21 lessons I learned during the rise and falling of 2021

Celebrating what life decided to teach me this year

Looking back on the year, I can see mine filled with many adversities and triumphs.  I will say that this has been a primarily tough year because my mother passed away from cancer. It tested me in every single way, and even now, as I think about the six months of turmoil, my heart overflows with love & gratitude. Yet, I can’t help but look on the brighter side of everything that happened. 

Hard as it was, those moments helped shape me into an even better person writing this today.

Here is what I learned during 2021

One: We only have one moment in our life, and that’s now.

Just enjoy it. Don’t think about the past or future. Instead, focus on what you are doing during the moment you are experiencing. Pretend that nothing else exists. That’s the truth. Nothing does exist. The past has dissolved, and the future hasn’t happened yet. 

Two: Have faith in yourself.

I was constantly second-guessing myself. I didn’t believe I could do the undoable. I didn’t have time to think about mum and her illness. I had to deal with doctors, administer medication, bathe her, and so much more. I put myself in a place where faith took over. Through my actions, I became a believer. 

I could and would do what was needed when the time called for it.

Three: We all experience hardships 

Just because you get the shit end of the stick doesn’t mean someone else didn’t get their share. We’re all here to learn something different in our way. It’s never easy for anyone — but we have to move along, go through, over or around adversities. 

That’s the only way we can move forward.

Four: Death isn’t so scary after all. 

I used to view death as awful, something to dread. But, as we know, nothing is inevitable, and we always have to be prepared. Death is just a long, sweet sleep of peace and saying goodbye to the realm called earth. It’s a transcending to another level of consciousness. I genuinely believe we are still somehow attached to our loved ones when they die. They are partly with us and in their own space. 

One day, we’ll get to know the absolute truth.

Five: Take lots of photos of the people you love

These are the only memories you will have left when a person’s time ends on earth. So take as many pictures for memories, even if the kids grow up, and certain family members hate photos. 

Capture a moment in time with an image to remember and ponder in the future.

Six: Cut yourself some slack

We can’t do it all — even if we want to. Feeling frustrated, angry or becoming impatient is ok. Perfection is never attainable — why aim for it. It’s ok to get angry. That moment will pass, and another one will fill the gap. 

Seven: Keep a diary

No matter what you do in your daily life, writing things down is essential. Sometimes getting your frustrations out on paper helps you find a way of solving them. Progression towards your chief aim is also a remarkable experience. One day you will have the pleasure of looking back on your journey and beam with a proud smile. 

You did it.

Eight: Look after yourself

It’s beneficial to be healthy, alive with energy, and be happy. How can you be your best self — or serve others when you aren’t feeling well? You can only push yourself so much, and doing this too often increase your chances of burnout. 

Nine: Be your own best friend

Everyone you love will leave this existence at one time or another, but you might still be hanging around. So make sure you’re able to live, breathe and stare yourself in the mirror with pride. 

Ten: Your health is your wealth

Always remember that when you think about a cigarette, drugs or alcohol.

Eleven: It’s ok to say no

Why do we feel so guilty for saying no? Of course, it’s because we don’t want to hurt anyone feelings — but what about you? 

Don’t your feelings and wishes matter?

Twelve: It’s ok to need a day to be alone

We all need one day where we can do absolutely nothing. Maybe an employer won’t agree to this, but take it if you need a day off. 

It’s no one’s business but your own.

Thirteen: You may not like or get along with someone

That very person you find difficult may be going through their own hard time. Become less judgemental and more human-centred with others. Forgive everyone because one day, you will need forgiveness.

Fourteen: Cry

It’s very therapeutic and allows you to recover from inner turmoil. Let it out without resistance. 

It will soon pass.

Fifteen: Remember — we’re all going to leave this planet one day

If you think anyone is better than you, think again. No matter how rich, powerful or successful someone is — we’re all going to end up in the same place. No one is any better or worse. Were all just humans doing the best we can? 

Sixteen: Who said you had to act your age

Wear what you want, dress and be as you wish. Sometimes people act older than they are. Have a little fun sometimes — it will make you smile. Be comfortable in your skin and let your uniqueness shine through. 

Seventeen: People will try to use you

Be on guard for users — friends, strangers and family members. You may give them an inch, and they will try to run a mile. So keep your eyes open and your pocketbook shut. Look for the signs, and don’t be angry when they are not the signs you were looking for. 

Eighteen: Pitty the rough

There is no point in getting angry or fighting back. That puts you on the same level as the offender. For people to be rude, arrogant or horrible to you, inner turmoil might be causing them pain and anger. Maybe you would react the same way.

Nineteen: Do more than is expected 

Be proud of the outcome by giving it all you’ve got. Then give it a little extra for good luck. No matter how small — give it everything. It just proves you are an exceptional person who gets the job done 1000% at all times.

Twenty: Stop feeling guilty — period

If you want to take a holiday, have an operation, take a day off, or not go to an event. Go. We tend to overthink and believe people care about our requests. The sad fact is they don’t give a dam — and neither should you!

Twenty-One: Keep being kind to others, even if they don’t respond in the same way

The person benefiting is you — always. Show kindness as much as you can. Then, spread it around like fairy dust. Have the upper hand by being the better person — and you can be sure that kind acts from others will follow you back soon. 

Celebrate the person you’ve become. It’s been a long year. Now it’s time to make room for yet another year. Make it even better. Cheers to 2022.

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