I hope you’ve all had fabulous Christmas holidays? As I am writing this, trees and rooftops are covered in snow, ice crystals are decorating our windows and my morning coffee is most likely to be cold, as I cannot help but stare out the window. My Christmas like that of many others was spent differently this year. My grandmother was sick and my mum didn’t join the ‘festivities’ this year to keep us safe. If it hadn’t been for the Christmas tree and the smell of raclette cheese, it would have been an ordinary day. The circumstances didn’t allow a Christmas as usual and I received loving messages from friends and family. However, many of those messages included phrases like: “May next year be better than this!” or “Thank God, this year will soon be over!” I’ve heard people complain about the distance it has put between people. But was it really all bad? I have to disagree!
2020 may have been a year of unprecedented and unpredictable events, there’s no doubt about that! Many of our plans had to be cancelled, or perhaps postponed and things just didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. I know too well how that feels. But what this year has taught me is to accept things as they are and to be open for change! Acceptance doesn’t always come easy, I know that. Especially when you had made plans that you were excited about. I suppose it’s a normal human reaction to be disappointed and sad; perhaps even angry. However, if you stop resisting change, you might actually be surprised about the positive and beautiful things right in front of you that you hadn’t expected. Things that you might miss out on because you’re so focused on the negative.
I don’t want to repeat myself, I think I’ve made it clear in my previous post that I think it’s a matter of perspective and that I like to see the good in things. I also don’t want to play things down or give you the impression that I haven’t suffered from the restrictions, believe me, I have and I still am. I’m just not the kind of person who wants to let this virus determine how I look back at 2020. I cannot change the fact that this virus is circulating, but what I can change is the way I look at it. I will not allow it to take away my positivity and accomplishments because there is a number of things that I am extremely grateful for and that wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for coronavirus.
For me, this year was about growth. Personal growth and professional growth. I took some much needed time off to think. Think about my goals, my dreams, my values, what I want to do with my life, about who I am and what kind of person I want to be. I took the time to spend a ridiculous amount of time outside doing what I love: picking flowers, looking after plants, connecting with nature and animals, hiking with friends and family, to mention only a few. I was carefree, my batteries recharged; a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time and yet there were moments of sadness, frustration, devastation. I don’t want to hide the fact that I was angry with the universe for ruining my plans! Yes, this year was supposed to be different, but yes, this year still turned out nicely for me! At some point, I just accepted the fact that it’s within my own power to make something of this year. Why let this virus determine your happiness? Why give this responsibility to someone else, when you alone are the master of your very own life, your own happiness?
Yes, things might have gone in a different direction, but with a bit of creativity and curiosity, it was and still is possible to go on adventures, to MAKE your OWN adventures! It’s really up to you to decide what you make of the circumstances! You can either sit around, be grumpy and complain about the restrictions, but I don’t think it’s going to change anything. Or you can accept the fact that this is the way things are at the moment and make the best of it! Discover your surroundings, go wild on a new puzzle, start your own DIY project, read that book that has been sitting on your shelve for too long. Your options may be limited but it’s really up to your creativity!
We may have had to stay away from people and I do think this is making us socially awkward at times, but I disagree that this virus and the social restrictions that come with it is only damaging my friendships and family. Again, it’s a matter of perspective! This may sound weird but I have never felt more comfortable and at ease in my skin than I have over those past few months. I spent time with myself, listening to my body, my inner voice and simply got to know myself better. That’s not even all. I reconnected with family and old friends and even made new ones, so I think it’s a little too easy to blame a virus and argue that it’s only torn us apart! I too am sad about the fact that I couldn’t see many of my friends this year, but I think some friendships have grown even stronger over the past few months and I do think this is worth mentioning!
If we stopped concentrating on the negative events that happened this year, but instead started to see the positive sides, our lives would be much happier. At the end of each year, I make a list of things that I have accomplished. It’s something I have done for a while now because it simply makes me feel good about myself and about the past year. This year, I felt the urge to share my list with you, hoping that maybe you too will reconsider the way you think and feel about 2020. Hopefully, this will inspire you to make a list of your own accomplishments or gratitudes. Maybe you’ll see that 2020 wasn’t all that bad after all. I do wish you and your loved ones much joy, happiness, health, success and love for 2021!
- I moved into a brand new apartment, which I finally get to decorate the way I want and makes me feel at home
- I made new friends and reconnected with old ones
- I landed my dream job working in international relations & renewable energy, which gives me the opportunity to contribute to the energy transition and makes me feel good about what I do
- I managed my first projects
- I worked on my finances
- I discovered my love for flowers and plants
- I spent a ridiculous amount of time outside reconnecting with nature and myself
- I bonded with our turkeys that I took care of over the summer
- I hiked up mountains & hills
- I got to spend more time with my family
- I rediscovered Vienna & its surroundings
- I tried new recipes and got really good at making bread
- I improved my yoga skills
- I volunteered and got out of my comfort zone
- I got to visit a friend in London and watched ‘Wicked’ for the first time
- I made my own scrunchies
- I successfully completed an online course on renewable energy technologies
- I managed to stay healthy all year
- I finally went to see a doctor about my pollen allergy and am starting treatment
- I felt good about myself