Hi. It’s December 24, 2020, and I felt compelled to write a lil somethin somethin before this year of complete and utter misery is over. There’s no dancing around it; 2020 was horrendous. Over 1 million people died of Covid-19, and the entire world spent the majority of the year in lockdown. BUT, I think it was a year of self-reflection and growth for many, and today I’ve chosen to focus on these positives for me and my family. Don’t think I’m negating the sickness (both physical and mental) and devastation, because I’m not. I acknowledge it and mourn for all those suffering. But here’s what I’ll take away from this year.
- I can be a much more hands on mom (and wife).
Okay, so full disclosure, 2018 and 2019 were spent away from the home a lot. Once my Instagram took off, I got very excited when I was invited to events and tastings, so I’d go out REALLY often. Towards the end of 2019, I started experiencing Instagram related burnout, and became much more particular with what I said yes to. 2020 was great for me in that it forced me to be home and be a more hands on mother and partner. I did most of my collaborations from home, and was able to really bond and spend quality time with the kids. Yes they drove me crazy being in close proximity 24/7, but we all really became so much closer as a family. It’ll be interesting to see which direction I go in once this pandemic is over. I’m either going to go hard as hell (think, the TikTok that goes “Club, another club, plane, no sleep, another club…”) OR I’ll find a nice balance of being social and being out and still spend tons of quality time with my family. Only time will tell.
2. Exercise is truly the best way to alleviate my anxiety.
This year, I essentially bought a home gym. I got a spin bike, downloaded the Peloton app, and bought a weighted barbell and weights. Basically, my favourite form of cardio and my favourite form of strength training. Sure, they were relatively costly purchases, but I made peace with knowing I’ll likely never step foot back in a gym. And honestly, my workouts were my saviours. I don’t know what kind of headspace I’d be in if I didn’t have endorphins and sweat.
3. Alcohol is a destructive coping mechanism.
In those first months of quarantine (March to May or June, let’s be real), I was having a drink almost every evening, as a reward for surviving the day. This wasn’t healthy for my body or my mind. It’s funny how when I went back to teaching face in face in September, I started having a drink only on a Friday evening or not at all. When my mind and body are occupied, I don’t feel the need to imbibe (imbibe is the weirdest word, amirite?). Generally speaking, I think it’s so much more important to confront your feelings (anxiety, fear, stress, whatever) and not gloss over them with booze.
4. I can do my job remotely.
Never in a million years did I think I’d have to learn the technology that so many of my colleagues were already using. Google Classroom and Meet were so beyond my realm of comprehension. But I’m actually low key happy we were forced to work from home, because I *had* to learn, and guess what? The learning curve wasn’t steep at all. Turns out, if you can use Instagram to grow a following of 15,000, using Google tools to teach your classes is pretty intuitive.
5. I don’t NEED to be social.
Okay so I really LIKE being social. Not so much at work (hermit who marks whenever she’s not teaching 4 LYFE), but on weekends. Seeing friends for coffee, meals, shopping, drinks, etc. is a part of my life that I value. But I don’t NEED any of it. Sure, I miss my friends, but I’ve learned I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. You won’t catch me doing any sort of Zoom hangout ever, because it doesn’t fill the void of face to face interaction for me. In the early days of quarantine, I’d Facetime friends and family and do Zooms, but I stopped in April or May because it didn’t hit right. While I do hope I can resume semi-normal socializing at some point in 2021, I recognize that I’ll be okay if I can’t.
So there you have it; my 2020 takeaways. If you’ve read this far, many thanks and much appreciation. Cheers to 2021 – it can’t get much worse than this past year, so we’re all golden.