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Why I'm Grateful For 2020

by Leigh Hooper about a year ago in happiness

and the lessons I'll be taking into 2021...

Okay before you all start thinking I'm crazy, I know twenty-twenty has been a year full of Sugar Honey Iced Tea - and that is the polite way of putting it!

There has been a world-wide virus, countries still struggling to understand the idea of racial justice and struggling to get over their racist backgrounds. There has been sad celebrity deaths and the death of many loved ones. A LOT of sh*t has gone on, and it has been difficult for us all.

Despite that, twenty-twenty (which some people are calling 'the year that never was') has been a pivotal year for self-growth and self-exploration. I have taken the last year, which has been filled with reflection and nostalgia for what once was, and used it to turn this year into a good one.

So, that's why I'm grateful for twenty-twenty.

In twenty-nineteen I was working two days a week, I was unmotivated and ignored all the things in life I wanted to do. I wanted to read, I wanted to complete my novel writing course and start writing my novel, I wanted to workout and the list goes on. I struggled to do anything that involved me bettering myself and it became a dark place in my life.

Twenty-twenty came around and I vowed to myself that I would change. I got a notepad, planned out my goals for the year and started working on them. Then, March came, and COVID-19 came with it, and I thought my good progress was going to be cut short, but it didn't.

Here's some lessons I learnt from twenty-twenty, and how I'll be incorporating them into my twenty-twenty-one life style.

LESSON #1: ADAPT AND OVERCOME

National lockdown came and hit the UK like a brick in the face. It was unfamiliar, unwanted and down-right unpleasant. I thought my life was over. I worried everything I had started to do in the first three months of twenty-twenty would be eradicated, and I'd have to start my progress all over again.

WRONG! Although I was no longer able to see friends, go to anywhere except from work etc, I decided to adapt to my new situation.

I wasn't able to go to the gym anymore, so I started doing home workouts. Chloe Ting was a useful asset to my home workouts and I even started to realise I no longer missed the gym. Now gyms are open again, I even quit my membership and continued to do home workouts. I adapted to this lifestyle months ago, and now I love it even more than what I was doing before!

LESSON #2: TAKE OPPORTUNITIES

Before twenty-twenty, I would have turned down opportunities that would benefit me because I was too scared to do them. I'd be too anxious, and would have said no to anything that was out of my comfort zone.

Twenty-twenty was the year of being out of our comfort-zones. Getting used to online school, or to wearing masks, or finding something to do while being stuck at home. All of these things helped me get more comfortable with things I'd usually be uncomfortable with. This lead to me speaking on the radio twice in the space of six months, and being classed as a "music blogger" by the BBC was such an amazing benefit by taking this opportunity!

LESSON #3: DO WHAT YOU LOVE

This year we've all spent a lot of time at home. Maybe too much time. But this time has enabled me to reconnect with interests I've struggled to indulge myself in in previous years.

In the last couple of years I've read a few books here and there, and written only a handful of times. Twenty-twenty gave me a good kick up the backside and said "hey! you like doing these things so do them more often!". Because of that, I've read more books than I have since I was a young teen, and I've written the first draft of my novel within four months!

As well as this, during twenty-twenty I went full-time at my job, which meant I instantly assumed I'd have less time to do the things I love. I was wrong about that. I made sure I found the time, even if it was ten minutes a day, making sure I did something fun. It helped keep me happy and reminded me that life isn't just about working!

LESSON #4: FIND MOTIVATION FROM THE SMALLEST THINGS

If there's anything twenty-twenty has taught me, then this is the most important thing! In the hardest of times, motivation can be hard to find. Life can be too depressing, or busy or crazy, that you can't mind the motivation.

In a year where lots of people have been working from home, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has realised you have to take the motivation from the little things.

Here of some things that have given me motivation over the last few months:

- I created a writing account on Instagram (@leigh_writing) and it gave me motivation to carry on writing my novel with every single follow I got.

- My friends at work have continued to support me in these difficult times, and it motivates me to come to work every single day.

- My boyfriend has encouraged me to have "me time", which has motivated me to read, watch and do the things I love.

- Vocal has weekly and monthly challenges which have helped me stay motivated. The challenges have allowed me to stay creative, and keep my brain active! I've really enjoyed their work and I'm grateful for the support Vocal has given me, and the rest of their creators, this year!

- Despite COVID, I told myself I was going to "jump" and do something I have ignored doing for years. I found motivation in being able to take the jump, and actually do it. For years I had avoided learning to drive - letting my anxiety get the best of me - but this year I took the "jump" and started learning to drive. My new independence and my excitement to fulfill this task gives me more motivation every single day.

- Other people motivate me. People I don't even know. Kristen McAtee's vlogmas has inspired me to make the most out of my life. She has motivated me to look into the importance of self-care, healthy living, having fun with my life and so much more.

In short, take motivation from the little things!

LESSON #5: SMILE, AND BE NICE!

We all are wearing masks, but let me tell you , you notice when someone is smiling at you. Their tone of voice is happy, their eyes crinkle from their smile, and this year has highlighted how important it is to be nice to each other.

I take extra special measures to make sure loved ones know they're loved. I spend more time smiling at customers, and making sure they have a good day. I take time for myself and make sure I am happy. I notice more and more often that this world needs kindness.

I'm walking into twenty-twenty-one knowing twenty-twenty is long gone, but remembering all the lessons it taught me. I'm grateful for this year and I'm lucky to have the experience I have had.

To anyone reading this: I send my condolences for any grievances you've experienced this year, I hope you enjoy this festive period, and I wish you a happy new year! May twenty-twenty-one be the year that everything works out for you, and things get better!

All my love x

happiness

Leigh Hooper

A writer in her twenties with a head full of ideas and a room full of books✨

My Twitter and Instagram handles are: @leighooper

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