It’s been a visionary but foggy year and a half, hasn’t it? As we all experience the ups and downs of these unprecedented times of living through a pandemic, I’ve been self-reflecting and have learned many lessons throughout 2020-2021.
Prior to the world-changing, I was a slave to my work but I craved the madness. Working 2 roles in 1 was exhausting but I let it define me. Often times we define ourselves by what we do and our job titles. During this time of self-reflection, I’ve learned much about myself.
Here are six lessons I’ve learned in 2021.
I Learned It’s OK to Slow Down
Prior to the-you-know-what, I was fortunate to have worked for a company I loved! The restaurant industry is go-go-GO! And I lived for the rush! The downside? I was living for my work and missing many holidays and birthdays of friends and family. Living in this current time made me realize – work is not my life. It forced me to see it’s ok; in fact, necessary to slow down.
Slowing down has allowed me to focus on my loved ones, focus on myself, and really appreciate the little and simple things in life! And you know what? I’m not mad at the slow down. I’ve come to really embrace it. 😉
I Learned the Importance of Gratitude
Slowing down has instilled in me the importance of gratitude and appreciation of even the minute things in life. You never realize how much (unconsciously or consciously) you may have taken for granted until everything around you has stopped. Every day is a new beginning, and every day there is something to express gratitude for! I’m learning to express my gratitude for every little thing in life. Keeping a gratitude journal has helped me realize there is always something to be grateful for!
I Learned to Embrace Solitude
I could hear my thoughts. There were no distractions of people, which felt unwelcoming. However, it was something that I had to welcome. There’s beauty in being in silence and embracing your own company. Because of that, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know myself in a more comforting way. Being in solitude has helped me know myself more, improve my relationships with friends and family, and get rid of toxic people who do not serve my well-being at this current time in my life. What else? I’ve come to love expressing myself through any form of creative workflow – something I may have not fully realized before.
I Seek My Own Approval
Jay Shetty made a Podcast episode on why we crave external validation and it made me reflect. We seek the approval of others because we don’t trust ourselves enough and feel insecure. However, taking a year off of social media, and reflecting in my bullet journal, I’ve found a new comfort within myself. I’ve realized confidence is something I’ve struggled with. But I have learned recently that you cannot go wrong with trusting yourself. I trust in myself more than I’ve ever done before. I don’t find myself seeking the approval of others’ opinions as much because I’ve grown to trust my decisions. If I made a mistake I welcome it and use it as a learning experience.
Being Present in the Now!
Often times I find myself worrying about the future. When I find myself worrying about a future that has yet to come, I ask myself the question how is this serving me? I can’t predict the future, but I can be present and enjoy this very moment. So why not? I find such joy and happiness when I am fully present at the moment be it at lunch or dinner catching up with friends, enjoying a morning cup of coffee in silence, going for a walk, and enjoying the scenery around me. When you find yourself worrying ask yourself why worry about a future I currently know nothing about? Sure, we can mold it in our present. But the worry of the future is making you miss out on many great things that are happening right now!
Pleasure in the simple things
You know the saying “it’s the little things in life that matter most!” and my gosh is that true! I find such joy in going for a walk, going for a scenic drive, or staying home and doing an at-home manicure. The simple things tend to have the most impact on our lives. And oftentimes are the most memorable. Like going out for ice cream with family! I encourage you to make a list every month of simple things you’d like to enjoy and go through with it! What simple things will you find pleasure in?
Those Were Six lessons I learned in 2021 …
As we make a slow return to normalcy … my hope is when all this is fully over, we have become able to be more compassionate towards ourselves, to be kinder to one another and ourselves, and know that together we can truly get through any obstacle. Tell me, what are your lessons learned from this world-changing event?
xx Zee xx