Year Ending 2020 | Divya Toshniwal |

Starting the year, I had never imagined it would turn this way. Well, none of us had. There had been many virus outbreaks before but non had impacted us the way Coronavirus did. Covid 19 turned our worlds upside down. 2020 is the year in history that none would forget. 

Schools closed, offices closed, markets closed, malls closed, restaurants closed, monuments closed, museums closed, theatres closed, things that were not even shut during the second world war were all under a lockdown in the year 2020. Even commutation was on the stop, metro, Mumbai local, railway, flights.

I remember hearing from people that the next day of Mumbai local blasts, the local trains saw more rush than any other day. This was a statement towards any disaster that nothing can stop Mumbai from running. But something this year did. 

This year stopped us. This year stopped the world. 

I agree that there have been a lot of negative impacts on our lives. Many lost their jobs, many lost their loved ones, many businesses were shut down, many suffered from immense health problems, but, among all the bad that has happened, I still would prefer to write about what the year has given me.

1. We were running and we really did not know where. In a wake- eat -run - work- eat -sleep cycle we had forgotten to live. The best thing 2020 did is that it stopped us. The lockdown phase gave us a few days when we practically had nothing to do except relax and think. Think where we were, where we were going, and where we actually wanted to go. 2020 made us realize the gap between where we stand and where we wanted to reach.

2. Cooking everything possible at home was one of the biggest achievements not only for me but for many this year. Many now have a newfound skill. Somehow it also made us realize that eating out all the time is just not necessary. It took my journey on minimalism to a whole different level where I could work on minimalism in food. I did not need a plateful of 10 dishes because I just could not make it all. 2-3 dishes would suffice and make up my meal(sometimes just one as Khichdi is the easiest to make ). Either chapati and one sabzi, or rice dal and one sabzi. some times just dal and chapati, it was working fine. In fact for a month or so I reduced the spices in the food to a minimum too and that was really the best month (when I ask my stomach, but you know the tongue then wins).

3. Getting the time to be with your loved ones is something that came as a gift for all of us this year. We always had something or the other going on in our lives that would stop us from spending time with our parents, siblings, husband, wife, or children. Even on days when we had holidays we would go out with friends, watch movies, and have other engagements that would eat up our days. In 2020 lockdown, we had no such engagements and this has helped us bring closer to our loved ones.

4. Though this year was a setback financially, it gave me more time to move a step closer to my life goals. Having enough time gave me the opportunity to publish my first non-fiction book - 'Minimalism -Be More With Less' and my first fiction short book- 'The Cure'. So I wouldn't say that the year was totally unproductive.

5. The most highly ignored aspects of our lives before 2020 were self - care and self-development. This year has given us the opportunity to realize the importance of both our physical and mental health. It has given us the opportunity to develop ourselves not only in terms of our career but also emotionally and spiritually.

6. The year has made me realize how little we need to survive. Though I have been a minimalist for more than 2 years now, it was only in the past 10 months that I could take it to a whole different level. Least amount of shopping, no wasteful expenses on eating out, going for movies or pubs and discos, no extra commutation. Basically only the things we actually needed were bought. For me, it was a couple of Pyjamas. This year made me realize that I have more than enough( I guess I am good for even the next year).

7. In has given humanity a new direction. Even when we have less in our own homes, many have stood for the needy. There has been a lot of help from not only the organizations but also on individual levels for ones who were in need of support due to losing their jobs. People have distributed salaries to their employees even when they could not come for work( even for jobs where work from home was not possible), they have gone out of their ways to distribute food to the poor and hungry nearby. It was as if everyone was joined through a string of pain that has brought us closer and in touch with our compassionate feelings.

So you see, there is a lot that this year has given us and today as we bid goodbye to this year, I hope we still would carry forward the lessons learned and realizations made this year.

May 2021 bring new hopes, new opportunities, new happiness, and new life for all of us. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year. 



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