Lessons from 2020

Yep you guessed it – this is the obligatory, cliche, overdone, yet necessary end of year post. I haven’t written much this year, simply because…what was there for me to write? This year I felt confused, lost, lonely, angry, nervous, and unsure. Writing felt like a daunting task I couldn’t even manage. My voice didn’t feel necessary. Mentally, I couldn’t take up space from people who had important things to say. We all know I just say whatever is on my mind each week, important or not (i.e. hot takes on dating apps or best pizza spots in town).

This year was hard. That goes without saying. Yet thinking back on this year, I learned some incredibly valuable lessons.

Adaptability

We have seen many curveballs, plot twists, and cancellations in 2020. Being able to roll with the changes, look at each moment as a new opportunity, is a skill I found so useful this year. I’ve been fortunate in my life to be skilled in adapting, but this year more than ever, I’ve been thankful for that. While I still struggled with the constant changes this year, I never reached a point of being completely overwhelmed (I came close though, so so close).

Work-life Balance

If you’re like me, you’ve been working from home since March. This was my actual nightmare at the beginning of this pandemic. I’m a people person and I get distracted easily. I was worried that bringing work into my home meant totally losing the balance I’ve worked so hard for. Yet, I sit here in December and realize how much I’ve grown. I’ve become a competent worker while in the house and have established strong boundaries for when the work hours end.

Managing burnout

Exhaustion is what I consider the word of the year. I became burnt out in not only work, but in my personal life. The mundane routine of waking up, working, then sitting at home, then sleeping, became too much for my brain. So I started seeking out new books, ways to care for myself, and new hobbies I could do from home (like making woodfired pizza!).

Connection is key

It was easy to fall into the pit of “I’m alone in this”. Choosing to not connect with people was the easy option for me this year and I felt like the excuses were simple “I’m too tired to chat.”, “I haven’t done anything interesting for us to talk about.”, “Work was absolutely draining, I think I just need a night to myself.”. This was not sustainable for my happiness. So I started working hard to connect with people again. I looked at my relationships with a critical eye and asked “who brings me joy, even when we have tough conversations?” And that’s where I focused all of my energy.

Dogs are the greatest gift

We all knew this, it’s not a lesson, but worth mentioning. This year has been special because of time with my dog, Baxter. He’s the best and I love him the most.

Thank you all for sticking by me this year. I hope you were able to pinpoint some lessons and moments of joy.

Cas

P.S. Here’s my instagram top 9 (as a tradition).

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just a girl inspired by traveling, dogs, and the people who surround her.

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