw me a socially distanced picnic and it was the first time I was seeing some of them in person. It truly brought tears to my eyes and I felt so loved.
Reuniting with my boyfriend – he lives in Montreal and I live in Toronto. We started dating in February, and after our 3rd date, lock down hit and we were separated for 3 months because they closed the borders between Quebec and Ontario. It was so hard but also incredible for our relationship, allowing us to get to know each other on a different level. My birthday weekend was also the first time I saw him after being apart. There have been many beautiful moments ever since.
Seeing two dear friends get married – Love was king in 2020! I was lucky enough to witness two friend tie the knot this year. I can only imagine what they both had to go through with planning a wedding during a pandemic, but I can say that both weddings were absolutely breathtaking. It was an honour to watch them both embark on this next chapter in their lives and I’m so impressed with how they both pivoted their plans and made the most of the situation.
What from 2020 do you want to take in 2021
The ability to slow down. As we move into 2021 and will start returning to a more “normal state”, I don’t want to forget about everything 2020 taught me. I particularly don’t want to go back to a place where being busy was glamourized, there was something in the books for every night of the week and there was no room for being spontaneous or frankly, doing nothing. For the first time I felt like the year didn’t fly by. Time actually stood still. Why? Because I was focusing more on the 24-48 hours that were in front of me instead of 3-4 months ahead. Of course we have to make plans for the future but we can’t forget to live the moment either.
2021 I am ready for you! There may not be any big Intagram worthy moments to be had but I am hopeful. Hopeful that I will continue to learn, to grow and become more of the person that I want to be in this life.