The quarantine chronicles: Week 41

Published January 3, 2021, 12:19 AM

by Alex M. Eduque

IT’S THE SMALL THINGS

Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

If there is one thing about myself that needed the most adjustment in 2020, it was flexibility in terms of making plans. I finally had to embrace spontaneity to an extent, and had to let go of the obsessive compulsive nature of writing everything down in my planner by the hour. These days, we make plans with a big hope of them pushing through, and with a back up for the back-up.

2020 taught me to live in the present, and to make the most out of every moment of every day. I used to think I knew what “seize the day” meant, but I guess, my previous definition of such was filling and cramming my day jam packed full with meetings and engagements one after the other that I quite literally lived in my car on some days, and had it prepared for long hauls of traffic. I had a lap desk for days I needed to use every extra moment to work, as well as a pillow and a blanket on days I may have stayed out longer than I should have the night before to catch up on some sleep on the road. Yes, I may have seen way more people on a regular basis in the past, but did I really give them my undivided attention? Probably not. It was fleeting, small talks during socials, and catch-ups because we told each other we would. 2020 showed me the importance of filtering – of choosing who and what to spend my time with and on. Who deserved my utmost attention and quality time. Sometimes, it does not even need a set time and place. All true care really needs is attention and genuine concern.

2020 was a year of both introspective and retrospective learning. It was one where compassion and kindness was learned and re-learned – both to others and to ourselves. In the words of a friend, it was a year of day-to-day living and a keep-on-going kind of year. We rolled with the punches and went with the flow. On a personal note, I am armed with the gratefulness to learn what I had in the year that was, and to move on with knowledge, vigilance, and a broadened perspective that 2020 has gifted me with. I am hopeful for 2021 because after all, where there is hope, there is light.

2020 was the roller-coaster ride no one expected to be on, and that everyone was unprepared for. The year that caught all of us off guard. When the whole world came to a halt at some point, and plans got derailed, postponed, and cancelled perhaps because the world needed to rest. Who knew this would be how my milestone year would turn out? When I look back at the year that was 2020, it will always be one heck of a memorable one. I turned thirty, I got married, and well, I stayed home for most of it. But I also got to know myself, my friends, and my families more. I got re-acquainted, and even re-introduced to a lot of them, as I met the quarantined version of their normal selves. There were the friends we thought we knew, and those who just coasted along.

This was also the year that I recognized the importance of strong faith. It surely came with its share of distressing situations, moments of panic, and it definitely shook me. But it also showed me that there is absolutely nothing that prayer cannot get you through, and even at a most transformative and eventful time in your life, it is what will keep you afloat, rolling with the punches, standing, and grounded.

You were one heck of a year 2020. You were one great teacher who managed to still give me one of the happiest days in my life. You gifted me with moments that I never would have savored, or appreciated in the same way before, that have now become some of my most meaningful memories I would re-live any day. I thank you for all that you were, and as well for all that you were not. Because in the end, I have come to realize that it is not the places you go that matter, but who you are with, and who truly make the effort to be there, and stay connected despite the physical hindrances and boundaries. They are, and these are the truest blessings.

May 2021 be a brighter one for us all. May it bring us the hope we seek, and may it continue to enlighten us on what matters most. A blessed new year to all!

 
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