When I look back at the year that just went by, it is easy to think of it as a year of viruses, restrictions, lockdowns, fear and loneliness. After all, we just lived through the single biggest pandemic that has ever affected the world.
But I refuse to call 2020 a “write-off” as so many people are labeling it.
After all, despite the unique circumstances, 2020 held so much in it for us.
Learning Self Sufficiency
When we went into lockdown early in 2020, with no proper heads-up or preparation, we all found ourselves challenged to live in a new world with a new way of life. We figured out how to work-from-home, and got so creative doing that. We baked, even when eggs or flour were unavailable at the store because everyone was baking! We learned to become teachers to our children. We found creative alternatives to gyms and workouts, all from within our homes.
I believe 2020 showed us how self-sufficient and resilient we can be.
Quality Family Time
When the lockdown began, my husband and I found ourselves with an energetic 3-year-old and nowhere to take him. We had to work. We began by offering our son toys in the middle of the office, while we tapped away at our laptops. We moved on to creating obstacle courses in an office that was increasingly starting to look like a preschool. We finally ended up working in shifts, so that one of the parents could spend valuable time with the child, instead of constantly getting irritated by his interruptions.
It was a brilliant decision. In the four years of motherhood, never before have I spent so much quality time with my son. Our relationship blossomed! Likewise, his father and he played endless games and created so many special memories together.
Never before in my life would I have spent as much time in nature as I did in 2020. When it all began, it was still cold outside. Yet, we made it a point to bundle up and take our little one for long walks, as that was the only acceptable outdoor activity one could do in a lockdown.
Once the weather got better, we found any and every reason to spend hours outdoors. We had picnics in our backyard. We gardened. We walked. Where once I would have been at a mall, now we went to trails and beaches and parks. As the number of COVID cases around us reduced, it became acceptable to meet with a few select friends in outdoor spaces. We hosted backyard get-togethers. Our son’s 4th birthday was celebrated outdoors!
Now, almost a year later, we are again in a lockdown. There is snow outside. But I find myself more willing to bundle up and head out for a walk. Just a few days ago, we went out tobogganing for the first time. And what fun it was!
Learning New Skills
I can not think of another year when I picked up as many new skills as I did in 2020. The year began with knitting. Boxed indoors with little else to do, I took a ball of yarn and two needles and decided to see what I could do. In the months to follow, I knit a dozen scarves, a dozen hats, two tops, one skirt and a baby blanket.
For the first time, I tried my hands at gardening this summer. I ended up building a flower garden outside our home and filled our porch with flowers I kept proudly alive through the entire warm weather. Summer may have ended, but my house is now full of greens and they fill me with so much happiness and satisfaction.
Completing Dream Projects
You know how we all have those things we want to do and plan to do, but never really get around to doing because of how busy we are.
This year, I found the time to take on some of these projects. I had a novel that had been half-written and was lying around for years. I finally finished writing it. I got great initial feedback and lots of helpful recommendations and am now in the process of giving it the finishing touches.
I found the time to join and be a part of a local Writer’s group, which was another dream come through. Virtually meeting and exchanging ideas with like-minded people not just gave me happiness, it led to a collaborative book, where we all contributed stories regarding COVID. ‘Nineteen Tales of COVID-19’ is a compilation I am proud to be a part of.
Apart from these achievements, I believe 2020 held many important lessons for me. It taught me the value of good health. I learned to stay connected with people dear to me, even when I couldn’t meet them. I learned resilience and self-sufficiency. I learned compassion and the importance of not being judgmental. Everyone was living through an ordeal and while I may not be able to understand other’s actions, I learned not to judge them for it.
I am sure if we all look back at 2020, we would be able to find a number of things that went right. Things that we are proud of.
After all, 2020 was just another year tucked away with smiles, tears, memories and laughter. Why write it off?
In Search of Love... a sweet love story!
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.