The lessons I learned from 2020

The year that was 2020


The year 2020 will go down in history as the mother-of-all disasters. At least, as far as I know!

The only blessing is the number of lessons it’s taught us. We have learned to look at everything with a fresh perspective and with a whole lot of wisdom we wouldn’t have had, otherwise. We do take everything for granted, don’t we? So, we did need these lessons. Although, not at the cost of our lives!

To say that 2020 has been a trying year, would be an understatement.

Full of uncertainty, of fear and panic, of disappointments, of anguish, depression, and hopelessness. But, it’s also been an eye-opener for us all, despite all that we have been through

We did begin the lockdown period in March doing everything to keep our spirits high. But then, as time started to pass and the horrid reality began to sink in, we realised it’s going to be much worse, much more difficult to fathom and live through.

My anxiety hit me hard initially. But, I am grateful for my art that saw me through it all. And, for my writing that helped me shut out the noise and focus on just creating to maintain my mental balance.

Today, as I look back at the year that 2020 has been, I would like to only focus on what it taught me.

Maybe it’s this positivity that has seeped into me through the difficult days. Not that I am always positive. There are days when my mindset is in a state of utter despair; days when I see no light at the end of the tunnel; days when I wish the world would come to an end and we would be saved from the suffering.

But, there are also days when I force myself to focus on the positive, see the rainbows amidst the greys, the hope amidst all the despondency. Maybe today is such a day.

So, here’s what I learned from this year.

Lessons from 2020


Life happens when we are busy planning life.

However much prepared we are for the worst, when the worst does come knocking at our doors, we aren’t prepared enough.

We will have to endure the adversity, live through it, breathe it every day, as long as it lasts.

Nothing lasts forever.

“This, too, shall pass” needs to be our mantra to help see us through the dark nights.

It helps to focus on the moment. It’s pointless thinking/planning about the future. The present is all we really have. The future’s just a mirage.

You learn to connect with yourself during times of distancing. And, it is liberating, indeed!

Only our closest few friends will stand by us through thick or thin. Even if they are a thousand miles away.

You learn to choose your battles and trivialise that which doesn’t warrant a dispute.

Silence is golden. Lack of communication and socialising can be a blessing, at times. It gives you the space and energy to meditate on that which is enlightening.

Things rarely go as planned. Go with the flow. Take just one day at a time, one moment at a time, and give it your best.

Things do work out, eventually. Be patient, even if that is the toughest thing to do.

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Think about all that you devised during the lockdown, and you will know what I am talking about.

Health is the real wealth.

After good health, money is everything, even if some believe otherwise. It buys life-saving medical treatment, it buys necessities, and also the happiness that you get from doing all the little things that you think money can’t buy.

Even if we feel nothing is working out in our favour, there will be one thing that does. Be grateful for it.

Be grateful for everything that works, and also everything that doesn’t.

Happiness lies in the simple things. We need just those basic, simple things to survive. Simple food, simple lifestyle, simple thoughts. Nothing complicated.

Whatever’s destined to happen, will. Nothing and no one can stop that from happening.

Accept life as it is and find ways to smile, and things to be grateful for.



I wonder what the new year has in store for us. I am not expecting any magic. Although, miracles do happen, but it’s best if we don’t have high expectations, right?

I just wish to stay open for whatever’s to come my way in the new year. Embrace whatever comes my way–good or bad–and learn to live with it, be grateful for it and learn something from it that will make me a better version of myself.

I sure am proud of myself for the way I dealt with these past ten months. Yes, I did falter here and there, but all in all, I turned out a better person than the one at the beginning of the year. And, for that, I am thankful for 2020.

How about you?

I am sure you must have learned a lot from 2020, too.  Do share in the comments at least one of the lessons that helped you look at life from a new angle.

Thank you!




Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

25 thoughts on “The lessons I learned from 2020

  1. Oh what a heartfelt post Shilpa and you are right on every point in here. I struggled with initial anxiety and depression too over this phase when I turned absolutely silent on social media/ no reading /no watching TV and not even talking on the phone. It took a while for me to turn around and it was things like learning to focus on one day at a time, doing things that mattered and my writing. In fact I ended up attending 2 writing workshops this year after years of meaning to.

