Well, let’s face it. It hasn’t been our day or week or month or EVEN our year!! The memes had a field day, the internet went wild, and no one even wanted to chance a guess at what lay ahead. 2020 has gotten its reputation as the year that sucked the most but wait a minute. Was it really that bad?
Indians tell Bingedaily their one takeaway from 2020. What’s yours?
Did 2020 give you time to connect with yourself?
Snowy Baptista, an ardent lover of wildlife and conservation of habitats, says 2020 was a difficult time for many in different ways. “However, in this maze of dull sights, I realised that I am privileged to be blessed in a multitude of aspects.”
“I connected with myself spiritually, a self I'd seem to have forgotten in the rush of ambition and passion. It taught me to find peace in the chaos existing internally and externally and to have faith, hope and love as guiding principles. I understood the simple reality that we are in a journey of learning, sharing and praying and not a ‘strive to thrive’.”
The year taught us that less is more
Avinash Chauhan, a PhD Research scholar says contrary to what he otherwise thought, being by himself was not in the least discomforting. The lockdown proved it. “Solitude was good. Nourishing, in fact. I was and continue being at home by myself, and what’s more, is that I feel complete. There’s books, skies, trees, art, animals, voices of distant Earth and the Internet.”
“Days which seemed monotonous at first were actually richer than ever. 2020 got me to come to terms with the fact that I am privileged. My heart goes out to all those having a tough time during this pandemic.”
2020 was a year that taught gratitude
Dhruv Uppal takes away a lot from this year, but there’s one thing that stands out. Gratitude. It is ironical for a year that everyone seemed to despise. Ironical that a horrid year with everything going wrong could actually bring out those positive emotions. “2020 taught me to appreciate the things I have. I know it does sound cliche, but it is the real deal. Everyone would chatter about mental health and the importance of it, but I think it was only in 2020 that people began considering this in a big big way.”
Whatever the year did wrong, there was something it did put right. Family time was an aspect that was missing for a lot many of us. With busy schedules and routines that had no time for anything else, a few special moments with loved ones were missed. But the lockdown forced us to shut in with our families. “Family is important. Probably the most important thing. And one of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt is to never give up. You never know what’s around the corner.”
The year was the biggest teacher of happiness
Rachel Lopez, a journalist with The Hindustan Times figured that being happy is a conscious and continuous process. True to the adage, when life gave her lemons she decided to do what best she could with them. “Every night since March, a couple of friends and I have composed and shared a list of 10 things that made us happy that day. These could range from the simplest things like aceing a recipe or managing to squeeze in a weekday nap or even the big blessings such as having a job and working from home in a flooded or scorching city.”
Rachel says it started as a way to pull one friend out of a depressive spiral, but it helped immensely. “It taught me to count my privileges every day, appreciate details and see life in moments not hours. Nine months of lists have yielded a rich repository of joy, more welcome than a gloomy flashback of 2020.”
2020 put a forced stop to the busy life
“2020 went by either sanitizing, taking a shower, learning to cook healthy, exercise, taking multivitamins that I didn't know I needed, and sometimes it was just me staring at the clock,” says Chiarra Fernandes an Education Consultant with Uni-Italia, India.
She points to the highlights of the year - “making sure that your friends were okay, lots of videos calls, mama teaching you the secret family recipe, making new friends, connecting with old friends, sharpening your skills and just loving each other,” and says that it may seem like a year that wasn’t much. But there’s a catch.
“It forced us to stop.”
“We learned about our bodies and taking care of them, learnt how to enrich our minds, and our souls and discovered spirituality in our own homes. For me, this year will always be the one where no one said they were busy. Even if they were, they'd make time.”
“Here's to a (insert adjective here) 2021. I hope that whatever you believe, floats your boat.”
A lesson of 2020: self-care is no longer pretence
Shilpi Mandal, a PhD research scholar equates the year to a roller-coaster ride. “This year has been unlike nothing else that anyone in our generation has ever seen. I wouldn't want to change anything this year. It taught me, quite literally, that anything that happens, happens for the best.”
In everyday life, there are posts, adverts and even books speaking about the importance of self-care and everyone strives to show the world that they follow this therapy religiously. “2020 changed the game. Self-care became more important than pretence. Toxic situations, family, friends were called out.”
Shilpi says that while some cut off ties, others were isolated. “Many could not deal with being alone and having just themselves and the four walls for company. My heart goes out to them. I wish to hug them sooner than they can think and tell them that we are all in this together. Love triumphs over all else.”
Did you rebuild yourself once again?
Vaishnavi Mohite researches in the area of Cognitive Science. She sums up 2020 in a line, ‘No matter how strong you think you are, you can break.’
“People pay a significant role in our lives. No matter how solitary a being you are, you are sensitive to the kind of energy people around you radiate. The shell of protection that we build around ourselves can't protect us from our own loneliness.”
According to her, the voids that people have in their hearts are filled with tiny moments of joy that strangers bring. “You can't discount the role the whole of humanity plays in making you who you really are. This year, I lost everything that made me stay sane and I rebuilt myself again.”
In the process, Vaishnavi says, she has grown to fully understand what ‘being yourself’ truly means. “It's hard to feel comfortable in your own company all the time. It's even harder if you don't know who you are or worse, who you have been.”