20 Things I Learned in 2020

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

As we pass the one year anniversary of the first recorded cases of Covid-19 here in Nova Scotia, I’m sure that most would agree that we were all ready to wash our hands of 2020.

Looking back on last year, I decided to make a list of 20 things that I learned during 2020 and as we welcome Spring 2021, here goes:

  1. I learned that there is a deadly virus called Covid-19 and that truth was just as strange as fiction when it came to how quickly it spread and how devastating it could be.
  2. One of the most important lessons of 2020- In Case of Pandemic… stock up on toilet paper…?????? Alrighty then!
  3. I learned that some people are very possessive of their current place in the aisle of the grocery store and that you may attempt to pass at your own peril. (Peril will vary from dirty looks to calling you nasty names and identifying you as “part of the problem” to actively blocking your path with their cart. Don’t worry, you will recognize peril when you see it.)
  4. Some people also freak out when you ask them to wear a mask. Not because they have any particular medical condition that makes it frustrating or risky for them, but because apparently, mask wearing is directly tied to one’s freedom and human rights. Who knew? (For the record, I am happy to wear a mask AND a shirt AND shoes when I go into a store. It’s best for everyone. You’re welcome.)
  5. This one, I totally already knew, but it bears mentioning. I am very proud and glad to live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Enough said. (#NSStrong)
  6. I discovered that even at the ripe middle-age of 47, I am still capable of working 60 to 80 hours a week. Made a lot of Nerdy Bits and a LOT of masks in 2020.
  7. Also in 2020, I rediscovered the fact that I don’t LIKE working 60-80 hours a week, but fear that this might be last work I have for a while (’cause who knew and my crystal ball wasn’t sharing any insight), was highly motivating. #tirednerd
  8. 2020 showed us that people are far braver with sharing their opinions, judgements and general misinformation when they are sitting at their computers in the comfort of their homes. Wow! I tell ya what. Wow sometimes.
  9. I learned that depending on who you ask, what time of the day it is, maybe the time of the week and how much they actually liked or listened to the last thing a person said, our governments have done an amazing job leading us through the pandemic and keeping us safe.
  10. I also learned that depending on who you ask, what time of the day it is, maybe the time of the week and how much they actually liked or listened to the last thing a person said, our governments have epically failed us, they all suck and we’re all going to die.
  11. I’ve realized that there are a huge number of people who don’t seem to quite understand where government funding originates. I think it’s amazing that we had help and that money and relief was made available. However, if the politicians gave out the amounts of help and benefits that many folks were asking for, our future taxes would be so insane! They’re already going to go up as it is and there will have to be cut backs in lots of areas. Sometimes, less is more. And it sucks in some ways, but it’s the way capitalism works and it’s mostly good, in my opinion.
  12. I have learned that washing your hands, it not as common an activity as I had always thought that it was. Who WASN’T washing their hands?? And why?? Just curious.
  13. I learned that I apparently don’t socialize as much as I thought because when we were all asked to stay home, it wasn’t a shock to the system or an issue. In fact, it saved me a lot of decision making. I’m very good at talking myself in and out of doing things before mostly deciding not to do them after all so it gave me a great out.
  14. I discovered that a surprise pandemic can turn normally quite rational people (like my husband and I) into the kind of people who strip off at the door immediately upon entering the house then sanitizing all of the groceries (including the boxes) with Lysol wipes, followed by showering to complete the “I Was In The Outside World Decontamination Ritual”.(Don’t judge. It only happened like 3 times before it got old. Plus, it felt like we were in control of something. And I bet for every person who is thinking how crazy and extreme that was, there’s one nodding their head, going “Yeah! I did that too! See, that was a perfectly normal response to this situation. I wasn’t crazy!!” You, my friend, are my people. LOL)
  15. The Trump Debacle… I can’t even!!!But boy was that educational!!! (See #5)
  16. I discovered that I can make over 300 masks in one week. More than that, and I need to get help to make masks. Which means that I also learned that my husband can use a sewing machine and that he’s very good at sewing.
  17. In 2020, I found that no matter how many sizes, styles, colours, patterns, themes etc. of masks that you have on your table, you don’t have “the one” that some people want.
  18. Adapting and adding product lines into your offerings in case sales of something starts to slack off or stop selling, apparently causes you to burnout. I learned that one the hard way.
  19. I discovered in 2020 that I can feel afraid and feel safe at the same time.
  20. I also learned that my husband and I can spend copious amounts of time in the same house, working and living together and still manage to like each other.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like we’re not going to be washing our hands of Covid-19 for quite some time yet so we’ll have to spend more time still just simply washing our hands.

Hopefully, we can also learn to be kinder to one another and keep a sense of humour. Otherwise, the Pandemic is honestly the least of our problems. Looking forward to seeing what 2021 has to teach me.


Published by The Artsy Nerd

My name is Tanya Dondale and I live in rural Nova Scotia with my best friend and husband, Matt. I am a Holistic Wellness Coach and Yoga Teacher. My wellness and coaching business is called The Artsy Nerd Holistic Wellness Company. I am passionate about helping people to feel less stressed and more relaxed, facilitating ways to help my clients have more time with family and make time to do the things that they love.

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