Thursday, 31 December 2020

A Look Back At 2020

So I'm backdating this post to 31/12/2020 because it's now 11/1/2021 and I'm JUST writing this. Life has been so busy but I'm thankful. It made the last 3 months of self-imposed home isolation pass in a blink of an eye. For that, I'll forever be grateful because I would not have been able to survive another slow 3 months at home. 

2020 has been crazy. Let's be honest with each other here. It's been terrible but it's also been good. I'm certainly one of those people who fall in the "I'm so glad for 2020" because if there was no 2020, there wouldn't be a wake-up call for people like me. 

So let's start with good news okay. 

1. I picked up many new things. New skills. New friends. New ideas. 

All in the midst of a lockdown. All in the midst of no physical interactions. Because while the physical may not be encouraged, the virtual is an open world. I learnt new methods to implement in my businesses. I picked up new investing knowledge. I learnt how to play an online game, met some pretty cool people and also got LittleLim to learn with me. I learnt to adapt and be flexible. I learnt to be a more present parent and be more involved with the kids education. I learnt new tips to improve my art. I learnt how to start a business. 

2. I restarted my art business. And grew it. 

StickgirlProductions was a dream I had when I was 21. Who would have guessed 10 years later, I would bring it back from the dead. This time, I even made my own line of merchandises. Months spent planning and then spending on samples to find the right vendors. It's been an amazing journey and I'm so happy it has helped me connect and reconnect with my contacts. 

3. We lived in comfort. 

I was telling Hubbycat what a luxury it is to be able to stay 3/4 of the year at home without missing the outside world much. It means we have sufficient space and activities at home. Which is true because the kids find new things to do every day and have not run out of toys yet. 

4. We got closer. 

This is the first time since we were all stuck together. The last time was the first year of LittleLim's life. That was 4 years ago. Since then we've always been busy with life - work, socials, responsibilities. We are hardly ever home. The kids have also gotten used to playing in the office or be on the go. This year, we were all stuck at home. I thought it would drive me mad, but it's been a blessing. We have gotten closer. The kids are better siblings to each other. 

5. New and Better ideas. 

We had grand plans for 2020. I remember feeling so proud of all the things we were set to do. And then COVID hit and everything was put on hold. I felt so rejected and frustrated. Today, I realised it was a blessing in disguise. We grew stronger and replanned everything. Back to the drawing board. What turned up, plan 2.0 is better. Newer and better. 

6. Streamlining. 

Life is too short for negativity, bad vibes, toxic people and bad habits. If anything was necessary for 2020, it's learning how short life is and appreciating the good and discarding the bad. This year I was selfish. I'm not even going to try to hide it. I was selfish, I choose my family and I. I chose to focus on us. I thought about us first. Because I was just so tired of thinking about everyone else and everything else. I was tired of giving and giving without getting anything in return. I was sick and tired of being taken for granted and drained like mad. I did things that were painful but I'm glad I did. 2020 was a year where I put back into myself. And I'm reaping the rewards now. 


For the bad news.

1. LittleLim got diagnosed with severe myopia and amblyopia. 

This was the most heartbreaking thing for me in 2020. More so than having my plans kicked back. Because I didn't suspect anything. What was supposed to be a routine check ended up needing months of therapy and treatments. While it was heartbreaking, it also showed me what a strong baby girl I have. Not once was there a complaint from her. I never had to force her to do her treatments or go for theraphy. She took it all on her own. She never cries whenever she had to do all the drops, dilation tests, machine tests, eye checks. Never. Maybe once or twice she would feel annoyed especially after a long day, but she will still do the necessary. 

And recently our last doctor check-up has shown that her amblyopia has improvements and her short-sightedness (myopia) have actually decreased. So proud of her and for taking charge of her life at just 5 years old. The maturity of this kid. I was also telling my friend whose child has recently recovered from a life-threatening sickness as well: Kids are so resilient. They know what to do to recover and will do whatever it takes for it. 

2. Saying Good-Bye.

Death is always final. I lost a few friends this year. My heart still breaks whenever I think about them and the friendships lost. I don't have any fancy words to explain death. It's the circle of life. I cherish the memories and thankful for the blessing of knowing them. And hopefully, one day, we'll see each other soon. 

3. Emotional Health

I had a slide in the beginning of lockdown. And there were days where I just felt unreasonably angry and irritated. Anger being my number one friend, it always reminded me it was there. But for the most part, I'm in a much better place now. But the first month was crazy - I was a mess. Big mess.


Now the lessons. 

1. Be adaptable. Be flexible. 

You are not a tree. You're allowed to move. Get on with the times. If you stay stuck you die. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep improving. 

If anything 2020 has taught us, we need to change our ways of doing things. So many businesses failed. But at the same time, so many shifted to virtual and thrived. You are responsible. 2020 may suck, but how you react... that's all on you.

2. Life stops when YOU stop.

The one month of lockdown where I was not doing anything was the most miserable I've ever felt. I felt like I was wasting away. Until I decided to do something. Life doesn't stop at death. Life stops when you stop. When you stop trying. When you stop doing things.


And there's 2020 round up. 2021, whatever you have installed, I pray you're filled with laughs, good memories and fresh beginnings too. 

Happy 2021 Everyone!


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