    I wish and pray 2021 will be a far better year for all of us and bring us better tidings and good luck 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! 2 writing workshops?That’s wonderful, Shalz 🙂
      I guess disconnecting with the world (social media) does give us time to do better things, right?
      True. I too wish for a better new year. Let’s wait and watch. Fingers crossed ;P

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For starters, I loved the toilet rolls in the title. 2020 was a shitty year for us all. But as usual your positivity comes through and I enjoyed reading this post. Life does happen regardless of what we want and that is the biggest take away from your post. Happy New Year and hope to be more regular on this platform

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My greatest learning in 2020 is that I am a lucky person even though I haven’t won anything remotely close to a lottery in my life. 2020 showed me that I have everything in my life that I need. I should be thankful for all the blessings than whining about what’s going wrong in my life. I feel 2020 cemented all the lessons so far in a very matter of fact way. I like the lessons you shared here, Shilpa. Wish we didn’t have to go through such a weird time to learn them, right?
    I am praying and hoping that 2021 would bring so much joy and peace in all of our lives without giving out a lifetime’s worth of lessons. We deserve a year filled with peace and achievements. ❤😍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I too look back with gratitude (and perhaps, some relief!) for everything that we had this year, in spite of the fact that it was a year that also took so much out of us. In the end, the learning remains. So tough and so difficult even as the year gives way to another year ahead that looks as innocent and unsuspecting as 2020 looked last year this time. Nobody knows what’s awaiting us but I hope we can face it with courage and optimism. Hugs, my dear! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “In the end the learning remains.” How true, Esha. True, nobody knows what’s 2021 going to be like. All we can do is wait and watch. MAybe the lessons we learned in 2020 might come in use next year! You never know.
      Hugs to you, too!


  5. You nailed it through all the points Shilpa.
    Yes, there are no guarantees that 2021 will turn around things, but we can just keep giving life our best and hoping for the best to work it’s way into our lives.

    We have all gone through phases of despair and anxiety, stumbled and fallen, yet we have got up ans braved it all.
    Like we may have done in the past years too.

    Like you I took a lot of solace in my silences this year unlike earlier.

    I wish you new beginnings and good fortune in the years to come.
    Merry X’mas and a blessed 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This year was a tough one no doubt. I too struggled through depression but like you, I learnt to deal with it, taking one day at a time. In fact every night my prayer would be, “Thank you God for keeping us safe today. Keep us safe tomorrow as well.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My thoughts are just the same on the year finishing up and pushing us all in the new year. We need to accept the reality and face it. I was grateful to be with my family at all times
    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reading through your “lessons learned,” I had an epiphany of my own. There’s a reason doctors and nurses are taught to detach, somewhat. Too little empathy is cold and unfeeling – not a good thing. But too much empathy can lead to paralysis that looks anything BUT empathetic. I struggle to feel happiness when others – including distant strangers – are suffering. But such empathy isn’t useful. It’s like non-functional pain, or anxiety over things we can’t control. It’s destructive – not at all constructive or helpful to anyone – and only robs me of joy. Sounds a little like some of the things I’ve been saying to you, doesn’t it? And yet, here I am… always easier to preach it than to practice it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of the things I truly learnt last year is just how much of a homebody/hermit I am. I did miss meeting friends and going out for the occasional coffee or lunch, but it didn’t really affect me much. I stepped out of my society all of 3 times in the last 9 months! I used to worry that there was something wrong with me because I’m very capable of making up excuses and cancelling plans – even the ones that seem quite interesting. Now I realize that there’s nothing wrong with me, this is just my nature, and it’s perfectly fine. Imagine, it took me all of 41 years and a global pandemic to figure that out!


  10. Pearls of wisdom Shilpa i was nodding my head in agreement to what you said- about health, money, adversity and so many things. For me the greatest lesson has been learning ways of surviving on your own and not depend on others. While it wasn’t a new lesson totally for me, I was pleasantly surprised about the various coping mechanisms I discovered during this journey – like getting in touch again with a few long lost friends, exercising and staying away from toxic people (easier during the pandemic as you can always ignore their calls!). I also realized empathy and making people feel valued is a much needed virtue , each is fighting their own battle about which we have no idea. Least we can do is be kind and we could make a big difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How very true, Akshata!
      Understanding the reason people behave the way they do helps us in developing empathy and that brings a lot of peace. That’s what I too learned this past year.
      Thanks for dropping by!
      WIsh you a happy and a peaceful new year, Aks! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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