Happy New year everyone! As we leave behind a tumultuous year and welcome 2021, I felt it imperative to reflect on the lessons learnt from the year gone by. No matter which way you examine it, 2020 was a year of tremendous change. The nature and scale of the events that took place this year, in India and throughout the world, was unprecedented. It was undoubtedly a difficult year for many people, learning to grapple with the loss of jobs and income, dealing with health concerns and losing loved ones, loneliness and mental health problems. On the other hand, the year also proved to be positive for some, marked by personal and professional growth and tremendous gratitude for their blessings. No matter which end of the spectrum you found yourself on, you will admit that the year 2020 taught each of us many important life lessons. Here are some common ones I feel everyone has woken up to this year:
1. OUR HAPPINESS DOESN’T DEPEND SOLELY ON MATERIAL PLEASURES
We live fast-paced modern lifestyles, heavily reliant on gadgets and the need to achieve untold material assets. 2020 forced us to reassess what is truly important to us and what can be done away with. Being close to our family, being healthy and having access to basic accommodation, food and clothing is everything we need in order to be happy. Having a good wi-fi connection also helps!
2. EVERYONE HAS THE INNATE ABILITY TO MULTITASK
Traditionally, it has always been believed that women are the ones blessed with the ability to multitask. However, 2020 has taught us all to be expert multitaskers, as we learnt to successfully juggle many roles. We have learnt to simultaneously handle children, home, work, family members and self-care, much better than in the past.
3. WE CAN BE FAR MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN WE BELIEVED POSSIBLE
Leading from the previous point, along with learning the art of multi-tasking, we have learnt how to be extra productive in the short span of 24 hours. Some of us have had to cook, clean, wash, home-school and nurture, while attending online meetings and completing projects and deadlines. By prioritising tasks, marking daily goals and appointments and being open to asking for a helping hand from partners and family members when needed, the load was lessened allowing us to work harder and better than ever before.
4. THOUGH WE ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS, WE DON’T NEED TO SOCIALISE CONSTANTLY
Perhaps one of the biggest changes in our lives was the transition from overflowing social calendars to a significant lack of social commitments and personal outings. I believe 2020 has taught us the valuable lesson that though we are social animals, we do not ‘need’ to go out or socialise. Ultimately, we must prioritise our health and the welfare of our close ones over mindless partying. It has also taught us to pick only those engagements and surround ourselves with those people whom we truly cherish and want in our lives, reducing our frivolous and inexplicably large social circles. Many social commitments have gone online, which has further aided in providing us more time to complete our important tasks and spend more quality time with our loved ones.
5. WE MUST BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL OUR BLESSINGS
Over and above everything else, 2020 has taught us all to count our numerous blessings and constantly appreciate the universe for them. The presence of family and close friends in our lives, good health, stability and prosperity in our careers or vocations, plentiful amounts of love, a true appreciation of nature and her untold gifts and bountiful and free laughter, are blessings above all others. In true fact, these are the only things we really need to survive difficult and trying times.
In retrospect, despite the difficulties and large-scale changes brought on by the year 2020, I am immensely grateful to the year. It brought on personal growth while also allowing me plenty of time to reflect and accept. 2020 was a truly memorable year and I end with the hope that 2021 is memorable too, albeit without the global drama!
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.