So long, 2020! While we’re hoping our COVID-19 woes will disappear in the new year, we know we’re still a long way from any semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. To say 2020 was difficult may be the understatement of the century. Even with its obstacles and disappointments, it wasn’t my worst year and, for that, I’m grateful.
For many years, I’ve set aside time in late December to reflect on what went well and lessons learned throughout the year. As we close this chapter, even after a year like no other, I believe it’s important to continue this tradition.
What I learned in 2020
- There’s a group of people we classify as essential workers. Essential does not seem to be a powerful enough word to describe the work this group carries out while risking their lives for the rest of us.
- Sudden, drastic changes bring out the worst and the best in people.
- There are many things I thought I could not live without that the last nine months proved me wrong.
- Communication is always important, even more so during crises.
- We meet people who make a difference in our lives, and it’s a gift to show how much we appreciate them.
- Professional leaders who regularly communicated – openly and honestly – with their teams during the pandemic earned their dedication.
- One of the greatest gifts you can share with someone is genuine gratitude.
- Generosity, kindness, and compassion are thriving.
- People choose what they believe.
- Facts and science do not impress everyone.
- Politics continues to get uglier.
- Everyone makes mistakes, some large, some small. The important thing is to recognize them and fix the situations.
- Not every job will be your best or favorite. Every experience has value, and we can learn from all of them.
- Feeling valued is one of the best feelings.
- I like working from home, and I miss the office camaraderie.
- When life changes and your routine shifts, it’s helpful (ok, critical) to find new ways to practice self-care.
- You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but whoever says you can’t or shouldn’t make friends at work is wrong.
- After an initial break for the first few weeks of the pandemic, continuing to hike throughout this turbulent time was a lifesaver.
- Allowing myself to gain weight, because I know I can take it off down the road, is not a good strategy.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe, and successful new year! I’m looking forward to better times ahead and seeing everything we accomplish in 2021.