2020 was a memorable year
How did it prepare us for the best year of our lives?
It is no secret to anyone that 2020 was a difficult year. We’ve all been living a situation that we never imagined. Things such as losing someone we love, our jobs, economic or professional growth opportunities, changing cities, and countless moments that have led us to adapt and learn new skills. But, after all, we’ll get back up stronger than ever before.
I know it might sound weird for me to tell you that 2021 will be the best year of our lives, but I really believe it. I know that on January 1st things will not return to “normality”. I know that the problems that this year is leaving behind will not be healed overnight. But I also know that we are now better prepared for whatever is waiting for us next year.
Why do I think 2021 will be the best year of our lives? Here’s my explanation, read it with an open mind and if you don’t agree, let me know in the comments.
1.- You get to better know your home
What began with a one-month quarantine back in March lasted much longer. This made our stay home like few times before and made us realize that maybe we like it better than we thought. Or maybe, in some cases, it made us realize that our home needs to change, or we need to find a new one.
I’m sure you did some minor remodeling (or a large one), or at least something that makes you feel more comfortable when you’re there. Maybe you bought a plant or organized the desk you’ve been wanting to clean for months. Maybe you did a deep cleaning and discarded things you haven’t used in years. Whatever the case, I can assure you that from now on your house will be better than ever because you have the commitment to take better care of it and protect it more. You know that it is your happy place and therefore needs maintenance.
2.- We appreciate the little things
After months of being locked up at home, the first time you go outside will be an incredible experience. You will notice things in your neighborhood or city that has always been there, but being in a hurry to get to work, the gym, school, or whatever your routine was, you didn’t give yourself the opportunity to observe carefully.
Now that you know what it means to be deprived of enjoying a sunset in your city, you know how valuable it is to take a few seconds to look at the blue color of the sky and wait as it turns from orange to reddish until it darkens towards nightfall.
You’ve also learned the importance of being in contact with your loved ones and reminding them daily how an essential role they have in your life. This 2020 made it clear to us that we are not eternal beings and that everyone, regardless of anything, is in this world for a precise period of time. Let’s not forget to say I love you every time or to hug our parents, friends, and family. Let’s call our grandparents today instead of saving it for later because we have “more important things to do”.
What can I tell you about nature? Have you ever missed nature like you did in 2020? I assure you that, as soon as you decide that it is a good time to go on vacation and connect with nature, you will live an experience like never before. The colors will be sharper and brighter, and you will see every detail of the jungle, the beach, or the forest.
The little things that previously went completely unnoticed now take on special relevance. Now we know what it is not being able to take a walk with our dogs or to be deprived of the freedom to go out as much as we want. When the moment is right, those hugs, those kisses and those meetings will become our priority.
3.- Mental health
Surely you have heard this term much more lately and it is important to cultivate our mind and keep it healthy. Who else had anxiety or stress attacks during the pandemic? I can assure you that all of us, to a greater or lesser scale, but surely, we all suffered a period of mental crisis that made us pay more attention to our emotions.
Let me tell you, it is completely normal, 2020 led us to situations in which we never imagined being and of course this has consequences in our mind. If you ever worried about keeping your mind healthy and calm, you are taking a big step to be the best version of yourself.
An important part of having mental health is to see your emotions as they are and stop rejecting them. Understand that they are part of who you are and that it will be with you your entire life. Therefore, try to understand them without judging.
If you are interested in learning about a lifestyle that helps you be more aware of the present moment, I invite you to read about mindfulness. It will help us enjoy more of each situation in our lives, understanding them without judging them as good or bad, just understanding that they are here to teach us something new.
This emotional awareness was only possible due to the fact that we had to stay home, in contact with ourselves, listening and attending to our needs, pampering ourselves and trying to understand why we feel what we feel.
The mental health path is long, and it may never end, but I can tell you that this 2020 helped a lot of people to search inside their minds and try to find it. That’s something to feel grateful about, because it will help us to be our best version.
4.- It gave us a break
Didn’t you need a break from your routine? To a greater or lesser extent, we all needed a break. This mandatory lockdown helped us understand how every moment can easily come and go. Therefore, we must be grateful for the present instead of hanging back for the past or only looking at the future. This pause was probably a small hit to your ego, it lowered and made you understand that no matter how well you are and how well you are doing, nothing in life is guaranteed.
On the other hand, if you were feeling exhausted with your routine, frustrated with your work and had the need to do something different, this pause came at the right time. Why? Because it forced you to do different things, to give yourself more time with yourself and understand that you are surely in a privileged position, that you have much more than you need and that. This break made you appreciate all that you have achieved, understand that you have enough, that you are enough and that you do enough to be in peace with yourself.
Things like this is what helps us to get out of our comfort zone and try a completely different routine. Now the question is, what are you doing differently in order to find the peace you need?
5.- We are more aware
The introspection we’ve been developing while being in quarantine made us more aware of our environment and the people around us. We can now understand that everyone is living their own battles and we can only be kind to whoever is in front.
We are also more aware of ourselves because we understand each other better, we know our own needs better and we know how to attend to them when we need them.
We are able to feel grateful for keeping what we have or exploring new things. This makes you a more conscious and grateful person for having what you have and being capable of what you are.
If you suffered a loss this year, I want to tell you that I am so sorry. I know nobody wants to be in this painful situation, but I also want to tell you that the suffering you feel will pass, and the best we can do is live our lives in a way that all those people would have. Let’s fulfill our dreams for those that can’t do it anymore.
I know that the circumstances that 2020 led us to may not change much for 2021, but I am completely sure that each of us had the opportunity to do something different and that prepared us to face the following year in the best way possible. Now it’s up to us to make this 2021 great.
We are now more aware of those around us, with our community, we can better appreciate the little things, we are able to see the world around us and enjoy its beauty… That is why I believe that 2021 will be the best year of our lives.