1. Patience-Lots of it. We all waited to hear about the virus which controlled our lives through 2020 and 2021. We waited to hear the latest lockdown/unlock/semi unlock state rules and waited for a situation which was mostly beyond our control to improve. Regular calls between friends saying, “I just can't take it anymore,” were a common feature for all of us in 2020 but in 2021 we all (largely) learnt to manage.
2. Love for my own company. I think this is something we all learnt, specially those of us in cities who had to work form home and/or stayed alone.
3. It's never too late to do something new- I tried out a lot of new workouts taking advantage of everyone including international trainers going online. I took Spanish language classes (that ended unsuccessfully ) and even went on a virtual early morning safari through an animal sanctuary in Kenya. Through social media platforms I joined in to hear Jazz performances at various New York Jazz Clubs and virtual catch ups with friends continued. Yes, that and virtual dates were the new uncomfortable AF things I learnt in 2021.
4. Kitchen > Gym- I've heard that throughout my adult life but I binged during Lockdown 2021 and even though I worked out extra hard, it didn't have much impact. I relearnt something very important in 2021- it's correct and controlled eating habits that make your body more than the gym does. The ratio of 80:20 which is the importance of correct eating habits vs working out is what most health experts swear by.
5. To protect my mental and emotional health at all costs.
6. New appreciation for near and dear ones. 2021 saw a flood of weddings-both celebrity and otherwise and a lot of break ups too amongst couples emerging from long quarantines together. Also that the concept of family can be a “global family." I really liked hearing stories from India and across the globe of strangers helping one another.
7. Last but not least-nothing is more important than health. I fractured my thumb and my left hand (wrist included) was in a cast for a month during the lockdown. Managing that made me value my physical health all the more. In fact, my main learning from 2021 is that physical, emotional and mental health is the most important thing.
As we move into 2022, still wondering how this year is going to pan out-here's something I read. In the words of Stephen King, "Everything leads to everything. And if the last year, month, day or week did not go as planned, we can always plan for tomorrow, for now! What's next?”