Young woman siting on the beach, watching the pink sunset.

Embrace The Unexpected, Celebrate You

As the worst year in the history of the 21st century is about to end, we expect the upcoming year to amend the catastrophic ten months we survived with limited social interaction and a whole new working-from-home experience, while homeschooling or assisting our children with virtual classes… all at the same time.

This was a crazy year and, honestly, we all know this is not going to be blown away just like that when the clock strikes twelve in the morning on the first day of January.

I was not planning to start this project writing about 2020, but I believe the time is right, as I type on my keyboard, take a look at the calendar and realize the year is about to end.

When we were first starting this quarantine, I saw many people felt compelled to share how productive their pandemic days were (as if we did not have that toxic positivity already all over social media). Do not get me wrong, it is not that I do not enjoy seeing others happy, but those posts can also damage some people who cannot relate to a productive confinement.

Let’s be real, in 2020 many people:

  • Lost their jobs
  • Struggled financially
  • Lost a friend or a family member
  • Struggled with mental health
  • Were not able to see their loved ones

And although we foresee a better future in 2021, things will get back to normal gradually and at a slow phase, that is if we can actually get back to what we knew as normal before this global epidemic started.

So, if you feel you failed this year, remember that this was a year like no other in modern times, it was unprecedented and it affected everyone. If you were able to complete your goals for 2020, that is awesome, but if you were not, that is completely fine too. As we already know, life itself is full of surprises, that is why we should always expect the unexpected, and should never take anything for granted; by doing so we will see things differently, we will learn to enjoy the moment and embrace the present.

Accomplishments in life are not only awards and recognition, but small achievements too, it can be anything that provided you with even the simplest of joys, for instance, if you:

  • Watched a movie by yourself or with someone
  • Took a refreshing nap
  • Had a delicious treat
  • Laughed until your stomach hurt
  • Unlocked a new skill (does not matter how simple it may be)
  • Did not forget to water the plants
  • Listened to that playlist that pampers the soul
  • Read a book
  • Cleaned your inbox
  • Made your bed
  • Had fun playing a video game
  • Learned a new word
  • Finally sent that message
  • Got the courage to make that call
  • Did anything that makes you feel happy or gives you a sense of fulfillment

That means you accomplished something, and as long as it brought you joy, that is a real accomplishment and not a consolation one. No accomplishment is too small, as they can potentially offer a feeling of certainty in the face of the unknown we all call hope, but they also fill our lives with experiences, priceless memories, and new knowledge.

So let’s raise our glasses and make a toast for ourselves and our achievements, no matter how simple you think they may be, they are yours and no one else can take them from you. We made it so far and even though the future is uncertain (as it has always been), hope is what we can hold on to no matter what. But in the meantime, every morning after you wake up, look at your reflection in the mirror and praise yourself for nailing 2020 your way, the way only YOU could do it. That is definitely worth celebrating.


Lorena Arzamendi

Mom, wife, professional hustler, a jack-of-all trades (or so she says). Besides her 9-5 job in the corporate world, she is a part-time online ESL teacher, a freelance translator, content writer and copywriter. She enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games in her free time.

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