I wrote a similar blog just over a year ago highlighting the lessons learned and achievements accomplished in 2019. And though on some levels, it doesn’t feel like much has changed (aside from the obvious pandemic stuff), the trials, tribulations and every moment of uncertainty this past year was certainly making a lasting impact on every single one of us.
It’s not yet fair to say that we are “through this” and I still feel as though I am walking on eggshells awaiting the next ball to drop. However, I would say that it feels as though there is finally some light at the end of this 2020 tunnel. Despite the lack of rainbows and butterflies, I have found so much peace in reflecting on the changes that occurred, the lessons that were learned and the ways in which I hope to move forward and carry my personal growth into the upcoming year. Here are my top 10 takeaways from this past year.
1. You are in control of two things: your attitude and effort.
Though I can’t control the orders and restraint’s placed upon myself and the industry that I work in, I can control my attitude as our business continues to pivot time and time again. I can control how I show up for myself and those around me. And though I can’t control the way in which this pandemic has altered my life and the plans that I had for this year, I can control the blessings I CHOOSE to seek instead of the disappointments I could bury myself beneath.
2. Supporting small is essential.
As an employee and a partner to a local/small business owner, I have first-handily seen the impact and hardships placed upon businesses on a local level. This year has been sprinkled with moments of doubt, fear for the future and uncertainty as the days passed on and the income that once was, just plainly wasn’t anymore.
In 2020 alone, Amazon has grown by $570 billion dollars. On the flip side, over 100,000 small businesses across the country have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic. 2020 has been an encouraging reminder to be intentional about who I support, where I spend my money and the impact both can play inside our homes and within our cities.
3. Your physical health is important.
4. Your mental health is important.
Talk with people you trust. Lean on people you love and never be too “strong” to seek refuge or professional help.
5. If you can make it through quarantine together, you can do anything together.
I can’t imagine going through the past year without someone as funny, level headed and supportive as Thomas. This year took us on the ride of our lives and though it was nothing we excepted, I’m grateful I didn’t go through it alone. We definitely had our moments, but we worked hard to navigate a structure that worked best for both of us and worked even harder to build space between us when that was needed as well.
6. It’s important to feel pain, but it’s imperative not get stuck there.
8. We must constantly and consciously seek to do better and be better.
Amidst the seemingly ceaseless racial injustices across the country this year, I have worked to acknowledge my own biases and uncover the privilege’s within my own life that I’ve previously remained blind to. Black lives do matter. And it’s my duty to continuously learn, un-learn and do better as I work to become a true ally to the black lives within my community and around the world.
I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.Maya Angelou
9. Productivity isn’t a badge of honor. It’s okay to rest.
7. Grumbling and gratitude cannot hold the same space.
10. There is still HOPE.
There is still fear. There are still struggles and we are still subsiding in a world full of hurt. But there is still hope. No matter what you went through or the trenches you’re in, continue to have hope. There is hope in healthier days and in the long-awaited moments holding our loved ones near. There is happiness awaiting us right around the bend. Keep holding on. Keep choosing hope.
Carry on, warriors.