cartoon boy holding balloons that spell out lessons - in regards to lessons from a pandemic
Photo credit: https://yayimages.com/artist/stuartmiles  

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic Year

As we wrapped 2020 I asked members of my tribe to reflect–in a positive way–on what you learned from the “dumpster fire” that was 2020. I continue to ask that question in every meeting and talk I attend. And what rich sharing it has been!

While media headlines have highlighted gloom and despair, your notes remind me that despite hardships we are, all of us, still looking for the bright side. We used adversity to fuel our creative selves. We reached out to others. We reinvented everything.

For some, there was grief – in a pandemic, people die, and that was real. For others, loss led to frustration and anger. Mostly you were happy to have figured out home schooling, WFH, and grocery shopping without contact. It was the little things.

On this one-year anniversary of the Pandemic, let’s reflect on what you LEARNED. I’m posting these 50 lessons across several posts, so keep reading to capture them all!


Biggest Takeaways

  1. Gratitude kept many of you from drowning. Though 2020 had many personal and professional setbacks, in the end I have so much to be thankful for” and “ ’I am grateful,’ became my daily mantra.
  2. Basics Work: Just Breathe. “I love change and a challenge. This year provided an over-abundance of both. And just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, I made it through. My lesson: one breath at a time.” 
  3. Live Your Life NOW, Not Later. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so you need to prioritize what you do and with whom, and actually DO IT – because you might not get the chance if you wait!
  4. Kindness Matters. Now more than ever, our world needs kindness. Say, Thank You, and offer compliments. “I like your scarf” can make someone smile — we need more smiles!
  5. You WILL Survive – you HAVE survived! Most of you found you are more resilient than you imagined. You bounced, you flexed, you adapted. Then you did it again the next day. And the next. It was not fun AND now you know you can, the next time (and there will be a next time).
  6. A Lot of People are Afraid. Fear immobilizes, and you learned that the antidote to fear is movement. For some of you that meant reaching out, taking action, or taking a stand. For others, it was dance, yoga, play, or simply walking that helped you create a different energy.
  7. Take Nothing for Granted. Meeting for coffee. Attending services. Grocery shopping. Seeing a doctor. Chatting with neighbors. Hugs!!
  8. Wearing a Mask can be BOTH a sign of oppression AND an expression of concern for others. When in doubt, many of you shared, you found that focusing on others instead of self took away the sting.