A Leap from the Unforgettable- 4 Things we Missed and Rejoiced in 2020
2020 had been an inspirational year. I know several people may disagree with me. They may say it was a year of hardship, pain, and survival. And that’s what I mean too. 2020 was a year of utmost adversity and pain, and we survived it. This year has shown us the true meaning of the quote we’ve been listening to throughout our lives- Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. And here we are at the beginning of another epic year, ready to shed our old skin and embrace the new one that probably will figure out our destiny.
2021 may bring one thing we all have waited for in the ongoing year- Hope. I know many of you will still think it’s the vaccination, but again it’s the dominant hope of getting one. This lingering aspiration is associated with other beliefs as well. Living all the moments in the coming year that you have missed so far, and relishing what we already achieved. So, now when we had a giant leap from one unforgettable year to another extraordinary one, let’s comprehend the losses and gains probably we all faced during last year.
What do we miss in 2020?
Traveling is a crucial part of life. Whether a weekend getaway or a planned break, we can only know the true meaning of travel during confinement. As per the report, the tourism industry suffered almost $1 trillion losses worldwide, denoting most of us didn’t travel at all last year. With phases of lockdown, restrictions, and underlying fear of catching the infection, many like me were reluctant to go out and may have missed their travel stories. Personally, I yearn for traveling due to the incredible way it transforms my life by providing a new perspective. Besides, it helps me to disconnect from stress and exhaustion. Just like me, people might have missed adoring life and experiencing its real meaning by connecting to nature and respecting social values through their journey. I believe, maybe for the first time, the Millenials and Gen Z both felt the urge to break free, liberate their mind, and to travel freely.
Eating outside is not just an option to skip preparing dinner in the kitchen; for most, it’s enjoying a quality time out of the home. It’s a viable solution to leave the daily humdrum and sit with people we love most. It is all about relishing the food, appreciating the ambiance, and always the way of connecting. A dining table has always been a witness to a cozy romantic candle night dinner to an elaborate party for the special events of anyone’s life. Unfortunately, last year the global restaurant industry suffered an almost 50% decline in diners. Most of us had avoided eating out and shared our table with others. Of course, many among us, especially me, had missed it too. The preceding year has taken the joy of celebrating life out of my home with known or unknown people.
Hugs and Kisses
The basic gestures of love have been robbed of us throughout the year 2020. Whether it’s a motherly embrace, a warm hug from a friend, or a romantically involved touch, positive skin-to-skin contact has always been a means of showing care, affection, and human desire. Social distancing has made our lives devoid of these soul-touching moments. As per experts, touch starvation, which arises from the deprivation of hugs and kisses, is a negative consequence of physical distancing that has given rise to stress, depression, hypertension, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. For many people, touch starvation is equal to the feeling of starving for food. They may want to eat but can’t due to the fear associated with it.
When it comes to fashion and dressing up, last year was a challenge. Clothing and accessorizing have become less of a style statement or tool for showing one’s physical identity and more of comfort. People have dumped the idea of purchasing something new and wore their most loved clothing that made their movement easy throughout the day. A few reasons behind this may be the discontinuity of the daily commute to the workplaces, hanging out with people, or conscious consumption that made people avoid opening their cupboards for decent clothes or making an expenditure. But, whatever be the reason, many people like me have indeed missed getting ready.
So, what exactly was a hit?
After numerous reports on the rising air pollution year after year, 2020 has brought relief to the environment as a whole. Data shows that the reduction in global emission of nitrogen dioxide that is a primary contributor to air pollution has been reduced by 20%. This emission generally occurs due to the combustion of fossil fuel in industries and transportation. In India, environmental pollution drastically decreases by 40-50% compared to past years, during the COVID-19 lockdown. With fewer cars and people on roads, the restoration of ecological balance was successful. Travel restrictions have made the seawater of Cox’s Bazar beach changed from turbid to clear, and dolphins returned to the Bay of Bengal. The novel Coronavirus showed us that this world does not belong to only humans. We understood that we can always achieve environmental sustainability by devoting a vast area to flourish diverse flora and fauna. We realized human survival doesn’t depend on cars that drive on roads but more ‘carefree kangaroos’ that hopped in the streets of Australia, just in case.
Taking Care of Yourself
The last year has shown us the meaning of valuing our health and wellness. The perfect year to prove that health is wealth and it’s always survival of the fittest. Eating right, opting for vital ingredients, taking rest, and caring for our body and mind were the foremost things that each one of us appreciated. We fought with our unhealthy lifestyle to fight against the disease. For the first time in a while, we took a step back and paid attention to our physical, mental, and emotional needs. For me, it’s adopting a stricter and more balanced diet, exercise, and plenty of sleep to combat pandemic stress. It let me evolve much stronger physically and psychologically, and not to be mentioned imparted a flawless skin!
Every relationship faced a rough time due to prolonged lockdown, economic instability, and an uncertain future in 2020. Families and couples were stranded and trying to find their way out of the external obstacle to their relationships. Although people have missed the hugs and kisses and daily doses of endearments, not all relationships succumbed. There are plenty of examples for people who have braved the storm and triumphed. They are the people for whom the distances made their love stronger. For them, geographical proximity and face-to-face contacts don’t seem crucial for growing their relationship. The people in a distant relationship emerged as more emotionally stronger to bestow love and affection. Corona has made us remember the true essence of a relationship is distance can never do us apart.
Acquiring New Skills
The year 2020 was a year of ‘pause.’ Ironically, all black swan events had made everything come to a standstill. There was an alteration to routine life, and situations forced us to adjust to a new normalcy. But, this confinement didn’t deter us from learning. From reading books to acquiring cooking skills and gaining job-related expertise, people have achieved interpersonal to profit-making skills that belong to every sphere of life. Mastery has kept our mind and body engaged. It helped to gain new experiences, improved our brain functioning, cognition, and physical state. This particular year has made a point that human lives are full of shortcomings and overcoming them. We’re persistent enough to try till we win. And as for me, the skill I garnered is an ardent attempt to put the words in my mind on this document.
So, what’s next?
The pandemic has indeed created much furor with its devastation. There were innumerable losses, and at times it seems nearly impossible to tackle it. All I did was to perceive my silver lining by focusing on positivity and letting them inspire me. If you agree, focus on your strengths and inspirations for a better version of yourself. Just as I mentioned, every hardship one bears make one a stronger person. So, let each of us find a way to confront it, fight it, and live an exceptional year ahead.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Tulika vashist