What 2020 Delivered- 5 Best Reminders to Pay More Attention To

At least in my mind, this was the year that reminded us what really matters

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

For a year with numbers reflecting perfect vision, this year was the opposite of perfect. The Steel City just went back into suggested lockdown as well as several other places around the world. Family gatherings are discouraged where I live, while Christmas acts like the Krumpus band (December 5th) are canceled for the year.

This was one of those years that make you sit and wonder for a while. That makes you wonder “what the hell was that called?” In one way or another, it’s done damage to all of us. While I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t feel it’s wrath directly, it was a year that made me question so many things I once considered givens. It taught each of us things that we can take into the rest of the decade as well as the rest of our lives.

Kindness Goes a Long Way

In March, there was a direct contrast I noticed: either people were being immensely thoughtful or they were considering themselves only. At one end, people were making care packages, being extra careful, and thanking essential workers. We reached out to those who needed support and love. On the other extreme, there was hogging of essential supplies.

I remember the night that it was announced my hometown was in lockdown. The governor was giving warnings that it would be shut down soon. My mom was in the hospital. I was just trying to run around with the limited amount of money I had in our accounts to get essential things and wondering how I could stretch the money to last for 2–4 weeks.

At stores, I saw people buying up for six months. Toilet paper aisles were empty, cold medicine aisles were almost bare. Food aisles were emptying. It made me feel bad for anyone who came in after me, who couldn’t get there early enough to grab the few essentials they needed. Even when the stores were open, there were so many times that workers did not have adequate time to stock the shelves before another stampede.

It was in those moments that kindness made the biggest difference. The essential worker who was stressed but still smiled at you. The stay at home mom at church delivered flowers to others along with a rootbeer and candy bar. The person who let an older person in front of them at the grocery store.

I hope that 2020 encouraged us all to be a little kinder to one another. To be a helper in the middle of a dark time.

Be Mindful of Special Events- They’re Not Promised

I was dead on my feet at the last metal show I went to in 2019. I went to be with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while and I slept on my feet for the entire main act.

2020 was promised to be a year of great concerts, movie releases, and of course looking forward to holidays with family members or friends. Holidays this year have been spent over Skype, not in person. Some of the people who gathered around our tables are not there.

Even if we managed to get through the year with our families intact, holidays have not been the same since March or earlier. We’ve had to come to terms with what a gift each special event has been. As I approach this holiday season, I’m working to be more mindful of the little moments that occur. To live both through a lot of photos (both mental and physical) and to pay attention to all of the little moments that both my family and new family members, especially my nephews create.

I also know as I look back at 2020, especially in the early part, I’ll appreciate the memories more knowing that there is no clear time that those events will return.

It Fired Me Up to Pay Off Debt/Handle Finances Better

I’m one of many who live paycheck to paycheck. I have a lot of debt which eats up most of my paycheck per month. I was lucky that each of the jobs I performed this year were considered essential. There was a good chance I may not have been so lucky.

This was the first year I really paid attention to my budget and vowed to spend smarter. I paid off one of my debts, but there’s a long way to go. I’m now hell-bent on paying off debt to lower payments each month. January starts the first month that I’ll actually be putting money aside per month for emergency funds between medical and car funds.

This year has fired me up into being smarter with my money. There’s been a long of stress and strain but I know that I’ve been fortunate. This year is a reminder to get the financial house in order in case the things that none of us could have seen coming into existence come.

Find Beauty in Simple

Today’s culture is so fast-paced. So many are focused on the accumulation of more while letting the simple go unnoticed. If we ever needed a wake up for being grateful for the most basic things- a game night at home during lockdown, being able to go to small gatherings like church or small group get-togethers.

I’m not suggesting everyone go complete essentialist style. I’m just suggesting to take some time to enjoy the little things that aren’t part of the fast pace culture. To be grateful for what exists in the still small moments.

Find Time for Solid Self-Care

I haven’t been writing as many self-care and personal-development articles as I used to. The reason is simple: I started writing so much that I forgot along the way to actually practice the principles. I had started writing as a “here’s what worked for me in the past” and to make sense of concepts I was learning about. However, I didn’t want to go that way anymore. I still want to share the things I learn work. However, I want to write about it from personal experience.

When we’re constantly burnt out, tired, and worn down, it’s a reminder to take some time to feed ourselves emotionally and mentally. Chances are, you already know what works for you and what you need to recharge. Sometimes, we’re all guilty of not giving it to ourselves, no matter how simple it is.

2020 reminded us to take some time to rest and recharge as many of us were stuck at home for long periods of time. It provided a chance to try new forms of self-care and hobbies that fed us both intellectually and emotionally. It gave us a chance to learn what worked.

2020 still has lessons to present for this year. Some of the most important days of the year are the days to come: Thanksgiving and the holidays. Take some time to be present, to consider what 2020 has taught each of us. Let those lessons set in because once the year is over, we still have a chance to transform our lives with the lessons that have been dished out.

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Coffee chat style writings for encouragement and inspiration. Topics include happiness, self improvement, self love and simplicity.

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Rachella Angel Page

Rachella Angel Page

Writer, wife, lifelong learner. I write about personal development, emotional wellness, relationships and lifestyle. rachellaangelpage@yahoo.com

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