What valuable life lessons were learned in 2020? This has been a crazy year, filled with uncertainty, change, self-examination, and growth. From the pandemic, the economic decline, job losses, quarantining, and mask-wearing to reconsidering our position and actions toward our fellow humans.
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Valuable Life Lessons Learned in 2020
This year, 2020, has been the weirdest. Craziest. Most stressful. Most trying.
2020 has been one of the most challenging years of our lives!
In this time of difficult circumstances, we have had to be strong.
We’ve had to pull ourselves up, put on our big girl panties and carry on the best we are able.
Hide under a bucket?
Well, I know I would have liked to hide and wait for it to be over.
But, sadly, that isn’t really a choice now, is it?
They say “every pain gives a lesson”.
Frankly, these are important life lessons we are learning the hard way.
It’s been tough.
Families have had to make difficult choices, like whether or not to visit in person, whether to continue going to work, to homeschool their children or send them to school.
We’ve had to decide if we are comfortable going out to eat, to church or to attend weddings, birthday parties or other celebrations.
Some of us have lost loved ones as a result of this pandemic. Maybe you were unable to say goodbye.
Family members have had to be hospitalized and not allowed visitors, facing the uncertain days alone.
Life events have been postponed or canceled all together. Weddings, funerals, baby showers, birthdays, and graduations – times when we usually come together, have been put on hold.
And we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.
Valuable life lessons that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Here are some of the ways we have grown, changed and become stronger.
Life Lesson: New ways to spend our time
In the face of this pandemic, we’ve been cautioned to “social distance”.
Because of this, many have found new avenues to explore. We’ve found ways to occupy our time alone or in small groups.
Since filming stopped on television shows, TV became mostly reruns for a time. So we watched reruns.
Maybe we watched old movies or Netfilx.
Or we didn’t watch TV at all.
During the summer we wanted to get outside so we took up camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.
Reading books, cooking at home, using FaceTime and Zoom, visiting family and friends using physical barriers or while staying 6′ apart outdoors are more commonplace.
We had parades that passed by the birthday girl’s house, and for the graduates.
We have learned new ways to spend our time.
Life Lesson: Be Kind
Kindness is being shown more often. Neighbors helping neighbors.
Mail carriers are going the extra mile to deliver packages and groceries because we aren’t leaving our houses.
Healthcare workers are risking their own health and safety to take care of us and those we love.
We realize how important our relationships are to us and are willing to go the extra mile to stay connected.
We are treating others with a new level of kindness.
Life Lesson: Time is fleeting
The babies grow up fast, especially when you don’t see them on a regular basis.
My Grandson has grown a foot in the few months we’ve been apart!
Staying connected with family has become more difficult, even for Grandparents who are close.
It has always seemed that time is passing by much more quickly as we age.
This has been even more true in 2020.
When we aren’t allowed to live our lives the way we were accustomed, we realize the things we might have taken for granted.
Like time spent with those we love.
We realize the value of time spent with family and friends.
RELATED CONTENT: 13 Authentic Life Lessons from Children (and Grandchildren)
Life Lesson: Prioritize the important stuff
The important things in our lives have become more obvious.
It’s not the stuff we have that is important, but the time we spend together and the way socializing and being around others makes us feel.
The fulfillment from being an active member in society, the emotional side of our lives, the love of family and friends, the traditions we expect each holiday season, the support and connection we feel from those close to us – these are the important things.
When we are denied these things, we realize the loneliness, isolation, depression, and sadness that results from separation.
A valuable life lesson for 2020: the things in our lives that we sometimes neglect have become more obvious in light of our new social situation.
We have the opportunity to evaluate our priorities.
Life Lesson: Respect fellow citizens
There has been a lot of controversy over mask-wearing in our community.
Some feel it infringes on their rights, some are skeptical of the science, others have physical reasons for their stance.
People wear masks and believe it keeps themselves and others a little safer in the current environment.
However you feel about it, I’m not here to argue with you.
I DO believe that through all of this we have developed a respect for our fellow citizens.
We have become more aware and concerned about the health conditions of others.
All of us can take measures to protect the elderly and compromised. If you don’t wear a mask, try to keep your distance.
