5 Lessons I’ve learnt looking back on a challenging yet unique year

When I ended 2019, it was on a high note. I felt like I had everything sorted, and everything was looking up. I was viewing 2020 with much hope, anticipation and optimism.

And somewhere around March 2020, the world, as we know it, went pear-shaped.

Gosh, what a ride it has been since then!

2020 year that was

I can’t say however, that is has all been bad for me, personally. It has been challenging, but I can count myself lucky that I have not been personally seriously impacted by the events of 2020.

Yet, there are some lessons I can take away from everything that’s happened this year. I will share some with you (and you can share yours with me too!) 🙂

2020 Lesson: Tolerance and compromise

When you’ve been comfortable in your own space for a long time, having someone else in the same space can feel a little strange. Enter the person I call ‘MCO Mate’.

We had spent much time together in the last few months of 2019, but the Great Lockdown of 2020 quite literally thrust us into each other’s company 24/7.

To be honest, it wasn’t too bad. We are homebodies, so not being able to go out suited us fine. Eating in suited us fine too.

Yet, there are little niggly things that can irritate or even build resentment, if you allow it to. It’s only to be expected that people have different traits and habits and it involves tolerance and compromise on everyone’s part to keep the peace.

But I’ve also learnt to let someone else do things for me, to ask for help, and to share burdens, concerns and joy.

2020 taught me tolerance and compromise, and to share my space. Not only with another human, but with a dog too! 😀

Which brings me to the 2nd lesson I learnt in 2020.

2020 Lesson: Patience

In January 2020, I picked up a puppy, and named him Sherlock.

sherlock mws

We spent lockdown with Sherlock, and it was educational for me.

I had to dig deep to find every last bit of patience I had, for I swear, there were times when I was quite literally at my wits end. I’ve woken up to be greeted by poo and pee, to exiting my shower to see my sofa’s stuffing all over the floor, to having him chew up his beds, to having my arm and legs ripped to shreds by his shark-like puppy teeth.

“It gets better when they are older” everyone assures me.

Well, he’s now 1 year old, which makes him almost an adult, and I can say that it does get better. But not because they get older. They get better with a lot (and I mean A LOT) of training (and a lot of dog treats!).

It takes a deep well of patience to slowly mould him and train him to be a better pup, and I’m happy to say that it’s finally paying off. He’s still a crazy little one, but he is much more settled, and more likely to listen, instead of trying to rip my arm off LOL! My scars have almost healed too 😛

But there is really no better gift for me this year than my pup. He has been a joy to be with, to discover, and to observe. He helped the days in lockdown pass more quickly and easily, and he gave purpose and structure to the day. He taught me that I cannot rush things.

I could not rush his potty-training. I could not rush his obedience. I had to be patient with him, and with myself.

He has been wonderful for our mental health, even if he still drives us nuts sometimes 😛

2020 Lesson: You have enough

With being forced to stay home while the pandemic rampages outside, I had time to take a long hard look at what I had, and what I needed.

ysl toy lou lou bag, skinlex alpha arbutin serum, cerave moisturizing cream

And I realised that I had enough of most things.

  • I have enough clothes – there was no need to pop by Uniqlo every other week 😛 Besides, who was going anywhere anymore?
  • I have enough skincare – I have been accumulating skincare for years, and now was the time to use it all up! I didn’t buy a lot this year, primarily due to the shipping problems and due to economic uncertainty, but I have enough to last me a while.
  • I have more than enough makeup – I didn’t take any video meetings so I went for months without putting on a lick of makeup. As much as I enjoy wearing it, it will be a while before I feel the need to buy more.
  • I have enough food – I hadn’t realised until the pandemic hit, just how many people were struggling on a daily basis to put food on the table. So many people lost their jobs or failed to earn a daily wage due to businesses closing down or scaling down operations. It opened my eyes to just how much people were struggling, and it made me very sad, and very angry at the people in power, who weren’t doing enough, or anything to address this.

There are different schools of thought when it comes to spending at a time like this.

For some, spending helps businesses stay afloat. For others, saving in the face of economic uncertainties is paramount.

In my view, there’s no right answer to this. The only thing we can do is to spend within our means, and to ensure there is some little saved away, because we just don’t know how long this will last.

2020 Lesson: Going outdoors

With a pup on hand, I was quite literally forced outdoors, the minute we could head out. Puppers needs his morning walk, and hat-tip to all dog owners, it actually helps them stay calmer through the day!

The upshot of this is that I’m now frantically slathering sunscreen on to prevent burning and tanning too much. It isn’t working that well to be honest haha!

I have found a new sunscreen to love, that I find protects my skin well from the harsh sun when I’m out in the mornings.

avene very high protection mineral cream spf50+

But I’ve neglected my arms and legs, and well, I guess I’m having to remedy that!

But being outdoors has been good for me, even if it’s taking a toll on my skin. There is much to be said for feeling the sun on your skin (within moderation) and the fresh air in your face. It makes you feel alive, and if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that we should not take the great outdoors for granted.

It’s also been good for my overall health. I walk 2-3km a day, which is good for puppers and good for me. It lets me eat more of the food I like, and it makes me feel healthier, and better. It’s a bonus that my clothes fit better too! 😀

2020 Lesson: You can’t do it all

You’d think that with all that time on my hands at home, I’d be able to keep up with blogging, Instagram, a new business venture and daily life.

Apparently, you can’t do it all 😛

What I learnt in 2020 is to balance spending time in real life with those who matter, and everything else. It taught me to shut down when I had to, which I did for a month or so on the blog.

I’ve been tardy on Instagram as well, where I pop in and out, so I am very thankful and grateful for everyone who’s still reading the blog and following me on Instagram.

What it taught me is to prioritise what matters, and that’s been a recurring theme throughout 2020 for me. I’ve learnt to not jump to do everything I can in one shot, and try to keep 20 balls in the air at once. At some point, it will all come tumbling down.

Now that I’ve gotten into the swing of things, I can safely say that I will be able to manage my time better next year (barring any unforseen surprises of course!) so I’ll be better about keeping up appearances on the blog 🙂

How did 2020 fare for you? Did you learn any lessons along the way?

So that’s my look back at 2020.

It’s been a challenging year for everyone. But it has most certainly been a unique one too.

That said, I am glad to see its back, and I’m looking forward to 2021 🙂


Paris B