What 2020 has taught me

2020 has not been an easy year. From a lot of tragedy amongst my friends and family, to the global pandemic, and so much more, I’ve learned a lot. I wanted to share some of these lessons, perhaps they will help guide you into the second half of this year.

1. How to grieve

As I mentioned, this year has been full of tragedy. I’ve lost 3 people who were very very close to me and my heart in some really terrible ways. Prior to this year I’d been fortunate enough to have suffered very few losses.  While anyones passing is sad, none have had the overpowering impact of the amount of loss this year, and for the first time I really had to learn how to grieve. Accepting the fact that I have family members who will no longer come to Christmas dinner, that I have a roommate who’s room sits empty and who isn’t coming home every evening. It’s a lost presence, and it’s a lot to deal with. But grieving is not a linear process, you have to take it day by day, and eventually you will laugh again, and eventually that will feel okay.

2. To forgive

It’s cliché to say, but you never know when it’s the last time you’ll see somebody, even if it’s because the world goes into quarantine for 4 months. It’s important to forgive, maybe not forget, but forgive the people who matter to you – you might always regret it if you don’t.

3. Who is helping my life and who is hindering it

When you can’t see anyone for months, you start to realize that the people you would be happy to continue not-seeing probably don’t need to be in your life. This doesn’t go against forgiving, you can still forgive others for the wrongs they’ve done, but you don’t have to remain friends with someone if they aren’t adding any value to your life.

4. How to interior decorate on a budget

I am lost without a project, and much of my house hasn’t been updated since the 70’s. Sooo I’ve been decorating! I’ll be posting a before/after video of one room in my house soon, but just adding fresh paint and putting art on the walls can go a loooong way. Shop HomeSense, Winners, Value Village, leftover paint, Habitat for Humanity, trust me – you’ll find some awesome stuff.

5. How to spend time with yourself

Extrovert should be my middle name. I thrive around other people, and being alone with myself can be kind of draining for me. But obviously quarantine has forced many of us in that direction, and I’m learning to spend time with myself and have fun with it too! Taking up new hobbies, working on projects, reading, or just watching TV.

6. That it’s okay to relax

Closely related to my last post, I’m trying to learn that it’s okay, actually it’s healthy, to take time to just relax and not be working on something (See my post on Hustle Culture for more)  

7. To count my blessings

With all of the bad that has happened this year, it’s been easy to focus on the negative, and continue with the narrative that nothing in my life is going well or without struggle, but it’s really all in perspective. Each day I count my blessings, even after the hardest or the worst of days. I may ask for reasons or guidance, I’m not always smiles and happiness, but even when I’m in a rough place, lost and confused, I have to be thankful for the blessings I’m given every single day.

8. To keep learning

I signed up for Masterclass at the start of the pandemic, so I could continue learning new skills while stuck at home. It’s really great and I do enjoy learning from real, successful professionals. It’s also important to continue to learn about yourself, your emotions, your privilege, and so on. The Black Lives Matter movement has really taken a stand this year, and I want to continue learning about the systemic racism felt by both Black and Indigenous people in our country, so I can understand how to better myself and help become an ally.

These are my lessons of 2020 so far, I know there will be many more to come. All I can hope is that with each experience this year brings, I continue to get up each morning with the intent to learn and grow.

Love always,

Nic

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