And will never forget until I die…
I bet each of you will never forget this turbulent year, but I especially have things that I will take away as lessons learned. In 2020, we, as a people, had to learn how to adjust our ideology about living our lives in harmony with plenty of surpluses. Most of us took things for granted. Most were living the life that they were privileged to have all of these years. We had come to expect our “privileged” life. Last year, and so far 2021, have shown us that we need to not only adjust — but lean into our new normal. We dodged hurdles that were put in front of us that we never saw coming. I think even psychics were thrown a curve ball with this trajectory that we are on.
Unless there are more pandemics to come (in our lifetime), we might not see such a change that humanity is currently enduring. I hope we never have to experience such a loss, sickness, and loneliness again in our lifetime. If we have to go down this path and journey this rugged road again, I will take these lessons with me.
First Lesson — Never take anything or anyone for granted.
This might be hard for some to process since we take things for granted quite often. Family, friends, jobs, money, and your time should never be something that is a guarantee. We walk around with a false sense of entitlement that all the things we cherish will not come to an end. In this pandemic, I have lost several family members, friends, associates, and my fiance. Yes, my fiance. Did I take him for granted? Yes. Did I think he would always be here? Yes. Did I think I would never crack under the pressure of grief? Yes. Everyone is guilty of taking things and people for granted, and you can’t say that you have not done that. It is human. We have all done it. I have taken time to write in a gratitude book daily to remember the blessings that have happened to me during this time, even when it is hard to find many to talk about.
Second Lesson — Pandemics don’t end they just evolve.
Like most people (hmmm, maybe not everyone), I had never thought I would live through a pandemic that would take the lives of so many people. Yes, we had Ebola, which was absolutely horrible, but just like most Americans, we never thought it would hit us, nor did we think it would affect the entire world. We had heard of the Spanish Flu, we had heard of other illnesses throughout the world, but most were not prepared to endure something like this. At least, I was not. We have to educate ourselves on these types of things instead of waiting for the next one to come. Even though this feels like a horrible sci-fi movie — it is reality.
Third Lesson — Find your peace
Peace is defined in many ways. You find your peace as an individual. What might be best for you is not always best for another person. I might find my peace in a warm bath while another person may find their peace at the bottom of a bottle of tequila. Either way, find it. Embrace it. Don’t stop until you know what is and how to satisfy your soul. In a time like this, peace is the only thing that we have control over. Peace within. Peace is something that may also change over time. Peace was sipping on a chai latte with extra sugar. Now it is sitting, resting comfortably in my purple suede chair in the corner of my bedroom. Find your peace before you crack under the pressure of not having any at all.
We need to come to grips that once this pandemic is over, there is another one around the corner. Maybe not in the next several years or decades, but another one is coming. Will we be prepared? Will we learn from the lessons of 2020 and 2021? How will you prepare, and most importantly, what will we remember from our past mistakes?