How I Visioned 2020 And How It Changed Me

On the stroke of midnight, as we clinked our champagne glasses, I made a toast to 2020; May it be a year full of promising projects. Excited, I read through my new year resolutions – travelling was on top of the list. The year had started well. Or so I thought. China and COVID-19 were far from my mind and life carried on through its normal course.

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra

It only took three months before my plans would be compromised. With the lockdown, everything I considered doing, any plans, any projects were put on hold. I postponed all immediate travel plans. It was too early to get upset. I had to find ways how to ride the anxiety and fear that I knew would soon grab hold of me. Would it be better to take on a project that I had put off for years or challenge myself to a brand new one?

When I was at work, feeling tired and unmotivated, I longed to be at home. I longed to be safe in my bubble, away from the frantic activities. But, once the tables had turned, and I was no longer allowed to leave the house and with social distancing, I craved interacting with others. Yes, human beings are ridiculous. We are never satisfied with what we have.

Being unchained, without any guidance, it was hard to keep to routine. I did not like my freedom. I felt lonely while being overwhelmed by the constant presence of family members. Though I took up several projects for the sake of keeping me grounded, I soon found that I was lacking patience. In my job, I need a bucketful of it to deal with clients. Alone, I find it hard to settle on a plan.

“You must be willing to give up what you are, to become what you want to be.” – Orrin Woodward

Being someone who craved human touch, I initially disapproved of the virtual world. But I needed to be part of a community which would be essential for my well-being. So, I decided to take up meditation and mindfulness. Being part of a tribe, each morning acknowledging each other’s weaknesses and strengths, gave me an energy boost for the day. I soon looked forward to the hourly session and forgot about my aversion to Zoom.  The support and reassurance I needed, were aplenty.

When it came to work alone, I found it difficult to be creative when surrounded by worries and doubts. Back in the summer, I set up my easel, eager to create a masterpiece. I assumed I could pick up from my college days … before babies and work/life challenges. I was kidding myself. So, what happened? In my mind I was still the talented artist I once were, but I lacked practice and motivation. The passion formerly there, has now disappeared.

Painting to an artist is as important as breathing, eating, and drinking. Too much of self-criticism stopped me growing. I did not commit or persevere – I was unfocused. Five months later, the canvas is still half painted and will remain such, until inspiration comes back.

Meditation opened my mind and taught me to be more flexible in my way of thinking and acting. My life has been steered in a new direction. I have learned to accept this new challenge and create new habits. Now I give myself time for reflection and simplify my projects.

Change your thinking and it will change your life.

Though I have not been able to get on a plane, I have travelled the world virtually. I now enjoy reaching and engaging with others remotely. I have made new friends via different virtual communities. I am more creative, flexible, and resilient. So, even if you are going through a bumpy ride, by changing your way of thinking, it will in turn change your life.

Sunny Side Up

Everyone loves a freebie, right? I mean, who would not want to learn new skills without spending a dime? All those online courses easily accessible during lock down … as a “yes” person, I could not say “no”. I was way too greedy, I picked anything that looked interesting.

In life, there is no such thing as impossible; it’s always possible.” – Venus Williams

In the beginning, I was full of energy, eager to broaden my knowledge. Over the course of a month, I was juggling three courses per day on Zoom and I was proud of myself. Learning and doing the work with an online community was inspiring. My passion and creativity were in full bloom.

Losing Track of My Priorities

We all know women ace at multitasking, but (yes, there is a “but”), this super-woman soon found it was too much to handle. My energy and enthusiasm were waning. I stopped focussing as the fun disappeared. I had a lack of interest to complete some of the topics. I got distracted and started procrastinating. I spent more time on Facebook, YouTube etc.

I was having trouble getting a good night sleep because my mind was too active. I had vivid dreams of what I did during the day. Tiredness made me irritable and often someone was at the receiving end of my frustration. My brain had turned into a fried egg. And with the temperature rising into mid-thirties, I was sizzling like a full English breakfast.

Spotting the Signs

I neglected to see the signs. I pushed myself to complete the work on time. The stress and pressure were driving me out of control. I could no longer manage to keep up and I was exhausted. It was lockdown and I was supposed to ease up. Instead, I was in a constant battle to finish and deliver. My passion was gone.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

Shifting My Mindset

I adopted a new practice to rebalance my chakras. I focused on what was important to my well-being. I implemented a new methodology in my daily routine: start the day with 15 minutes of meditation followed by a revision of the to-do list I wrote the night before. Before bed, I meditated on what I was grateful for and made a to-do list for the next day.

Recharging the Batteries

Nowadays, I take short breaks to escape the monotonous routines. Everyone has a different way of relaxing. For me, it is washing dishes, doing laundry, baking and dancing in the kitchen. I learned to focus on less and gave myself more time to think on tasks that really mattered.


In order to avoid having too much on your plate, you must listen to your body. The warning signs are telling you to slow down. Take some time off, one hour or even a whole day. Have fun and enjoy yourself. Step out for a walk or a run. Treat yourself to a nice cuppa and that forbidden cookie. Call a friend or read a book. Whatever step you choose, your body and brain will thank you for it.