God, I don’t think it’s news to anyone that 2020 has been a strange one. Strange, being the understatement. I started the year with a few goals, you can read them here if you fancy. I had so much planned and suddenly it’s basically October. All my holidays abroad were cancelled, I was off work for an entire month but stuck at home, I haven’t really been able to save, I feel so completely anxious about my 9-5, hunting for ways to make it better, to grow, move on. I’m starting a bloody Master’s degree, something I don’t think I would have ever had the courage or motivation to do if not for 2020 and although my mental health is probably the worst it has ever been, I’ve learnt so much this year and feel ready to fight it.
2020 has taught me to slow down. It’s taught us all that, I think. Although I do not look forward to the prospect of going back into national lockdown, I do miss the slower days. I miss feeling like I don’t have to do everything. I miss having money that I knew wouldn’t disappear after one night out or weekend away. I miss waking up and reading in the garden, I miss baking, walking, getting creative because it’s all we could do. In the last couple of months, I’ve felt busy and having last weekend to completely slow down again, made me realise how important it is. How unnecessary our busy lives are.
2020 has taught me about time. Going back to slower days, I’ve learnt that having ‘time’ is something you actually choose yourself. I’m guilty of it. “I don’t have time to read, to workout, to cook from scratch, to study, to work, to clean the house, to meet with friends…”. Not having enough time is a killer but actually, we should have more than enough time – we’re just not planning it right. I’m still learning but working at home has been a huge saviour for me. Without my long commute, I have time to get up, shower, get my head together, eat a proper breakfast, read if I want, walk the dog. I have time during the day to take breaks, do some housework, write a blog. I have time after work to study and go for a walk and cook dinner and watch Netflix and read before bed. You don’t have to do it all, in fact, I’d probably pick your priorities each morning and just make time for those. But there is enough time to do it all, if you really want.
2020 has taught me to do what you love. I’ve spent the last five years in the same role, just ticking along, not really giving it a thought. A job’s a job isn’t it? Pays the bills. Then, last year I thought for the first time that maybe I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. Despite having several mini breakdowns in the office, I got a promotion, started working with a new team and kinda just let it slide. This year, everything I thought I felt has resurfaced and I have really struggled. Whilst I’m grateful for the last five years and it actually makes me sad that it isn’t working out, I feel so ready to really go after what I love doing. Go back to the beginning and start again. It’s not easy, especially right now, but I will do it.
2020 has taught me to prioritise my people. I don’t mean figure out who is most important, although that’s probably not a bad lesson either, but I mean making more time for them (soz, clearly obsessed with time in this post) Tell the people you love that you love them, help them out when they need it, give them a proper talking to if they aren’t helping themselves, actually have proper talks, check in as much as you can, let people know you’re thinking of them. Be thoughtful, be kind, be better everyday. That’s it really.
2020 has taught me to spend less time online. At the start of lockdown in March, I think we all became desperate for interaction, did every Zoom call under the sun, stayed glued to our group chats, became addicted to TikTok (maybe that was just me). Everything was online and it was exhausting. A lot of us now are taking a few hours off, reducing our TIME on social media, going offline for longer periods and it feels good to focus on things outside of Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good scroll but I’ve definitely spent less time worrying about my feed and more time on myself.
That all got a lot deeper than I anticipated but it’s been a pretty deep year, I guess. I don’t know about you, but despite it all, I do feel like we’ve all learnt a thing or two. Change has been unavoidable but sometimes it’s welcome, what we need. I spoke a lot about time there, but I’m serious. It’s been a whirlwind. 2020 is almost over and I feel like I’m just getting started. I don’t think I’d change 2020 though (I find it laughable and heartbreakingly stupid if I’m honest), but would I take back the time I’ve gained through it all? Probably not.
What have you learnt so far this year?