What I Learned in 2020, that I’m bringing to 2021

I can’t believe that 2020 is already coming to an end… it’s been quite the year for all of us! I really love the turn of the New Year. A new year can mean so many things, but for most (myself included) I always like to think of it as a fresh start filled with so many potentials and opportunities. I know 2020 did not pan out the way a lot of us (or most of us) could have anticipated, but I’m not going to let that cloud hang over my spirits for 2021.

2020 seemed like it was the most drawn-out yet, sped-up, chaotic year and I am welcoming 2021 with open arms. 2020 has taught me so much more than I ever thought a year could, and there are a few things that I don’t want to forget and bring with me into the new year.

Some days, you accomplish absolutely nothing

And that’s okay. I was furloughed from March – July and I focused on freelancing, blogging, and working on my overall physical/mental health. Some days I was a powerhouse and others I was so unmotivated to do anything except bake banana bread. On the days I did nothing, I would wake up the next morning feeling so frustrated with myself for wasting a day..but why. There’s no way to navigate or try and make a road map for something that you nor anyone in your circle has handled before. I learned to try and listen to whatever my mood was that day instead of trying to force it one way or another.

While we won’t always be in a pandemic (I hope), but the rules won’t change—real productivity comes in waves.

Personal space is a thing

I honestly don’t think I ever realized how close we stood to each other, in line at stores at restaurants, you name it. But when we first implemented a 6 feet social distancing rule, it felt so far. But now, I almost don’t mind it. I’m eagerly awaiting the day where masks aren’t mandatory and become a thing of the past.

With 6 feet of breathing room, we get some peace and don’t have to smell the person both in front and behind us. I don’t know that I’ll be awaiting the day that goes away.

Getting ready has everything to do with you

And nothing to do with getting up every day to go to work, or out to dinner. The majority of the days this year, I didn’t do my hair, I didn’t do my makeup, I didn’t get out of normal leisurewear. Then there were days where I would put on mascara and “normal” clothes and wonder why I didn’t do this more often. Sometimes, it was more so I could look in the mirror and not think “wow, you even look like you lost your job in hospitality in the middle of a global pandemic.” Getting dressed aka put together gave no one benefit but me and would get me the boost I needed to not spiral out of control some days.

Don’t stress out over a few lbs

Full disclosure, this is not me, but don’t we all wish we could take our own advice? Yeah, same. I do understand a little extra weight is nothing to be ashamed of in theory, I just can’t look at the number on the scale or myself the same way. But whatever. Maybe we gained a few extra lbs this year, but so freaking what. We survived 2020, the year where our lives as we knew them were turned upside down and we want to beat our poor bodies up over a few extra lbs?! C’mon, let’s give ourselves a break. We should think of our bodies as not always some future goal, but in the present with us…surviving.

Getting used to your bare face is a beautiful thing

I’m blessed with pretty even skin (but #beautycounter helps) and even so, I wore foundation and bronzer every day. During the lockdown, I became used to the normacity look of my face without anything on it. It’s almost weird how we become reliant on makeup so we can be satisfied with the way we look. Not that we can’t appreciate some brows or volumizing mascara or hey, even some concealer, but now hopefully we can throw on some moisturizer and lip gloss and walk out of the house without any hesitation.

No more waiting for the “right moment” or a “special occasion”

I no longer think about saving that bottle of wine or a bangin’ outfit for a big night or a special occasion. Not to sound too cliché, because like I really care, but life is short! We never know when we’re going to get to wear that outfit or get that promotion at work. I was so this person, where I’d randomly find an outfit I loved or the wine I brought back from Italy and was waiting for the right moment or shit, something to celebrate. And I’m over waiting. The right “whatever” is whenever you decide it should be. I’m here to say DO IT to popping the champagne on a Thursday after a long hard day at work, or YES to the third glass of wine on a Monday because that’s the only thing keeping you sane. Or even getting all dolled up to cook mac n cheese in the kitchen, but yes, let’s do it again cliche fam, life is worth living. And life itself is the special occasion.

Mental health is just as important as physical health

I’m a huge believer in intentional living, and try my best to live my daily life that way. Everyone now is talking about mental health, and the stigmas keep going away, as they should. We’re now realizing it’s okay to ask for help, or to admit that you’re having an off day and you don’t know why.

It’s why now (after how many months) is that “experts” are saying to take a few calculated risks with pods aka small bubbles of people that you feel comfortable seeing. Why schools are finally prioritizing sending kids back because it’s being seen how they too need the social interaction from their peers.

Self-care isn’t selfish

I’m sure deep down we all already knew this, but it was stigmatized into self-care is selfish. A hot bubble bath, a beach stroll, chatting with your best friend for hours, painting your nails, etc is all ways to stop and recharge. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

We have to be flexible

In March, none of us knew what was coming, how long this would last, or what even COVID19 really was. We had to create flexible lives, cancel trips, career aspirations, you name it. And focus on the moment. My focus shifted from my next trip, my next outing, my next move at work, to mine and my loved one’s health and safety. It shifted to making it through another day, another week, instead of looking and planning for the next 6 months, a year in the future. Not to mention, I focused highly on finding toilet paper, paper towels, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and flour.

We all could slow down

I’m a fast lane kinda person, with never-ending to do lists, energy, and I didn’t know how not to be like that. I thrived on it, and it felt counterintuitive not to do it. I learned that I could spend a whole day baking bread (that was mediocre) and then go sit on the couch and binge-watch Netflix and eat the whole thing. Not to mention, how I learned to enjoy that.

New Year's Eve Covid Style

Even me, the most enthusiastic “new year, new me” advocate is probably tempted to skip the whole setting intentions thing this year, considering I did hardly any of my 2020 intentions (all about the honesty here), read my list of 20 intentions for 2020 here.

But these things, I fought to learn and accept so they’re worth bringing into 2021. What have you learned in 2020 that you will be taking with you into 2021?

~ XOXO, the clear-minded & ready for 2021, Amanda // Blonde out of Water

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Hey there!

I’m Amanda, the blonde behind the blog a twenty-something year old with a love of wine, weekends, and traveling. You’ll find bits of my life, travel guides, beauty, food & of course, my pup Gatsby. I’m so happy you’re here & I hope you enjoy the blog as much I as I enjoy creating it! Cheers!


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