I don’t know about you but I’m not ready for any more lessons on life skills! 2020 has finally come to an end, and we are all ready for the New Year to kick in. Well, let’s hope it doesn’t actually kick… A shimmy or a slide would be more appropriate after everything that we just went through!
As much as I joke about this, there were quite a few blessings in disguise that you may or may not have missed this year. Yes, we cried. Yes, we broke things. And we surely got bored… But amidst all of that turmoil, there were several silver linings.
I’ve seen a few bloggers posting about lessons they learned or achievements they made in 2020. So, I decided to hop on the bandwagon – with a twist. Today we will be covering the life skills that this historic year has blessed us with. Of course, everyone’s journey has been different, but there are bound to be a few things we share in common.
Here are some of the life skills that I learnt in 2020:
Cooking – the queen of all life skills!
It almost seemed comical when countries closed their borders. Then people stopped going into the office. And then liquor stores were banned from selling alcohol in South Africa! To this day, I still haven’t identified the link between the pandemic and alcohol. But whoever made that decision must know why they did it!
When lockdown level 5 took effect in South Africa, restaurants and grocery stores were also banned from selling hot food. This is another one of those things that still doesn’t make sense to me, but we rolled with it anyway. Many people quickly started posting exciting recipes of interesting things they learned to make. Some people made bread, others made fancy dishes, and some… learned to boil eggs! It sounds funny to say, but this was the best lesson for anyone who thought they could get by without learning to cook. Guys, it’s not a woman’s chore, it’s a life skill!
Patience really is a virtue
For us in South Africa, lockdown level 5 began towards the end of March and boy were we excited. I personally hadn’t thought about the repercussions, you know, of having a toddler at home full time. So when the reality hit, boy did it hit hard! So after about one week, it finally kicked in that I would be picking up after a busy-body for four more weeks! As a parent, I gained a new appreciation for the teachers who spend hours with our kids.
With many personal projects put on hold, it was a must to be patient. I was of the school of thought that if I noticed something had not been done, then it was already late. One thing I realised during this period is that even if things didn’t happen yesterday (as they should’ve) tomorrow is still a viable option. It sucks, but the world won’t stop if you don’t get your phone contract set up in two hours. The world will also not stop if your internet is down for a day.
After a full year of canceled trips, delayed projects, and several other frustrations, we can all claim a black belt in patience.
Saving is possible
It’s really a no-brainer that if you don’t go out often, you can save more money. But if that is the case, why did it take the world drawing to a halt for us to truly internalise this logic? Personally, my spending reduced significantly during lockdown because of the uncertainty. The uncertainty of whether I would still have a job in a few months’ time. The worry of heading to the stores and not finding enough food. And the realisation that many of the daily luxuries were not as crucial.
Although I did not really save enough to take me on a trip around the world, living in lockdown has taught me some valuable lessons. One of these life skills is that regardless of how little you have, you can still find more ways to drop your cost of living. It may not always seem like it since we keep chasing for more, but there are always some luxuries that you can cut out.
Entertainment without a cost is possible
Before 2020, many of us believed that we needed to get out of our comfort zones in order to find new hobbies. While that still proves to be true, this year has definitely debunked the theory that you actually have to ‘get out’. Besides the new bakers and home chefs that have popped up everywhere, others have tapped into writing and reading. Even though writing is my passion, Growing With Spawn only happened because of the pandemic. I doubt it would have materialised otherwise! But it is not just me who feels this way. Several other bloggers have mentioned that they started their blogs or written novels due to the pandemic.
Of course, there is a price to almost everything we do nowadays, breathing included. But the point is that you don’t need to rent a jet-ski or jump out of a plane to have fun. In fact, a lot of these new hobbies that have popped up may actually be better for our mental stimulation. So not only were you saving money, but you were also getting smarter. How cool is that?!
The year finally came to a close, the vaccine is being deployed and life should go back to normal. Well, in South Africa, we have a new variant of the virus that might make the cycle restart! Whether or not this upcoming year is better, I will hold onto the belief that there is always something new to learn. How about you?