The invitation said “Join Our Copywriting Contest About 2020” … Dare I share my extraordinary 2020 story? Seriously now? What story? 2020 was an empty year! There’s absolutely nothing to share!
Story written by Loukia Zervoudaki
That was my first reaction to the writing call. A little frustrated, a little disappointed, I honestly could’t remember anything worth mentioning about 2020 so I reached out to my daily diary. Let’s flip through the pages, I said to myself, to see if anything (A N Y T H I N G – it didn’t even have to be remarkable) had happened. There was this big 2020 on top of the cover page and underneath the word LAUNCH (yes, I do buy inspirational diaries every year). Launch means to put into operation or set in motion. It’s referring to plans and goals and dreams obviously! No… none of my goals skyrocketed in 2020. What on earth am I going to write about?
So, there, in the first pages, I had written some affirmations to contemplate every day, my New Year’s resolutions and which 2019 mistakes I didn’t want to repeat. And then blank pages, white, empty pages… January 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th … oh, there’s a note on January 21st! Daily schedule, errands, the children’s schedule and a “to do” list that I actually didn’t do… Same thing in February, same thing in March… I kept flipping through the pages only to see that I had taken very few notes throughout the year.
The revelation was the fact that the very few notes were actually very important! Very life-changing!
2020 challenged me in ways I didn’t expect.
It stretched my boundaries causing my horizons to overflow, ideas to expand in my mind and something stirring again in my heart! Although I am still deep in the personal discovery process, I am really grateful to 2020 for the lessons it taught me.
A quieter life is a more creative one
2020 taught me that one can be immensely productive in a pandemic and that resting is not a waste of time. It’s an essential part of our well-being.
When we went into lockdown in March, I remember feeling relieved. I was thinking that the world was on pause and it was my chance to catch up. And rest. Yes, I did rest a lot! I watched films and online plays, I listened to music, artists performing live on their Instagram, personal growth podcasts, I read books satisfyingly and not trying to squeeze 15 minutes of reading into my day as I did before. I never imagined that my house, in which I was locked in, could become the headquarters of creation and innovation without any borders! During the first lockdown, I also started meditating, which brings us to the next lesson.
The power of forgiveness
As I just mentioned, it was during the first lockdown in Spring that I had the time to start meditating. Through the mindfulness it induces and the heightened state of awareness, I learned how to “place my intention into the vast ocean of all possibilities and allow the universe to work through me”.
I learned to strive for progress, not perfection. I realized that happiness is a choice and if I’m choosing to move on with my life I have to seek growth in what happened in the past that hurt me and forgive. I realized that people act based on the level of wisdom they have at the time. If they knew better they would act better. We don’t forgive because we want to be nice people. We forgive because we don’t want to live with the misery anymore. Lack of forgiveness is like a cup of poison that somebody else filled but we take a sip every day and it degrades our creativity, productivity and serenity.
All sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom
For as long as I can remember myself, I loved animals, had a sensitivity to environmental issues and always admired people who fought for them. I had never made the connection though between my “green” feelings and the way I ate.
For almost a year now I hadn’t been taking joy in my food. Nothing seemed savory and the pleasure was only instant. I always felt bad after eating, not being able to determine why. And then one day I saw some PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) videos demonstrating animal cruelty from dairy and meat farms, animals with an appalling quality of life and an excruciating death. And it just dawned on me. I am vegan deep inside but never knew it. This is what was missing in my life. I went vegan on the spot, and I am so happy! I don’t miss anything, it’s been so easy for me and I take great pleasure from my food.
Lifelong learning improves self-confidence
Although fitting a new learning goal into one’s life takes consideration and effort, 2020 taught me that it improves the quality of life and sense of self-worth and is vital for coping with the challenges that the professional world throws at you.
This summer, along with 20 other proud women “graduates” I completed a 3-month online educational program and developed a new skill in my profession. Also, a 1 monthly seminar on a completely different subject of personal interest offered me fulfillment and satisfaction. Through the process, I discovered what my calling is and realized that I want to change my direction. It made me see clearly that I have wandered through life as if it was somebody else and it’s about time to do what makes me happy and content.
Small everyday actions have an accumulative and profound effect over time
In the stillness that the pandemic created, I realized that I want to change my life. I’ve been wanting to change my life for a while but I’ve been waiting.
Waiting for the kids to be older, waiting for my finances to be better, waiting until I have more time, waiting until it is the right time, waiting, waiting… Well, as Napoleon Hill once said, the timing will never be just right. 2020 taught me that if you want it, break it down into steps and start doing it today! Small, everyday actions that build up, lead to big changes. Small actions done with care every day have tremendous value. I always set big and ambitious goals but they seemed like climbing a mountain and I ended up postponing them. One small step, however, worries me less. A small change is easy to do without the fear of failure. It helps the mind to overcome the fear that hinders action. So, one step and we put our body in motion activating it in the direction we want. This is the so-called Kaizen method (another 2020 lesson!)
There is no Back to Normal. This is the new Normal.
I keep hearing people say that they can’t wait for life to go back to normal. Well, actually, this is the new normal.
They can’t wait until 2020 is gone. But when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve and it’s suddenly 2021, nothing in our lives will be different unless we make it different. Nothing changes unless we change. We need to change and adapt to the new challenges, new circumstances, and new uncertainties the coronavirus pandemic has presented us all with. People usually avoid changes and prefer staying in their comfort zones, but as 2020 taught me once you get the courage and take the first step to change, your life will become much better. There is no use clinging to the old life. If we really think about it some things aren’t worth going back to.
So 2020, one breath left before we say goodbye to you! A strange, difficult year. A year that deprived us of contact with loved ones, kisses, hugs, friends, but above all that nothing is a given. Nothing is to be taken for granted. So, all in all, 2020 wasn’t an empty year as I thought. It was a year of contemplation, personal growth, of self-realization, of finding and believing in my true potential.
Thank you 2020 for the lessons you taught me but… you can go now! Really, get out of here!
- This story was submitted by Loukia Zervoudaki for the Copywriting Contest: My 2020 Extraordinary Story.
- Feel free to support and follow Loukia Zervoudaki on her LinkedIn account or/and her Facebook account.
Note from Ideadeco Team
Copywriting Contest submissions are extended until 15 January 2021.
Submissions are open for the Copywriting Contest until 15 January 2021. We believe in the kindness of strangers. We are romantic souls that find the energy to notice the collateral beauty in a broken world. We refuse to let 2020 destroy our trust in kindness and humanity.
Life is better than that. We believe that we are connected far beyond the internet. In case you find this call appealing then send over your thoughts. We are welcoming everyone.
The views and opinions expressed in the submitted stories are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of IDEADECO.