Hindsight: The Lessons of 2020


If, while navigating the madness of 2020, you’ve seen a relationship or other personal opportunity clearly for the first time, I applaud you. For anyone who hasn’t learned at least one life lesson during this crazy year, I say, you haven’t been paying attention!

In these s-l-o-w moving past few months, it’s become more and more apparent that amid the scary unknowns and heart-wrenching scenarios of what won’t be remembered as a banner year, hidden rays of light have emerged. It sounds like a deep, philosophical concept, but it’s really quite simple. Ask those in your inner circle, and you’ll likely see they’ve made at least one personal discovery in the last few months that might not have appeared had our daily lives not been turned upside down.

As the familiar saying goes, hindsight is often 20/20 – a moment to think “if we’d only known better” – but in our new reality, perhaps it took the calendar year actually turning to 2020 to enlighten us on what matters most. What are you seeing more clearly now?

Personally, I’ve seen much more clearly that my sons are both adults. Sure, I KNEW they were 24 and 29, but this year has brought their grown-up versions front and center as we’ve discussed love, hate, and our society’s shortcomings, all of which came very close to home. I dare say many families have joined in tough conversations recently and were blessed to see emerging wisdom in their offspring, and on a global level like never before!

Perhaps what you saw clearly for the first time came during some unexpected weeks off work, where a new passion for an old hobby has led to a new career path or a freelance opportunity. Even more life-changing, maybe your personal vision showed you with crystal clear clarity that working from home is NOT your dream scenario. (You are not alone!)

Maybe in these months of growth despite upheaval, you’ve drawn your friends closer to you – even if it couldn’t be in person. I’ll bet your bond grew a bit stronger and when you hug next, it will be a little tighter. I’ve heard many women admit they realized during 2020 distancing just how much the support and camaraderie among friends fuels their life. You’ve realized those girls’ night out dinners were ultimately the very best kind of therapy.

You’ve hopefully noticed some strengths in yourself you hadn’t tapped before, such as creativity and adaptability, which are both crucial life skills. They’ve been with you all along, but now you’ve been tested by a complete overhaul in your daily schedule, in your spending habits, and possibly in your self-care routine. But you’ve found new ways to stay on top of what you can control, and found joy in simple moments.

I also imagine I’m not the only one who has seen that many of the truths of my life thus far, were not true at all, and that many of the ideas I had believed in for over 50 years now needed questioning.

Maybe these months weren’t so much a time of determining who had the most “essential” job, but instead, finding out what was truly most important to our own well-being. Five years from now, the word essential will mean something entirely different – we will be talking about “life essentials” such as the people you share your home with, and the values you believe in.

Looks like we won’t be needing those rose-colored glasses now to see only what we want to see; we’ve been given the quirky – and exhausting – gift of 2020 to lead us to the best that is yet to come!


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