Jennifer Zelazny

Random and Opinionated Thoughts

Lessons Learned from 2020

This and That
Posted by: Jennifer Zelazny | 0 Comments

Here are ten takeaways/thoughts about 2020 that will forever shape my life.

  1. We can do hard things. How many times have I overheard this on Peloton? This year has been hard for me and my family, but I know we will all walk away from this and be able to tell future generations how we made the best of a hard situation but did what was asked/needed of us to help the greater good.
  2. Space has once again been redefined. Home offices, home gyms, virtual school, outdoor restaurant tents, driveways as places to gather…the list goes on.
  3. We all live in our own realities. This is not new but we were smacked in the face with this each and every day. Our definitions of responsibilities, actions, and choices might not always match up with the people around us…but it is ok. Perhaps the hardest lesson for me to learn in 2020 – but perhaps the most valuable.
  4. It is ok to be still. having a family/kids can mean a lot of running around and constant movement. It took me many months to be ok with just sitting with myself and being present vs.always thinking about what was next.
  5. Perspective is everything. This year caused a lot of us to feel sorry/bad for ourselves but it is important to realize while we had to do hard things like virtual school – some people lost family members, homes, did not have enough to eat, etc. When you find yourself feeling bad for yourself – think about others and what you can do to help people in real need.
  6. Always be kind. In a year where people fought each other over politics or even just wearing a mask – it is always important to take a breath and then remember we are all going through something. Choose kindness (and perhaps take a few more breaths before confronting someone if it is heated).
  7. Be able to identify truth. I greatly value my liberal arts education, especially all my classes that put value on understanding sources (who, what, when, why). Being able to look at sources is invaluable (and needs to be focused on more so now than ever) when trying to go through news and social media. Never stop questioning the source…you will find the truth (and/or motive).
  8. Either trust science or don’t. Just please choose and own it. Not everyone is smart or dedicated enough to be a doctor or even better – at the top of your field. Let’s not pretend we have the same access to information with a true understanding as the highest qualified professionals.
  9. Have a mission. Early on in the quarantine I read something about how astronauts were able to spend time in the International Space Station as long as they could in isolation by focusing on specific tasks/missions. Over the past several months – I have focused on maintaining a regimented schedule (which has helped greatly), not missing one day of running a mile or more a day since June, and working out to be the strongest I have ever been. All of these things have helped get through these days/months.
  10. We need each other. Not only have we been going through a pandemic, our democracy is being tested, businesses are failing, and we are forgetting that we all do much better with everything when we work together. If nothing else good comes from 2020 – I hope we come out of all this realizing we (as Americans, as family members, as friends, and as citizens of the world) can accomplish anything when we put our differences aside and work together.