The 20 Silver Linings of 2020

We have never been so eager to say goodbye to a year, especially when we know the new year ahead will be another year of trying.

Don’t judge me for not being optimistic. I’m simply making a statement based on science and data, a lesson learned in 2020 (from Dr. Fauci).

What a year, we say.

There is no one word that can describe 2020, but many: difficult, chaotic, challenging, sad, unprecedented and dark. However, if you look harder and dig deeper, you will still be able to see the silver linings in the middle of the pandemic.

There is always an upside to the downside, they say.

Here are my 20 silver linings. Hope they will lift up our mood and help us walk into 2021 with renewed courage, determination and energy.

1. With a new country (France) to live in, a new job to manage, a new language to learn, new relationships to build and a new (pandemic) context to be in, I survived. One word: resilience.

2. Not being able to see my husband for five straight months due to travel restrictions, we realize how inseparable we are. The long-distance marriage came out stronger than ever because of the support, understanding and trust.

3. Fostered a new habit of getting up at 5:00am everyday to write, to think and to do yoga. No commute, no rush hours.

4. Learned to appreciate fashion differently. Working from home makes one to appreciate the comfort (and quality) clothing that much more. Farewell to fast fashion.

5. Online shopping makes everyday a Xmas day. Yes, I’m talking about the excitement of seeing packages delivered at the doorsteps every now and then.

6. Personal hygiene is at its best. We finally learned how to wash our hands properly, a habit we should have mastered at the age of four.

7. We learned to care, deeply. The most common greeting “how are you” has a new meaning, a REAL meaning. When we say it, we mean it.

8. We all excelled at virtual presentations… the look, the talk, and the way we look at the camera. Look straight, and lights on! But, oops… I’m on mute.

9. Air! The air is better, everywhere!

10. Netflix and Amazon Prime are my favorite friends during the down time in 2020. So many stories and so much imagination.

11. I confess. We bought two sets of chess boards, of course, after binge-watching the Queen’s Gambits.

12. Books, books and more books. 100 books in, 2020 is down.

13. Re-organized my apartment in France fifteen times, all by myself. And I get to know every piece of furnitures very well.

14. At last, I learned how to cook a decent meal, if not for two, at least for myself. Kongpao chicken, anyone?

15. The “get-together” is needed more than ever, even we have to do it mask-to -mask or screen-to-screen.

16. We get creative in spending quality time alone. Have a long walk, watch the birds flying, build a doll house, do a water-colored painting, play a new musical instrument…you name it, we did it.

17. Holiday decorations in many households started in Nov, to bring cheer during the #lockdown.

18. A universal consensus is reached: health workers ans essential workers are heroes.

19. Vaccines becomes the new buzz word as the world is waiting for its arrival to partially end the pandemic.

20. Tonight, as we raise our glasses to celebrate the coming of the new year, we don’t need to worry about drinking and driving.

Cheers to 2021! 🥂

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