My 2020 Year in Review

If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that I usually pen my yearly reflections. My word of the year for 2020 was ‘Gratitude,’ and the decade was ‘Kindness.’ Looking back now, I can’t help but wonder how apt these words were and have held me high during the pandemic times.

First, let’s check out my 2020 reflection and goals post and see how I fared at the end of the year. 

Read: It didn’t happen with the pandemic. Living in a joint family, where you’re responsible for three generations, alongside a full-time job, and pursuing creative writing on the side, the reading took a backseat. I didn’t have the luxury and privilege of time to sit quietly and read as much as I had planned initially. But I read, and I’m happy with the count given my situation. 

Write and explore different genres: I did reasonably well on this front, I think. I wrote a short story in the horror genre for the first time and surprisingly had a blast. I reworked entirely on ‘Bhumi: A Collection of Short Stories,’ and gave it a complete makeover in its 1st-anniversary edition. I wrote a short thriller story, albeit in a rush. While I penned a decent thriller in a short time, that incident taught me not to rush and submit anything to fit deadlines. Write when it’s comfortable for you and submit until you’re entirely satisfied. I penned a few poems amid the pandemic, and I’m happy with my work there. I continued to blog and write on varied topics from politics, society, gender, and culture. 

Self-care: This went for a complete toss. I put myself at the end of my list of priorities. I’ve gained the weight I’ve lost in the last year. But I’m okay with my corona weight. The pandemic year has been tough and challenging. I have started to work on my body, take myself a bit more seriously, and love myself more in the last few months of 2020. I promise to love myself in 2021 and give my body, mind, and soul the care and respect it deserves. 

Love & Relationships: If there’s one thing that was great in 2020, it was the time spent with family. There were rough times, and good times, but we were together cruising through them all. I’ll be grateful that I have a family to count on in these times. I became an aunt to the cutest twin girls born in Feb this year. Spending time with the babies was a huge stress-buster. And connecting with friends here, especially in the US over chatty phone-calls like the good old times. There was no rush to get up in the morning, and prep the kid to school, or go to the workplace. The different time-zones didn’t matter. It was yesterday once more! The downside was that it made me miss living abroad so bad.

Travel: Hah, you must be joking! 

Career: Apart from family, this aspect of life wholly consumed me. It’s good that there was stability on that front, and I had a pipeline of freelance projects, as well. There was learning of new technologies, and it was an exciting and satisfying year given the volatile employment situation. Never mind, more than half the year was spent working in my PJs, and multitasking – cooking, work calls, tasks, and helping the kid with her school work. I’ve learnt now to dress for work at home too. I have 3-4 uniform codes at home now – My night PJs, my kitchen rags for cookings, work wear, and exercise wear. The multitasking never ends. I was switching between cooking and attending a zoom call this morning. Looks like this is the new normal.

Speak: I took baby steps on this front, and I’m happy with the slow progress. I started the ‘Writing Tip of the Day’ video series on social media, conducted some social media and blogging related workshops online.

Cook: Who knew we’d have a pandemic this year, which would force us to stay indoors and cook like there’s no tomorrow. Of course, I experimented and cooked a lot this year. Most of my 2020 was spent in the kitchen. It peaked during the holiday season.

Home sweet home: We have started renovating our home this year, starting with our daughter’s room, which has turned out better than we had imagined. The renovation will continue in 2021 as we move on to the other areas of our home. 

Spirituality: This aspect has been my sanity keeper. I don’t know what I would have done without a prayer or meditation. At the end of it all, we are born from dust and will go back to dust. That’s our true worth. Spirituality keeps me grounded and gives me a reality check on what truly matters at the end of the day. Those moments of quiet reflection, meditation, family prayer time, and listening to soothing music have worked like magic on a weary body, soul, and mind. Materialism and spirituality don’t mix for me. It’s why I don’t buy the prosperity gospel preachers or abundance life coaches. There is nothing wrong with failure, poverty or even negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and sadness. Scarcity is proven to fuel innovation and creativity. One can’t stay positive all the time. There is nothing wrong in being realistic and even negative or cynical at times. It’s natural human tendency to feel every kind of emotion, and go through all kinds of experiences. As my mum says, “Everything in moderation is good.” My spiritual goals are inner peace and wisdom and not tied to material prosperity/wealth, status, fame, and other worldly pursuits. The material aspects of my life were nonetheless good this year, and I’m grateful for that; but that’s not what defines me, or my identity and character.

