Thursday, February 4, 2021

Things 2020 Taught Me

Last year was obviously one of the craziest years that most of us have ever lived through… it was hard, it was weird, and it was scary at times.  I spent the majority of the year at home like most everyone else, and I used that time to love on my family and care for myself, so I didn’t drown mentally and emotionally.  Because there were no events, no concerts, no volunteer-work, no dinners with family, and no gatherings with friends, I had a lot of time to look inward, and today I’m going to share a few things that I learned…

1// That I really really need to try harder to stop sweating the small things.  With all that happened in 2020 – a pandemic, so many deaths, social injustice, and a tumultuous election – I realized that there are so many big things that one can worry about that there’s really no need to waste time worrying about the small things. 

2// That I can do hard, unexpected, very weird things.  Three months of virtual learning, barely seeing friends or family for ten months straight, barely leaving the house for ten months straight, not being able to celebrate birthdays and holidays properly with our loved ones… 2020 was tough, but we made it through… not always gracefully, but we made it.  ;o)

3// That it was a good decision for me to decide all those years ago that I didn’t want to be a teacher.  For years, that’s the direction I thought my heart was pointing, but 2020 proved time and time again that I simply don’t have the patience for it.

4// That sometimes having a glass of wine at 3 PM on a random Tuesday is okay.  And necessary. 

5// That I’ll never take technology for granted again.  Can you even imagine going through a pandemic without Amazon, Netflix, and Zoom?!

6// That there are more people in this world who genuinely do not care about the well-being of their fellow man than I realized.  I have truly always thought that the vast majority of people are basically good, so this past year was eye-opening and a little disheartening.  That said, I still believe that most people are good, however, that number probably isn’t quite as high as I originally thought.  Haha.

7// That it’s important to focus on the good people (the helpers, the encouragers, the compassionates) rather than waste time and energy focusing on the bad ones… there may be a lot of people out there who do bad things, but there are still way more people who do good.  That is where our focus should lie.

8// That overt racism and white supremacy are still more prevalent than I realized.  Of course, I knew it still existed, but I had no clue that it still existed to this extent.  It’s 2021… how are there still so many people like this??

9// That systemic racism and white privilege are holding others back and it’s so important for everyone to recognize and accept this fact so we can all move forward together to make much-needed change.

10// That it’s okay to delve into a subject and educate yourself and then change the way you think about it.  It’s also okay to admit that your original ways of thinking might not have been ideal due to lack of information, misinformation, assumptions you previously had, or whatever else.  Two years ago, I didn’t fully understand what exactly it meant to have white privilege, and therefore, I didn’t realize just how much it negatively affects others around me.  But after researching it in great depth, reading books about it, and pondering it a lot last year, my eyes were opened, and I look at everything so differently now.

11// That sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone and discuss the things that matter, even when it’s really hard.  Being silent about injustice in the world stifles change.  Doing the right thing and using your voice to encourage positive change is always more important than caring about what other people are going to think of you. 

12// That memes can be life-giving, especially in times of strife.  #CatMemes #BabyYodaMemes #BernieMemes

 13// That you can’t please everyone.  And that’s okay.  When you’re in the “public” eye, you’re always going to be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  There will always be someone who dislikes you no matter what, and there will always be someone who has something negative to say to you or about you.  You truly can’t win.  But honestly, it’s really none of your business what others think of you… and there’s certainly no sense in stressing about it.  I’ve always known this, but finally taking it to heart has been so freeing. 

14// That I love a good healthy discussion/debate, but there are a few things I simply won’t even bother to entertain – racist remarks, name-calling, hate.  *blocked and byyyyeeee*

15// That there’s no sense in trying to have a healthy conversation/debate with someone who is not open-minded.  Most people only want to debate to try and change the other person’s mind, they don’t debate to learn or try to see a different perspective.  (And to those who do debate with a closed mind, please note that the more obnoxious you are at trying to change someone else’s mind, the more firm in their beliefs they are going to become.  Trust me, going at someone with daggers in their DMs is not going to make them have a sudden revelation that you are right… it is only going to make them think less of you.)

16// THAT THE TRUTH IS EVERYTHING.  With so. many. people. sharing false information on social media, this world has become one huge mess of lies, exaggerations, and conspiracies, and most people obviously don’t know what to believe.  It is so important to fill yourself with the truth from CREDIBLE primary sources and then formulate your own educated opinions.  If you aren’t 100% sure that something is factual, then don’t share it.  Period.  I cannot tell you how sad and frustrating it has been for me to see family members and friends repeatedly buying into the lies and mistruths they see on Facebook.  Literally anyone anywhere can make a fancy graphic with a blatant lie on it and put it on the internet, so please don’t believe everything you see on there.  Heck, probably don’t believe most of what you see on there.

