There’s something about the challenges of 2020 that have taken me back to the year my dad died in 2016. Although they’re very different circumstances, I still find myself drawing parallels between the two because of one common denominator: change.
Although we experience change daily, like the change in weather or our schedules, many of these minor adjustments to our day to day life are expected and don’t really affect us. But what about the big (sometimes unexpected) changes in our life? Like the new jobs, the breakups, the losses, and the big events that hit us with no prior warning. While some of us thrive off change and take it in our stride when life throws a curveball, others (me) are lovers of routine and absolutely hate things not going to plan.
Whatever life throws at us, we deal with it differently. The last four years have been filled with so many changes and challenges. They’ve taught me that it’s not the circumstances or events that happen but how we handle them that dictates how they’ll affect our lives. It’s also taught me not to be fearful of what’s to come but instead accept that all good things (and bad) come to an end. I like to think I have some sort of control over my life but also accept that I don’t over most of the big stuff, and that’s okay.
While this year has brought a fresh new set of challenges, there are a few lessons 2020 can teach us about change and why it’s not always a bad thing.
1. Life can change in an instant, so don’t put things off
I’m not talking about the washing or your household chores but the big things. Like taking that course you’ve been talking about, going on that trip, or reconnecting with an old friend. We really cannot predict what’s around the corner. We think we have time, and sometimes we don’t.
2. The only constant in life is change
Nothing stays the same—not our friendship circles, our houses, our jobs. We were built to evolve, adapt, and move on. The good times do end, but so do the bad times. If it weren’t for change, none of it would be possible.
3. You can’t prepare for everything in life, so don’t waste your time trying to
You can’t predict the future, so getting worked up over worst case scenarios that haven’t even happened yet is a waste of energy. Try to only focus on the here and now. While the thought of not knowing what’s to come can be scary, it also means that some of the best days of our lives are still ahead of us, and how exciting is that?
4. Control what you can but accept there is far more that you’ll never be in control of
Make peace with that sooner rather than later.
5. Life never goes the way you plan it to and that’s actually a good thing
FIve-year plans and 10-year plans give us the illusion of control. But what we think we want in the future and what actually happens very rarely pans out the way we thought it would. I look back on what I thought my life would look like now and it’s drastically different and in so many ways I’m grateful for it.
So before we write off 2020, it might have taught us more than we think.