2020 was not that bad after all

Today is the last day of 2020. 

Probably many of you are already preparing for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, looking forward to the end of a year most probably none of us has ever anticipated.

While you may be dreaming of a brighter 2021, I would like to encourage you to take a moment and reflect on your 2020. It hasn’t been an easy year but what I have learned so far is that life’s most precious lessons are hidden in adversity.

I often hear people complaining about everything they have not been able to accomplish in 2020. The focus of this article is on the positive side of 2020. About everything we should feel grateful about.

My 2020 was not that bad after all

Considering the disturbing news and pandemic statistics, I feel like I made the best out of 2020.

First and foremost I am grateful about being alive and healthy at this point in time as well as the people around me.

While some of you may have felt lonely or bored this year, I was challenged to manage my time in a way that I could take at least 15 minutes a day for myself.

During the past twelve months I was getting used to my new/current job, working fully from home and taking care of my little daughter. I cannot say it has been an easy year, especially during the periods when the daycare was closed.

The greatest highlight of this year for me was the opportunity for my husband, our daughter and I to spend more time with our families than we have had the chance since we moved to the Netherlands in 2006. 

Believe me this was a whole different experience than visiting our families once or twice a year for a week or two. Our parents and grandparents were able to take care of Elena and to witness her quick growth and development and in return she got the chance to get to know them and to feel their precious love and support.

Additionally, we got the chance to enjoy our beautiful country for a longer than usual period of time. We have always known that Bulgaria has an amazing climate and nature. And especially in the current pandemic we realized even more how wonderful it is to live in a country which offers a high variety of opportunities within its own borders.

During the summer months we spent five long weekends on the seaside – four on the Bulgarian Black Sea and one on the Greek seaside. We did one hike (even though I wish we had the time for more) and we even did some horse riding at sunset. I don’t think I have had so much sun in the past fourteen years. 

In the winter, having the luxury to live near the biggest ski resort in Southeastern Europe provides an opportunity to work from home and ski every free day.

Our skiing season started in January and continued in December when we were one of the first people on the slopes as soon as the new skiing season started. I can proudly say that I have spent 15 days on the slopes this year, most probably one of my strongest skiing season since I graduated high school.

The below images still keep my heart warm when I look at them

Pirin 2020
Sozopol 2020
Neaperamos 2020
Bansko 2020

What’s in it for you?

2020 was probably the most challenging year for many people.

I can imagine that 2020 may have not been as benevolent to some of you as it may have been to me. 

To those of you who have lost dear ones in 2020, I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope you are doing well, considering the circumstances, and that no matter how hard this year has been for you, you would remain optimistic about the future.

To those of you who have fallen sick and are still recovering, take care and get well soon.

To those of you who have lost your income, I hope you will find a new opportunity and get back on your feed before you know it.

To those of you who have found new professional or personal opportunities in 2020, be grateful and celebrate your success.

Along with all the challenges life goes on and I have no doubt that the future will be exciting. Especially when we get Covid-19 under control.

2020 may hide more lessons for you than you may expect.

2021 may bring more opportunities than you may imagine.

Look back, reflect and say goodbye to another calendar year. Keep your head up, look ahead and stay optimistic for whatever comes next.

“Adversity can be changed into opportunity.

Embrace change and keep an open mind when it comes to learning.

Vanaja Bal

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