5 Surprising Things I (Re)Learned This Year

It’s that time; the end of the calendar year. Time to reflect upon and honor the (soon-to-be) 2020 past (yes, you read that correctly, I said honor). That magical far away time is almost upon us – 2021!

Recently, Thrive Global posted a short piece on the surprising things we learned this year. It gave me pause to reflect on the things I’ve learned this year. Pondering these lessons has helped me make peace with 2020. It feels good. I urge you to do the same. Because it can be oh so tempting to focus on the negatives of a challenging year. Our focus can land on all that we desire to leave behind. And without a doubt, there is much we want to leave firmly in 2020! Yet this year has gifted many of us with much for which we are grateful. A few of mine are below. A satisfactory list for a very turbulent year.

1. Nothing is Forever 

There’s an oft-repeated phrase – “This too, shall pass.” This may have been my official mantra of 2020. And how grateful I was for the truth in these words! When lockdown first took place, I was in a relatively new city with very few friends in proximity. Panic set in as I feared I would never feel physical touch ever again. Yet, I survived. I focused on the ways in which I could connect. And many of my relationships became even stronger as a result of that focus.

2. Some Days I Thrive, Some Days I Survive.

It was tough to see various people on social media doing ALL the things. And even tougher not to constantly compare myself to their apparent level of activity. Sure, I went through weeks of bettering myself through reading. I painted a piece of art that now hangs proudly on my wall. I learned to make fancy cocktails and delicious new meals. And other weeks, I lived in pajamas and did nothing but watch endless amounts of tv (Schitt’s Creek for the win!). The important takeaway – I realized that both served a very important purpose. And both were ok. I was OK.

3. Connection Can Happen at Any Time

I made a couple of really amazing new friends in the midst of the pandemic. Sure, we had to get creative in order to do so. We met over physically-distanced walks, and sat outside with 6 feet between. None of the usual distractions existed, which fueled a deeper connection in a much shorter span of time.

4. Creativity Is Born Out of Necessity

Zoom Happy Hours. Zoom Birthday Parties. Zoom Weddings. Zoom *Insert Holiday/Event Here*. Zoom Everything. Although these virtual meetups were no replacement for the real deal, I’m grateful that a group of my friends managed to get together twice as much as we normally have in recent years.

5. Let It Go

You know that old book DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF…? Well, this year did a wonderful job of reminding me what is truly valuable and important in life. I focused on those areas of my life that fed my soul and renewed my energy. The rest? I let it go. And it felt incredible.

By Kelly Leypold, Recruitment Account Manager