December 13, 2020-Lessons Learned……Just Not The Ones We Expected
On New Year’s Eve 2019, we toasted the new year and claimed that like a vision score of 2020, it was going to be “just perfect”. But instead, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns, exhilarating highs, and horrifying descents. It will be a year to remember for it’s complexity of challenges.
I recently observed a discussion between two friends who were lamenting about the challenges faced by students, teachers, and schools caused by the pandemic.
One woman was sharing how she felt that children were not able to make the academic progress they would normally do. She was concerned that students were falling behind academically and disengaging from their school community. She worried about their educational success.
The second woman, replied that while traditional academics might be impacted, children were still learning valuable lessons on which they could apply when encountering challenges in the future.
“This year is not just about homework, it’s about learning adaptability, patience, learning to do without, to be still, to entertain oneself. They are actually getting ahead in some ways if they are allowed to feel successful in these skills that are hard to teach from a book.”Kathryn C.
Their thoughtful comments led to my reflection on “what lessons we, the adults, have learned during the challenges of the past year?” We’ve learned first of all, by necessity, of how and when to adapt. As a biological definition, “adaptation is the physical or behavioral characteristic of an organism that helps an organism to survive better in the surrounding environment.”
We’ve learned to adapt our behavior in how we spend our weeks and make our choices from our daily activities to what we eat. With restaurants shut down, prior behavior of “running out for a quick bite because there was a nothing in the fridge”, was no longer an option. We’ve had to reconcile with the loss of contact with family and friends, altering how we engage socially. Our jobs have been impacted, ranging from complete, business shut downs, to working from home. Time schedules were transformed, living spaces altered, and eating habits changed. We’ve learned to rely on technology to get our social connections, information, and even events. At times, reading the tragedy of daily news, we despaired. And yet, we adapted, continue to survive, and along the way, have hopefully learned a few valuable lessons.
We’ve learned to be creative, to persevere, prioritize on what’s important, and to recognize that while some things we can control, there are others we simply can’t. We’ve learned how to be acrobats balancing the interests, needs and wants of our families with the reality of a pandemic. And when we fall, we’ve learned the value of sharing our dreams, concerns, hopes, laughter and fears with others.
I learned, most importantly this year, how precious time was in the company of loved ones. We tend to take our relationships for granted, and when the ability to spend time together is eliminated or restricted, we’re poignantly reminded of the fragility of life. I also learned how when one road is blocked, a detour can often bring new endeavors, personal insights and even unexpected hope and joy.
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”– Laini Taylor
What valuable lessons have you learned this year? We would love to hear your thoughts or quotes you find meaningful. Thank you as always for taking the time to read our blog. You are welcome to share it with someone who might find it meaningful
Quotes to Inspire:
“The most challenging times bring us the most empowering lessons.”― Karen Salmansohn
“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.”― Cicely Tyson
“There are certain life lessons that you can only learn in the struggle.”― Idowu Koyenikan
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost
“I’m thankful for every break in my heart, I’m grateful for every scar, some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned. ”― Nishan Panwa
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. ‘Eleanor Roosevelt