2020: A Year in Review

Reviewing how 2020 has been and sharing three lessons to bring with me in the next year.

This time last every year, I would have planned a lengthy personal essay for my Facebook profile narrating the highlights and best lessons of the year. However, as we all know, 2020 was a different one entirely. This year rocked me to my core and made me question a lot of things I thought I was pretty much sure about. It was both the longest, with days spent almost entirely at home, and the shortest, with seemingly nothing happening except waiting for another day to pass.

As I reviewed my camera scroll to look for a perfect yearend photo, I realized that though this year was difficult, there were still some moments that shone.


To highlight, there are three things I was surprised I achieved:

  1. Time for relax and recreation

Without the added hours to commute to and from work, I had a lot of spare time in my hands. I rekindled my love for cooking and the arts. And not surprisingly, I found a lot of time to still Netflix and chill.

2. Achieve my adjusted goals

Though some plans were pretty much canceled due to the quarantine, we had to keep moving forward. Graduate school resumed in the form of online classes and office work continued on a work-from-home setup. I was challenged as the balance between home and life became a blur. Nonetheless, I learned to adapt and it provided me more meaning as I still achieved things despite this pandemic.

3. Survived

Probably, the most obvious thing I took for granted is that even though 2020 was tough, we still made it. We missed a lot of things that we usually did outside, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop doing it. Yoga transferred to a home routine from enjoying it from the studio. And travels were put on a bare minimum – which made me enjoy every moment more.

Going through the year, I initially felt like I was at a plateau, sometimes even a downward spiral. It felt like there were less action and interaction, and time went on meaninglessly. Realizing more things now, I had a renewed appreciation that this year was still worth noting – maybe only in a way I never thought it plays out. So, as I prepare for the year ahead, here are 3 statements I bring with me:

  • Life will give us lessons whether we notice it or not
  • We can progress in ways we don’t even notice until we look back at where we started from
  • We will always be stronger and wiser than what I initially imagined

2020 was initially a downer. Plans canceled, dreams placed on hold, goals recalibrated, but the slow down can also be a gift for us to rethink if what we thought was important was indeed really important. It may feel like a step back, but arrows need to be pulled back before it can soar. Whether we felt it or not, a step back can be a gift if we use it wisely.

As for me, for the coming year ahead, I promise to be more mindful. I promise to build on the things that strengthened me this year. And lastly, I promise to still aim to be a better version of myself, no matter how small the progress.

As for you, what has 2020 taught you? What are you bringing in for the next year?

Always hopeful,
Nina

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