Things I Learned In 2020 — We’re almost at the end of this year, and I couldn’t help but reflect on my greatest takeaways. Here are 10 Things I Learned In 2020:
Read more: What COVID-19 Taught Me
1 – Nothing is impossible
I think the majority of us would have never predicted a global pandemic. This thought wasn’t even one that existed in my brain before. This year has taught me that anything and everything is possible. And that goes for the good stuff, too, like my biggest goals and dreams that may have once seemed completely unrealistic. Where there was a whole lot of wishful thinking going on in my life years past, I’m now in a mindset of why nots. I want to someday live in a villa in Europe! Why not? Go for it! I want to buy my parents their dream home one day! Why not? Go for it! All things are possible. If I can dream it, I can achieve it. And this lesson brings me so much hope.
2 – Goodness exists
This was a year of struggle. That’s for sure. But alongside this struggle, I was consistently struck with how much good there is in this world, from protesting for what is right, to volunteering to help those facing the worst of this pandemic, to our brave and compassionate health care, service, and transit workers that continued to put their lives at risk so that we could continue with ours – all of it touched my heart. This year has helped restore my faith in humanity in a way I have never experienced before.
3 – To go with the flow
One of my first greatest lessons of things I learned in 2020 » To just go with the flow. I learned not to plan so much for the future. Planning to some degree is still important, but the type of planning I was doing, the one that was rooted in anxiety and strive for perfection, that planning has no place in my life anymore. Learning how little control I actually had was a difficult lesson, but one that I desperately needed to learn. I can set goals for myself, but I can’t guarantee that things will be exactly as I want them to be. And that’s okay. It’s a good thing. Because they will turn out the way they’re supposed to. I’m learning to go with the flow of my life. And it’s been so freeing.
4 – We’re in this together
I’ve never felt more connected to complete strangers than I have this year. Here we all are, from every walk of life, every corner of the world, experiencing this same pandemic. We’re suffering, learning, loving through this. We’re trying to take care of our loved ones and to stay healthy. We’re mourning the ones we’ve lost. We’re experiencing these truly life-changing things together. We share this incredible bond that can never be broken. We have so much more in common than we do in differences. And this feeling of connection, of responsibility to my fellow human and planet-liver, has never felt as strong as it has for me this year.
5 – To take better care of our planet
And with the state of our entire planet in jeopardy this year, I couldn’t help but learn how truly connected we all are because we share this incredible planet. This is our home, and I want to care for it and protect it as best as I can. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now and in a major way this year. I have a responsibility to protect our world and all things sharing it. I want to do more, and I need to do more.
6 – Each one of us can make a difference
I’ve felt helpless and hopeless before. I’ve felt like my voice or vote couldn’t really make a difference. But I was wrong. This year has taught me that we can all make a difference. What I think and feel matters, and your thoughts and feelings do too. I can protest for what I believe is right. I can help someone smile today. I can sign a petition I believe in. I can wear a mask and protect someone. I can volunteer my time and change someone’s day. These are meaningful and important ways that I can make a difference. Me. We all can. That’s extremely powerful. Each one of us can make a real difference in this world, and this lesson has helped me feel empowered and hopeful.
7 – To not wait to say ‘Thank You’
I’ve learned to express my gratitude in the moment. If I’m feeling thankful to someone for something, I want them to know it then. I don’t want to wait to say it because I don’t want to risk them not ever knowing. Life gets busy and moves so quickly, so it’s really easy to let that moment or expression of gratitude pass. I don’t want these moments to pass me anymore. My gratitude, in general, has grown this year, but my need to express it to those special people in the moment is a lesson I’m so grateful to have learned this year. And if you’re reading this, I want to take this moment, here and now, to say thank you. I will never take you for granted.
8 – To say ‘I love you’ to loved ones today
I’ve learned to say I love you every chance I get. At the end of every phone call or every time spent together, I’m saying I love you to those who mean the most to me in life. I want them to know I love them. And I want them to know today. I don’t want to wait for the perfect time to tell them or to worry about how awkward it may make me feel. I want all my loved ones to know I love them. And this has made these relationships in my life so much fuller and more meaningful.
9 – Every moment is precious
As I sit here, typing out this blog post, I can appreciate the power of this very moment. Every second of every day is important. There is something special about every single moment. There is purpose in every single moment. All of it makes up my life, and I want to feel and really live in every single moment. I don’t want to let it pass without notice. I want to be present and really be in all of it. I want to be mindful of it all and experience it all. This year has taught me how precious time is.
10 – Life is beautiful
Last but certainly not least on my list of things I learned in 2020 » Life is magically wonderful. I have never known life in quite the same way before. I have never appreciated life in quite the same way I do today. When I wake up, take a breath, I can’t help but feel grateful to be alive. And I just want to keep taking in and celebrating all the little joys this life has to offer. The sunshine, the smell of baking cookies, a hug from my mom, my grandmother’s contagious laugh, planting flowers in the garden – this list of beautiful and wonderful things goes on and on, and I hope to never stop thinking about them in this way.
Let’s chat! What are your thoughts on these 10 Things I Learned in 2020? What has this year taught you?
Thank you for stopping by today.
This year has taught me to make self-care a priority and to take care of my mental health,as I would my physical health. I am on a mental health journey to Emotional Healing and Recovery. Thanks for sharing! This list has given me some ideas to reflect on in my daily journaling practice.
Thanks Valerie! All the best on your wellness journey!