We can stay at home to protect ourselves if being out and about poses a risk to our own health.
Get a vaccination when it becomes available to you.
Stay informed about the state of things regarding the pandemic and do what you can to respect your fellow humans.
Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. It’s your choice.
Just remember to be a responsible member of the community by respecting your fellow citizens and their perspective.
Promote respect for others.
Life Lesson: Learning technology
Stay connected to others in spite of the circumstances.
There are now Zoom meetings for work.
And FaceTime with the Grandchildren.
If you didn’t know how to connect virtually before 2020, you probably do now.
We want to stay connected and learning technology is no longer optional.
You need to be able to text, video, use your computer, and find a movie on Netflix.
It is helpful to know how to order your groceries online from your local grocery store, Walmart, or Amazon.
It’s also great to be able to go online to order takeout from a restaurant and have it delivered.
This year, 2020, has forced us to learn new technology.
Life Lesson: Cooking at home
During 2020, restaurants and bars have had to close.
Social distancing is difficult indoors, someone else is cooking your food, and wait staff is exposed to a steady stream of new and different folks.
This has forced a lot of us to fix our own meals.
Cooking at home has sent us online to look for new recipes, we order groceries online, and learn a new skill.
And you know what else it’s shown us? How much we MISS eating at a restaurant!
Having someone else cook, enjoying a pizza with the kids, having a chat with a friend over coffee, or just going out to celebrate a birthday or another occasion is something we miss terribly.
We have learned to make our own meals.
Life Lesson: How to cut hair and paint our own toenails
Hair and nail salons shut down due to the pandemic, forcing us to take drastic measures.
Like cutting our own hair.
I know you’ve seen the funny FaceBook photos, memes and videos of people taking matters into their own hands.
Did you do this? Cut your own bangs?
I must admit, I did. Haircuts, which were every 5-6 weeks in the past, have been reduced to only 2 this year.
You heard that right. I’ve had 2 haircuts in 2020. January and June.
I know, right?
We have learned to do things for ourselves.
Life Lesson: We need a hug
Social distancing in 2020 has meant social isolation for many.
Especially for those living alone.
Human contact in the form of a hand around the neck, a touch, or a full on bear hug have been sorely missed.
Did you realize the value of a big bear hug from your Grandchild?
Have you missed the warm embrace from your elderly parents?
According to experts at Arizona State University, “The provision and receipt of affection contribute to health and wellness in both mental and physical ways”.
This means that getting and receiving human touch has a positive relationship to our mental and physical wellness.
Extroverts and introverts alike benefit from a soft touch and a hug.
Human contact matters.
We all need a good hug.
Life Lesson: Improvise
When the normal has been taken away, access is denied and unfamiliar situations arise, our normal responses must change.
Learning how to do things differently requires a pivot from us.
We must do things for ourselves when we may have once asked for help.
We must learn new skills to get us through and use alternate methods and tools to achieve the results we need.
This is an important life lesson from 2020!
We have devised a new approach to life.
Wise saying about life lessons
I thought you might enjoy a few quotes about learning life lessons…
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”C. S. Lewis
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”Soren Kierkegaard
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them―that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”Lao Tzu
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.”Dalai Lama
“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.Robert Frost
“Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”Jack Buck
“Some moments can only be cured with a big squishy grandma hug.”– Dan Pearce
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.”Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
We have a lot still to learn
Important lessons for 2020.
Learning lessons about life in 2020.
And teaching valuable life lessons to others.
What lessons have you learned in 2020?
What will stick with you long after 2020 has passed?
Our resilient, creative, and adaptable younger generations will learn important lessons by watching us.
What are you doing to set a good example for them?
We are spending our time differently, noticing the quick passage of time, taking note of the important stuff, being kind and respectful of towards our fellow citizens, keeping up with technology, learning to cook and do things for ourselves, improvising when we need to, cherishing warm hugs, and finding ways to connect and continue to share special moments with those we love.
Our children and Grandchildren are watching us. They, too, are learning these lessons from 2020.
And think about how much we can learn from them, too!
Take time to stay connected with family and friends.
And Keep Passing Down the Love,