Is it just me who feels like the year 2020 had just begun? It was a long, tiring and endless one, yet to me, it seems like days just went by, each one looking no different than the other, and now it’s already coming to an end. As each year passes by, I always tend to look back and think about the year that was. So here I am, reflecting upon what was achieved this year?
This year was like no other, PERIOD! 2020 was globally defined by the COVID 19 pandemic and no one can deny that it was a devastating year as a whole. We all experienced the same crappy bag of mixed emotions in different homes, different countries, at different intensities and at different frequencies. It was a year of dreadful uncertainty and intense anxiety for the entire human race. And this year, instead of looking back on what I achieved, I am compelled to do nothing but simply be grateful for the fact that I didn’t have to experience the grief of losing anything significant or someone precious to me. In fact, I gained a lot … in ways I didn’t expect.
It definitely wasn’t the kind of year during which I achieved everything I had ever “wished for” but it was the kind of year that made me deeply appreciate everything I have. I didn’t really achieve any personal goals as such and even the handful of progressive moves attained in life were time and again dampened by the depressive bouts of coronavirus related news. In spite of making a big move into a new city this year, to live the American dream apparently, I didn’t really get to explore and experience it’s newness as would normally be the case. And speaking of explorations, what I missed the most this year, were those annual holidays or even those long-weekend getaways, which I had so gotten used to thanks to my travel enthusiast of a husband. Although I took those travel experiences for granted, I realised their true value this year – how they happen to help me to switch off and enjoy some time away from the daily grinds of life. And given that I was primarily catering to the supersonic and largely assertive, never-ending needs of a high spirited, energetic toddler, in a new home, in a new country; it goes without saying that I didn’t really make any quality time for myself either. Through most of 2020, I was far away from living a well-balanced life, yet towards the end of it, I am now so very close to living a well-cherished one.
During this year filled with uncertainty, I was abruptly and unexpectedly gifted with an opportunity to live my life in Slo-mo, wherein I could experience each and every moment, in its most basic and simplest form. It was a perfect year to realise that I already have everything I need. Although this year was challenging and testing beyond boundaries, this year also surprisingly evoked a stronger sense of gratitude in me for everything that I am blessed with.
2020 gave us the gift of unlimited time to spend more qualitatively together as a family. As the world was silently mourning for the loss of their loved ones to the coronavirus, I was blessed to be “stuck” in a home bustling with nonstop action thanks to my little one who can barely let us finish a sentence or even a thought, let alone have an adult conversation. Sadly, at first, I didn’t know how to handle this gift of unlimited, uninterrupted and isolated face-time as a family… I was simply lost… I complained, I panicked, I prayed, and put a negative spin on everything at first. And as time passed, it was something I got happily used to and so very comfortable with. As a first time parent, I got to experience how “all-time active parenting” in a socially distanced world can drive one up the wall and yet make one fall in love with their resilient little one, more and more with every passing day. This drastic yet pleasantly welcome change in our family time routine presented us with this rare opportunity to microscopically observe our little one grow, a bit by bit everyday and marvel at how we were raising this little human, who was completely unaware of the global pandemic and its effects around the world. This was a blessing in every way!
We not only grew to value the emotional bonds at home, but we also saw how humans in general crave for not just emotional but social contact too, even though one might not be a party-animal kinda human. And in that quest, we discovered creative ways of staying connected with the world in isolation. We connected for reasons so unheard of and in ways so unimaginable but we made connections at a whole new level. We gave our best to celebrate each and every moment, event and festival by unleashing our hidden talents, expressing our deep-rooted feelings for each other and embracing this positive human spirit to not only find, but also share the light, even through all of the darkness.
Of course this wasn’t a year anyone was prepared for or even wildly dreamt of, but it certainly gave me a startling reminder that I desperately needed … To never take this beautiful life for granted and to appreciate life in all it’s glory and gloom. The glory makes us rise and shine while the gloom enables us to sustain and survive. And I feel, both these are so very necessary to live and appreciate a meaningful and well-balanced life. So here’s my GoodBye to 2020 … thanks for teaching me some harsh life lessons that only made me stronger as a believer. And with that I warmly Welcome 2021 … I hope you can be kinder and milder in your teaching style. Regardless, I shall continue to learn, grow and persevere with humility and faith.