Lessons from a Strange Year

| by Staci Barfield

Well, this year has definitely started with a bang!

Prior to the events of last week, 2021 was our promise of a respite from the calamity of 2020. During the last weeks of the year, I tried to take advantage of the holiday downtime to wrap up some projects – both personal and professional – and set myself up to be ahead in the new year. So why is it I went to bed December 31st feeling great, but when January 4th rolled around I felt like I was already two weeks behind in everything?

Perhaps, in my thinking, it’s because 2021 is supposed to be our return to normal. And my previous normal included commuting to meetings, attending numerous after-hours social and professional events, and trying to fit in workouts around a busy work schedule. In total, these generated a certain level of stress that hasn’t been present the last nine months.

As much as I welcome the end of the pandemic, there are some lessons I learned (or were reminded of) in 2020 I want to take forward. They include:

  • It’s okay to do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
  • Walking the dog in the middle of the day is a great re-energizer.
  • Good friends are important.
  • Employees can be trusted to do their jobs, even when they aren’t in an office.
  • Don’t take anything for granted.
  • Being bored can spur creativity.
  • It’s important to have a “rainy day fund” because you never know what can happen.
  • People are adaptable.
  • Tell those you love how you feel.
  • My calendar doesn’t have to be full for me to be full.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Everyone’s situation is different; respect that.
  • Rest and alone time are cathartic.
  • Cooking at home can be fun.
  • Attitude makes all the difference.
  • Everything doesn’t have to be done today.
  • I am very lucky.

 What lessons did you learn from 2020?

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