As always, we welcomed the new year, with anticipation and hope, wishing the best to come ahead. The year 2020 was no different. From forming new year resolutions, ranging from setting weight-loss targets, save money, exercise more, learn a new skill, quit smoking, to being hell-bent to get organized, the list goes on with an expectation to make your life better. Like always, the coming year also made us curious to seek predictions and forecasts made, according to our zodiac signs, expecting it to bring happiness and prosperity. With the vast array of life experiences, so comes the lessons learned in life.
The arrival of the year 2020
The month of January commenced with the charting out plans for the goals to be achieved and marking the calendar, with the tasks to be completed in the coming months.
As obvious, the first two months of the year were hectic for me as well as my children, due to the final exams ahead. Nonetheless, my kids passed their exams with flying colors and advanced into their respective classes.
As a reward for their hard work, during the session break in March, we decided to go on a short vacation to Bengaluru at my sister’s place. Little did we know that our yearning for an outing was going to be a dream unfulfilled for months ahead. And forget about an outing, it was something beyond my imagination that we would be unable to even step out of our homes to shop for necessities.
Unexpected turn of events in life
Although we were well updated with the news on Covid – 19 pandemic, its widespread and intensity could be understood only when on the 24th of March, our honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a nationwide locked down as “Janata Curfew”. Suddenly life had come to a standstill and simultaneously chaotic too. In the last 15 years, I have never observed the city of Hyderabad, an IT Hub, sleep and come to a standstill for so long.
While our lives and the whole country had seemed to be halted, our minds were racing even harder with the fear of the unknown. The news pouring from all over the world like wildfire about the spread of Covid-19 and the soring deaths due to it led to the adrenaline rush in our body. The dreadful thought of being how close we are to it created an extreme panic in us and I guess among everybody else for that matter.
When we are so close to a situation where our lives and the future appear so unpredictable, we tend to start paying attention and contemplating on the tiniest possible occurrences in our life which we might otherwise, not have ever paid any heed to it.
Lessons Learned In life
In the last few months, I have learned a great deal about life. So, here are some valuable lessons learned in life, throughout the year 2020.
1. became adaptive to change
The last few months were such a time when my life had taken a 360-degree shift. With so much to deal with, running errands, with kids being around all the time, managing my home and work life became extremely demanding. Children’s education had taken a paradigm shift from classroom learning to online learning, which was something we had never seen before. Even our work scenarios got changed. My husband is working from home since the lockdown, which made us even more restricted to move around at home. To add more to it, staying confined to home, and not being able to socialize made me feel like I was literally under house arrest. It was indeed a testing time for everybody, and we all learned to be adaptive to the unprecedented times and came to terms with life.
2. Learned to be more empathetic
With so much going around, social distancing, people losing their loved ones, layoffs due to the economic slowdown, the past few months were not only horrendous but agonizing too.
What to talk about society at large, even people like, domestic helpers, were greatly affected due to social distancing. At that time, it did not seem morally correct though, but as the spread of the coronavirus forced us to limit our contact with the outside world, I had to dismiss my maid from work, for the time being. I tried to help her in every possible way I could, but then, it made me realize what the poor lady must be going through and how she must be fending for her family after losing her job, though temporarily. Besides, struggling with all the chores alone each day, made me even more empathetic towards her persistence and struggle for existence.
3. Learned to live frugally
During times of economic crisis, learning to live with minimum resources and making the best utilization of available ones is the need of the hour. Cutting down the expenses and making an extra effort on saving money is one of the wisest things I learned. Trust me, I was never good with managing my finances, but the unpredictability of the future helped me learn a great deal about living frugally.
Otherwise, also, I would always advise you to keep your expenses to the minimum and save enough to meet the contingencies if any, rather than being sorry later.
4. Mental wellbeing became the priority
Life is full of challenges, and we might have come across many ups and downs in our day-to-day life. Consequently, we might even learn to cope up with it over a while.
The impact the pandemic caused on our minds.
Mental well-being was never an agenda to be on the forefront and was not much talked about in my family, as everything seemed to be fine until the pandemic. However, the devastating news arriving from all around the world including our neighborhood caused fear and panic among us. The amount of stress, anxiety, and depression it caused to my family, especially my children, was immeasurable.
Besides, the lockdown contradicted the basic nature of a human being to be social and forced us to stay confined to our homes. Unable to play outdoors with friends, even my kids became restless and started behaving erratically. Not only that, being forced to share the same space and live close to one another all the time, inevitably led to fights and confrontations on petty issues.
That’s how I learned that mental well-being is highly crucial in these testing times. No matter what, you should keep your family bonded and at peace with one another, to minimize friction and create a healthy environment at home.
Not to mention, keeping yourselves physically fit and building strong immunity is equally important as always.
5. Time is precious
As always, time is precious and I learned to make the most of it. Instead of chasing illusionary and unrealistic goals, have realistic goals, and utilize your time wisely. Organizing your tasks and managing your time efficiently has become as important as ever.
Spend time with your family and people who add value to your life. Keeping bonded with your loved ones will help you sail smoothly through the difficulties of life.
6. Learned to set goals as per my wish
While in a chase to realize your goals and ambitions in life, you often tend to neglect the other important aspect of your life. Setting goals as per others’ expectations, and racing after them is not what takes you to the road to happiness. It is okay to slow down and not rushing things.
Cherish every moment of life to the fullest instead of running always in an anticipation of a better life, especially when you experience life first hand that it can be so unpredictable.
7. Be grateful in life
If you think about the agony of the people who lost their loved ones and if you are mature enough to understand their pain and trauma, you will find your problems minute as compared to others and realize how blessed you are. Make peace with your inner self, and instead of cribbing for what you do not have, be thankful for what you are gifted with.
Life is a blessing and you should be grateful for having one.
Wrapping it up
So, these are some of my life experiences, during the year, that proved to be the most valuable lessons learned in life and helped me transform into a better person. I believe, there is always something to learn from incidents happening in our life. One must never give on the challenges thrown by life and must face them with patience and courage.
It’s acutely painful and grievous to think about living a life without the people you love so much. My condolences to all those who lost their family members and loved ones in the pandemic.
Though it is a difficult period, every cloud has a silver lining and with that hope and the glimpse of light, I believe that life will be back to normal soon for every one of us on the earth.
On that positive note, I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year ahead!
Krishna is a Management graduate in Human Resource. She is an avid reader, knowledge seeker, and an adoring mother of two lovely kids.