Well, that was an interesting year.
That’s all I’m going to say about 2020. I don’t need to go into a long rant on how much it sucked. We all know it was a shit-show. I don’t have to tell you that. But honestly it wasn’t all bad. In fact I learned a lot about myself, the world, and those around me during the pandemic. So instead I’m choosing to reflect on what 2020 and a global pandemic taught me.
In no particular order…
Self-Sufficiency is a Must
Can you bake your own bread? Sew a button back onto your clothes? Grow your own vegetables and fruit?
When the grocery stores started running out of toilet paper I laughed. I kept thinking: Humanity didn’t always use toilet paper. People know that, right? But it seemed like they didn’t because the vast majority of people began hoarding toilet paper and disinfectant wipes and a bunch of other things. Some made sense (If panic hoarding ever makes sense. I’ll leave that for you to decide.) and others didn’t. And as the stores ran out of more and more things all I could think was how dependent our society has become.
It scared me.
I can bake my own bread, sew a button, and grow my own vegetables. A lot of what I know comes from important life skills I learned from my grandparents, parents, and–to a lesser extent–home economics in Junior High School. But the pandemic made me realize I could learn more. I should learn more.
It’s no Zombie Apocalypse, but Covid was a great test to see where I stood. I have a lot of skills but I lacked a lot of resources. 2021 is the year I remedy the gap. I give myself a B on my imaginary self-sufficiency scale.
Time is Valuable
Pre Covid lockdown I was burning through my time (and energy) trying to cram as many projects, events, goals etc. into a finite space of time. Spoilers: I wasn’t winning that battle. Sure, I was getting things done but the cost was so high that I wasn’t enjoying any of it. Actually, I was increasingly becoming resentful. I was tired. I said no to the wrong things. I was filling up my time with stuff that all of the sudden no longer mattered. Or at the very least mattered less. At first the lockdown was a refreshing break.
It forced me to evaluate my life and how I wanted to move forward once all the lockdowns came to an end (whenever that may be. Yup still in lockdown, folks).
I don’t want to be booked solid.
I want to sit and watch the sunrise without guilt. I want to have meaningful conversations with my husband without checking my phone. I want less schedules and more creative free time.
Look, we don’t know how much time we have on this planet. At least I sure as hell don’t. My time is valuable. Your time is valuable. Let’s start spending it meaningfully. What that looks like is up to you. But maybe, just maybe, we can ease up a bit. Spend some time just being, not doing.
Social Media is Toxic
Okay, before you yell at me, I’m not saying it isn’t useful. I’m also not telling you to stop using it. I’m not telling you to do anything. It’s your prerogative to do as you please. This is a judge-free zone, my friend. You do you.
BUT FOR ME…
Social Media (Yes, I capitalized it.) has become a tool that uses me and I’m over it. I was spending more time looking at my damn phone than anything else. My knee-jerk reaction to check, check, check was eating up so much of that precious time I just mentioned. On top of that it was making me feel depressed and inadequate. It made me think I wanted things that I actually didn’t want. I felt confused. When I was away from Social Media I knew who I was and what I wanted. But every time I scrolled through the photos or tweets or posts, I lost sight of myself. I started comparing myself to everyone. I just couldn’t live like that anymore.
So I deleted all the apps on my phone.
Anything that sucks my time or makes me feel bad is gone. I turned off my notifications on anything I couldn’t delete. And guess what? I don’t miss them. I have more time, I feel better about myself, and I really love not being attached to my phone. Most of the time I put it down and don’t check it for hours. Those are hours I spend living, not scrolling.
This isn’t for everyone. It’s what’s working for me. Will I stay off Social Media forever? No idea. Maybe I’ll stay off Social Media and spend more time on my blog.
If you are interested in learning more about Social Media, how it’s designed, and its affects on humanity, please watch the documentary The Social Dilemma. It’s on Netflix and it was just the push I needed to make a change. It also scared the shit out of me. (Think Terminator 2)
Gratitude is Powerful
Yes, a lot of shitty things happened. Lots. But I’m choosing to be grateful for the good stuff. More time with Brandon. Drinking coffee while watching the sunrise. Morning walks before work. Working from home. Cooking more meals from scratch. The list goes on.
There will always be shitty stuff. But it’s not all shitty and for that I am grateful. If I can find positives from a global pandemic then there is hope.
You know what happens at the end of the year when I look back at the goals I set out to achieve? I ignore the accomplishments and focus on where I’ve failed.
Every. Damn. Time.
This year for the first time I didn’t set myself goals or intentions on January 1st. I don’t need them. I know in my heart what’s important. I’m not letting a list dictate my actions and leave me feeling inadequate. As a whole, society easily dismisses accomplishments for the ‘what’s next’ mentality. It’s never enough. I could write an entire post on that. But I digress.
I’m going back to the basics. I’m focusing on my core values. The things that have been getting muddled and pushed aside in the pursuit of keeping up with the Joneses. Fun fact: My maiden name is Jones. The way I look at it I only need to keep up with myself.
Don’t confuse my not setting goals with me being unmotivated or complacent. I have things I want to achieve, learn, try etc. I’m just not stating it formally. I’m going to take what I’ve learned from Covid and deepen it. And that’s more than enough.
What did Covid teach you? Let me know in the comments below!