With the dawn of a new year, a healthy practice is looking back before looking forward. I took time for a review over the last few weeks and summarized it into my five lessons learned from 2020.
Our choices impact many others.
If we didn’t already understand this, a very contagious pandemic made it abundantly clear. This truth applies not only to our physical health, but mind wellness too. How we act influences all those around us, so our mindset and attitude which influence our actions needs to be kept in check. On those days when life is difficult, overwhelming, or just not fun, our attention and acknowledgement of this is key. It allows us to find strategies to improve, share our concerns with those around us, or simply offers a healthy awareness as we process. A positive attitude equals positive actions. When we understand and act by how our choices affect others, we create a better community for all.
Don’t judge other’s choices; it isn’t fruitful.
I can only control me, so offering help may be a better action than judgement. I may not agree with others, but I can help, support, guide, or teach when applicable. In the same vein, my choices are mine and I cannot get upset if others don’t agree with me. Civil conversations and respect of other’s choices as theirs goes a long way in living in peace together.
Support others in the way most beneficial for them, not me.
When the world changed last spring, many of my priorities shifted to supporting my loved ones and local community. There was a learning curve for us all as we navigated a sudden shift in circumstances. This stretched our patience, but we learned and supported each other. Good communication by sharing what we needed and how we could help each other was essential. It wasn’t about how I wanted to help, but what they needed. This is a great lesson for relationships in general. It’s not about me, or you, but us helping, supporting, and caring about each other.
Stay connected however we can.
Gathering is good. God created us to be in community with each other. Adam had Eve, Jesus had the disciples (which He didn’t need by the way), and we have each other. We are meant to be social. When we couldn’t gather in person, we realized how much we missed it. Those of us more introverted were okay with simply seeing a small pod of our people, but we still missed gathering, even in small groups. So, we learned to stay connected in other ways.
Connection especially to God was crucial. He provided the peace I had and needed this past year. Maintaining a personal connection to Him and a virtual connection to His church was life-giving. Let’s not lose this valuable component of our lives moving forward.
Be thankful for and utilize what we have.
I’m a planner, so the toilet paper and bleach wipe shortage wasn’t really an issue for us. But a stocked pantry isn’t a luxury for everyone, so being thankful and generous with our resources matters. I loved being creative with my freezer and pantry items and found many new recipes and strategies I’ll continue to implement. Relying on God and knowing He would always meet our needs was the foundation. I never panicked because I knew Who was in charge. None of what happened or will happen is a surprise to God. Creating habits for practicing gratitude, generosity, and creativity stretched me and my faith in new and different ways. I’m forever thankful for this growth in the middle of a crisis.
I will carry all these lessons into a new year with an attitude of gratitude. I hope my five lessons learned from 2020 assist you as you move into what’s next. I’d love to hear what you learned too. Send a comment below or find me on Facebook or Instagram and let’s review together.
I could go on and on about the myriad of things I learned about myself, others, and God this last year. I’m sure many of them will find their way to subsequent blog posts or social media shares. But if there is one takeaway lesson for us all, let’s always remember we each have one life to live and making the most of it is a privilege we should never take for granted.