17// That a lot of people just plain don’t want to hear the truth, and that’s one of the biggest problems we have in this country right now.  Facts are facts whether you like them or not.  Facts do not care if you’re a democrat or a republican.  They do not care if you have positive or negative opinions of them.  They just ARE.  And by not accepting the facts, so many people are just living in their own little made-up worlds which then leads to the spread of misinformation.  I follow @sharonsaysso on Instagram and this is one of the things that she stresses most often and it has resonated with me since the first time she mentioned it.  (Side note, she is pure gold if you are seeking facts and truths and completely unbiased news about our government, the election, etc.  I’ve been following her for weeks and I still can’t tell if she leans left or right, not that it matters to me anyway… my point is, she does a great job of being unbiased and just presenting the facts.  She is also good at “dumbing down” the more confusing or complicated topics which has helped me tremendously.  I have learned SO MUCH from her these past few weeks.  Oh, and she’s funny, too.  She’s literally my favorite person on Instagram right now.)

18// That extremism (from either side) is never a good thing.  There are always a hundred shades of gray.

19// That meditation is magic… and utterly essential.

20// That exercise will forever need to be a top priority in my life… all of this time at home has gotten me into the best shape of my adult life post-kids, and I feel better physically than I have in a decade.

21// That I NEED live music in my life.  Concerts are my happy place, and I have felt very lost without them this past year. 

22// That human connection is absolutely, positively the most important thing that God gave us in this life.  It is essential and irreplaceable.  I would give anything right now for a hug from my Mama Cass, a Sunday lunch or dinner with our parents, or a long conversation over margaritas with my girlfriends.

23// That our family is privileged in so many ways.  Because I didn’t have a corporate job and was able to clear my schedule at the drop of a hat to facilitate our kids with their virtual learning.  Because our kids go to a school that was able to keep them learning completely new material from home in the blink of an eye when everything shut down.  Because we were able to afford to buy a new laptop on a whim so each of our kids could have their own for school.  Because we have working internet to aid the kids with their live school lessons.  Because I have a mother-in-law who was able to make masks for us when masks were impossible to find at the beginning of the pandemic.  Because my husband was (and still is) able to fully work from home so we don’t have to worry about him contracting Covid-19 at work or bringing it home to us.  Because my husband never lost his job and we haven’t had to worry about struggling financially.  Because our kids go to a school that was able to allow them to return to school safely in-person during a pandemic.  And I do not say any of this to brag… I say it all with nothing but gratefulness in my heart and awareness that so many others cannot say the same.

24// That front line and essential workers are the real MVPs and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them!

Okay, I could go on forever, but I’ll stop here since 24 is my favorite number.  ;o)  But seriously?  I think I learned more in 2020 than the three previous years combined, and although it was a really tough year, I’m grateful for each and every lesson that has shaped me into the person I’ve become this past year. 

And finally, if there was one meme that sums up my thoughts about people in 2020, it would be this one... 

Hahahaha!  And now I ask you – what are some things that 2020 taught you?


  1. These are all so awesome! I particularly agree with the ones about privilege. So many people don't recognize that just the fact that they can voice their opinion on the Internet makes them incredibly privileged. I also definitely agree with you on extremism.

  2. We said many of the same things, with regards to white privilege and people being unexpectedly hateful. And it's interesting that realizing we have privilege all came together this year with both the pandemic and the social justice issues.

  3. Long time reader but I think, first time commenter - every single thing about this post is gold! Bravo to you for taking the time to really unpack the last year and to reflect on it! It has been so hard but if more people would look at the lessons that accompany the frustrations, I think we would be a lot farther along!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. That really means a lot that you took the time to say that. And yes, I agree with you so much!!

  4. These are all so good! And I love the one about teachers, so true for me as well! :)

    1. Thank you! I can't even imagine how hard it must be to be a teacher, especially right now!

  5. Yes! I have been realizing a lot about privilege lately, too! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to educate yourself. I am trying to do the same.

  6. Yes to a random glass of wine on a Tuesday. And it definitely taught me to let go of the small things. I feel like 202 taught us so much about our strength, resilience and compassion.

  7. I agree that 2020 has for sure taught us all a lot. I follow sharonsaysso too. And I love her. Pretty sure most of my IG time is spent reading her stories. What's so funny is that people who lean left think she leans right, and people who lean right think she leans left.


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