My Lesson of 2020

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Last year was certainly a time for learning. No one expected us to be where we are right now, but we have all made it here and that is no small feat. 2020 threw many curveballs and hardships our way, but we prevailed and are looking forward to a better 2021. We learned many lessons throughout the course of the last year, and for me the biggest was: constant productivity is unrealistic.

I am someone who thrives when busy. I take on as much as I can and I get things done, because if I do not have responsibilities and deadlines, I fall into the TV-binge trap. Last year when the pandemic hit I had ambitious plans: learn ASL, finish writing my novel, finish writing my screenplay, finish programming my game. Instead, I made very little progress on each of those goals.

I have always been hard on myself. I know it is a flaw of mine that I’ve been trying to overcome. Trying to be productive last year while taking online classes and being stuck at home was more harmful than helpful; I got frustrated with myself for barely accomplishing anything besides turning in assignments and moving from one day to the next. More than once, I found myself saying, “I just need a day to do nothing.”

As I begin the new year, that experience is fresh in my mind. I am still optimistic about what I will be able to accomplish this year, but I know now not to hold myself to the same standards as before. There are days when I will need to simply sit in bed and relax, and that is not bad. That is self-care. That is true productivity.