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Looking Back to Move Forward!

The year of the Pandemic, virtual meetups, quarantine, lockdown, zoom meetings, WFH, new lingo, and virtual school.

Looking back, 2020 is indeed a strange year! It is as if I watch this year go by in a flurry of memes - from toilet paper hoarding to guys in boxers and shirts to mask-wearing to an interesting election.

We had a virtual birthday party for Michelle, a friend of mine, and all her family and friends joined from around the world to sing her "Happy Birthday" in such an elegant cacophony... which, to date, is unmatched. Blowing out the candles and cutting the cake (sadly, which we had none of), Michelle proceeded to state:

“What a waste of a Year!’

This somehow stuck with me… and has played in my head since. Was it a year wasted? Sure, there were times I felt I was living in a Jane Austen novel in the middle of winter.

However, I cannot say I hated it. The introvert in me thrived.

Currently, I am in a job I love doing that offers me the flexibility to strike that amazing balance of being a working mom and homemaker; and I have achieved this without having to leave the house. I am living the dream!

I realize my story is a happy one for which I am grateful. Many are facing hard times in businesses, and some home situations are not ideal. People are going through a lot during these turbulent times.

This contrast has taught me a few things:

Worry only about the elements you can control – Only worry about the elements you can control – this was a lesson learned, but I started with the small things, such as setting up a routine to effectively control family time to avoid WFH and Zoom School clashes. I made sure that I focused on avenues on which I could earn rather than avenues that were drying up. The biggest factor I was able to control was household spending... which we were comfortably able to shrink to match our income. These factors gave me a sense of control when the world around me was spiraling out of control.

GratitudeI am truly, truly grateful for even the smallest things that previously I had taken for granted. Coming from a dysfunctional and disturbed childhood, I vowed to myself never to put my children through the harrowing experiences of my childhood. I am truly blessed that I have a strong family unit, and we exist in peace and harmony. I realize that I am privileged. Not everyone is fortunate to ride out this pandemic in a happy home, and my heart aches for them – it truly does.

Be KindWe are all coping with a tremendous amount of stress... be it with illness, death, financial difficulty, or uncertainty... when it comes to the future. We all have different capabilities when it comes to handling the lemons 2020 has been constantly hurling at us. SO, I decided to grab a tequila and salt and make the most of a bad situation. The tequila has mellowed me somewhat, and I first pause before I react – am I being kind?

I am going into 2021 with several achievements, and I am thankful for 2020, which has forced us to slow down and take stock of our hectic existence.

I have found or rediscovered things that are of true meaning to me. My family and spending quality time with them has been the most important gain in 2020, along with growing my earning capacity with jobs I love doing... which has been a long-term goal. I have rekindled old hobbies and taken on some new ones. In general, I have gained a new zest for life.

2021 – well, I am not sure what to expect; but, this is for sure... whatever comes, I know that I have the fortitude to face it. 2020 embedded in me the things that matter; and, in reality, I think this is the year I lived my best life. Is this a year wasted? – Heck NO! I am going to live the heck out of December, too! Viva!

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Written by Tatum De Souza

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