2020. The year we never expected. The year our kids weren’t only going to be missing two weeks of school. The year of gut wrenching anxiety and financial insecurity. The year of quarantine and added responsibilities.
This year has been filled with unexpected challenges, hard decisions and constant pivoting. And while many of us may have feelings of dismay, we think it’s important to remember and share a few good things that have happened in 2020:
Life has been reset. Although every day hasn’t brought sunshine and roses, it has allowed us the time that we might not have taken otherwise to slow down, adjust and reset. By not having a choice but to press pause on what had become a robotic daily hustle and grind, we’ve learned that it’s ok to say no and to slow down. That our to do list and everything else that comes along with it can oftentimes wait until the next day. Our minds have been rewired and our daily routines have been reset so that now we are reminded of how to enjoy the day to day. And with that, much beauty and stillness has been found.
Good-heartedness has been reignited. We’ve heard them before but are hearing more and more… The stories of a neighbor dropping off essentials to an at-risk elderly couple. Groups of volunteers working together near and far to collect donations to be shared with first responders, letting them know we care. Friends dropping off a bottle of wine and an encouraging note to their overwhelmed bestie leading NTI and working full time from home. A stranger paying another's bill. Standing ovations for health care workers outside of hospitals as they change shifts. Simple acts of human kindness that brought us all to tears this year. In some ways, humanity seems to have softened.
Perfectionism has been put into check. It’s taken some time to realize and we may have a way to go, but one thing we’ve learned is that perfectionistic pressures need to go. That we are still beautiful even if we don’t get to the nail salon as much as we used to. That our mother in law won’t judge us for not sending that thank you note like we usually do (and if she does, we don’t care anymore!). That our friends will still love us even when they stop by and the house is a wreck. That our friends will still love us even when they stop by and WE are a wreck. And that our husband still finds us cute with grown out roots, unmanicured nails and the same sweatpants we’ve been wearing for a week? Month? Who knows. Living through a pandemic has taught us that it’s okay to prefer for things to be in place, but at the end of the day if something doesn’t go our way, it really will be okay!
We have learned to manage our expectations. Some days it feels like we don’t actually know what is going to happen next. This year has been a wild ride! And while riding the waves of uncertainty and crushed expectations hasn’t been fun, we have grown from it. By experiencing a long list of disappointments that have already taken place we have learned to manage realistic expectations. We’ve learned to not be as frustrated when things don’t go as planned. And by doing so, it has had a funny way of almost forcing us to see the good that is still shining through this year, one day at a time.
A newfound confidence of inner strength. If any of us stop long enough to think about what in the actual f*** we have been living through this past year, it can feel like a dream. Each of our stories are different but what we do have in common is overcoming challenges that none of us ever thought we’d be facing in our lifetime. The stressful days, teary nights, moments of anger… we are still here and stronger than ever! We can handle what is next and we are hopeful and excited for upcoming days ahead. It is the confidence and inner strength from within that has gotten you here. So be proud. Continue setting your eyes ahead and know that what we are experiencing is temporary. Better days are ahead!