December is the month when people start to review what they have achieved in the past 12 months and plan for the next. It's usually between these days, when you thought to yourself, that you've wasted another 365 days of your life. But this year, what else can we do?
2020 sure is underwhelming in all sorts of ways. There was (…and there still is) a world pandemic. There are already a bunch of articles about how 2020 is the shittiest year of all. On that note, we will focus on the simple things that we can be grateful for in 2020.
In my previous article, we discussed how we only have 3 hours to spend freely on a typical day. However, if you were in a lockdown, you have almost 24 hours to do anything. The time spent commuting, eating out, queueing, or shopping is reduced to nearly zero. You can practically do anything that you've been planning to do during this time, that is if you can do it at home.
The extra free time inspired a lot of people to unleash their creative mind. Some people I follow on Twitter started a podcast, built plug-ins for design tools, or even created new businesses. And as for me, I started the Tiny Wisdom.
It is also okay to spend the extra hours taking your sweet time to chill and relax. After all, we are all stuck at home in the midst of a shitty situation.
During this pandemic, it is unavoidable for us to not think about our future. In one way or another, a lot of us has been affected by the pandemic. You may get a salary cut, lost your job, or even forced to close down your business.
So if you did not manage to do anything during the pandemic, I believe you have at least put some thought about your future.
If you still have your job, you should be grateful. You have something that a lot of people are looking for. On the other hand, if you have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, I am sorry for what you've been through. Take your time to process what's happening, organize your thoughts, then start planning ahead.
The only thing that we can do right now is to chin up and move forward.
Whether it has influenced you directly or not, this uncertain time gave us something in common: a moment to contemplate. Take this chance to review your current path in life, assess your options, and ask for other people's feedback.
Due to the lockdown and travel restrictions, we've never felt more isolated than before. This made us realize the importance of our relationships with other people and how we have been taking it for granted. Imagine how normal it was to see your coworkers every day and having a night out with your friends on the weekend.
As someone who lives abroad away from my closest friends and families, I felt an urge to connect with them daily. I spoke to my friends and families more than I have before now because of how serious the situation was, and because we knew that we won't be able to meet shortly. We were far apart, but we were alone together.
If you haven't, take some time to call or text your friends and family.
One of the biggest thing that has been affected by the pandemic was our work culture. We were restricted to go to the office and were required to work from home. It was hard to adjust for some people in specific industries and even more challenging for parents who need to work while taking care of their kids at home.
This year, many people started to make their own home offices, and it was a fun project to do for most of us. There was even a contest to show off your home office setup, both for the "raddest" home office and the "saddest".
Offices used to be skeptical of letting people work from home. Now, companies are more lenient to support working from home, and some even get rid of their offices. It might be hard at first, but in the long run, the flexibility to work anywhere is an improvement towards the overall work culture.
We should be grateful for being able to feel thankful after all that has happened for the past 12 months. 2020 was a pain in the ass, but it also serves as a learning experience. It has taught us so much about our lives, careers, relationships, and the things we never really thought were unusual.
We used to be able to travel anywhere we want to. Working in the office and exchanging banters with coworkers was normal. Eating out, going to the cinema, and taking a walk without masks on was something that we were never really grateful for.
It was tough to perceive this situation as a positive experience, and you know why. But as hard as it gets, it will only get more challenging over time if we direct our attention on the negative side of it all. Negativity consumes you, but positive thoughts give you hope.
2020 might be the worst year in our lives, and I doubt 2021 would be the best. But at least, let's make the next 12 months better than the previous.