2020 – 20:20 Vision

‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life’ ~ Prince

What a turbulent and angst-ridden 2020 it has been.  The year started off like any other with high hopes and expectations, all of us wishing for a better, more positive year than the one before.  We could never foresee or be prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and irrevocably changed our lives and our sense of normality. Sanitizing, wearing a mask and social distancing became a way of life.  Who would have guessed that the lyrics of a song released in 1991 would be so apt?  Of course, I am referring to Crazy by Seal “But we’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”  

2020 also brought with it fear, uncertainty, a heightened sense of awareness and unfortunately, massive job losses.  Many businesses closing down due to a lack of income, irrespective of their size and how many years they have been operating.

Hard lockdown confined us in our homes and we were only allowed out to buy food or seek medical care.  We lived from day to day, exercising in your back yards, spent hours reading and watching TV.  We had many Zoom meetings with friends and family and continue to conduct business meetings virtually.  “Can you hear me?” and “You are on mute” are listed as the most popular phrases of 2020.  I share with you Michael McIntyre’s hilarious take on this.

We quell our fears, keep a positive outlook and soldier on, hoping that one day we would wake up and this would be a bad dream, that the pandemic would eventually leave.

It is not all doom and gloom, though.  There are lessons that COVID-19 and 2020 taught us that are very valuable.

APPRECIATE YOUR LOVED ONES

Sharing a confined space with others 24/7 has its challenges, regardless of the fact that they are family.  Communal living quicky teaches us that getting upset or irritated with a housemate is easy! 

It was all about being kind, tolerant and considerate towards each other.  It was time to put down the smart devices and engage on a more personal level; it was about spending quality time with your family.  It was also about playing board games, playing around in the garden, rehashing childhood games, getting crafty and doing some long-overdue DIY repairs around the house.

One of the lessons learned is not to take everything so seriously.   More importantly, it was about taking a breath and let go of control – the dirty dishes could wait, the unmade beds could wait.  

CREATIVITY HAS NO LIMITS

We were forced to think outside the box, wait….. did we even have a box?  We had to keep our children and ourselves entertained to pass the time.  Did you notice how random ideas seemed to just pop into your mind?  Baking was a popular pastime, something to get the kids involved, giving them free rein to make and decorate their own creations.  Did you perhaps start a new hobby?  Maybe an online course in a subject you feel passionate about?

CATCHING UP

Being unable to move freely, we were forced to rethink how we passed our time. Free from the pressure of work and getting the kids to school, we had the time to catch up on all those things we couldn’t get to due to the pressure of everyday life. We cleaned out closets and put aside clothing/household items no longer needed to donate to a charity.  We eventually got our personal filing up to date for when you needed it. We finally settled in and read the books we always wanted to read.  We binge-watched series’ without feeling guilty that we are wasting time.

CARING ABOUT OTHERS

There were some amazing initiatives, mostly by ordinary citizens, to help the less fortunate. Some people made up food parcels equaling their ages and donated it to the homeless and the needy.  Perhaps you collected groceries or medication for the elderly who had difficulty getting around.  Something as ordinary as keeping in touch with friends & family meant so much.

REAL HEROES DON’T ALL WEAR CAPES

The term ‘hero’ has taken on a whole new meaning during this year.  The real heroes were not sport or movie stars, but the essential workers whose dedication went beyond the call of duty.  Not only the doctors, nurses and all healthcare workers, for their tireless efforts to support the infected ones.  Let us not forget the supermarket staff, petrol attendants and many others that put their lives at risk every day.  They went to work every day under the most stressful of circumstances, leaving their families and loved ones behind to assist the shoppers, the sick and the dying. For them, it’s not just a job. They have risen to the challenge and took dedication to a whole new level.

And finally… if 2020 taught me anything it was

NEVER SAY “NEVER”!