My 2020 learnings 

I know this has been a joke ever since our Prime Minister first mentioned it. But, I think if there’s anything I’ve learned from 2020, it has been survival, self-reliance, and independence. Aatmanirbharta! 

While I’ve always practiced minimalism in my lifestyle over the last few years, this has extended to my outlook as well. ‘Less is more’ in all aspects of life. ‘Quality over quantity,’ and you don’t need to impress or chase anyone. Be you, and those who were yours will always stay beside you. For that matter, there’s nothing to chase. What’s yours and due to you, will make its way to you.

I’d vowed to be kind to everyone, including my foes, at the start of the year. And I’m happy, and even proud, that I conducted myself with immense grace and dignity on that front. Even when provoked to the hilt, I’ve stayed calm and stoic while holding my ground. I intend to continue with this behaviour. Forgiveness is a rare trait, and it’s good to strive and be a higher version of yourself. 

I’ve also learned from the elders and youngsters in my family. I plan to open my mind and heart, learn the best traits from people around me while leaving the rest. While I’d love to have diverse people in my circle and broaden my horizons, I’d also love to hang out with myself more in the coming year. 

2020 might have been a tough year, but I am thankful for the hard lessons it’s taught me. It’s forced me to pause, introspect, and use my resources for survival. It’s taught me my strengths and limitations, how kindness and gratitude are much more important than ever before; it’s taught me to learn to unwind and destress, be less judgemental, and spend time with people who matter. It’s also taught me the importance of education and financial stability on the brink of an unknown and unpredictable future.

My word for 2021 is ‘Wisdom,’ and on that note, I wish you a happy and healthy new year! 

‘This blog post is a part of the Welcome 2021 Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath.’

#Welcome2021BlogHop

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Tina Sequeira
Articles: 230

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  1. Such a lovely post, Tina!
    And yes indeed, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Kindness’ did become the key to positive thinking and living through this challenging year.
    Your reflections and goals are very inspiring. Heartiest congratulations for your book, and wishing you many more! The new year would definitely help you catch up on your reading goals.
    Year 2020 did leave us all pondering over some important life lessons and lifestyle upgrading.
    Very beautifully written!

    • Hi Jyoti! I know…little did I know back then, how these words would define this year, and the decade perhaps. Thank you so much! So nice to hear that this post was inspiring in some way. 🙂 Same here..wishing you many more books, and yours is on my TBR. Absolutely, it’s been one of the hardest years, but a much-needed one too. Keep reading!

  2. That was a lot.. lot of learnings, lot of realisation, and still a day consisted of just 24 hours.. isn’t it :)??
    My best wishes to you for the year just moments away from us..

    • Love the way you put it, Payel! I know we can get lost in the nitty-gritties of life, and lose track of the progress we’ve made. While the year flew by, there have been several accomplishments when you actually sit back and reflect. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful New Year too!

  3. Tina I am so pleased to read your post. You have presented the year wonderfully and gratitude is my word of the year too. I liked how you have put experiences and stories to each word. After reading now this year 2021 will be focussed on kindness for sure. Subscribed to blog because I see a connect. Just today I told the same lines just as u mentioned

    • Thank you so much, Urvashi! It’s wonderful to hear such nice words from first-time visitors. To more meaningful connections. 🙂

  4. Tina I am so pleased to read your post. You have presented the year wonderfully and gratitude is my word of the year too. I liked how you have put experiences and stories to each word. After reading now this year 2021 will be focussed on kindness for sure. Subscribed to blog because I see a connect. Just today I told the same lines just as u mentioned – Urvashi

  5. Hey Tina! It was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reflection post of 2020. I remember reading your reflection post of 2019 and we talked about gratitude being the key word to focus in coming year. So nicely it became the great learning of the year, no!? Being grateful to every little thing we have in our arms. Such a lovely read and I congratulate you for Bhumi, once again. Thank you so much for joining us in the blog hop. I am grateful to you. Wish you a great year ahead. Best wishes.

    • Thank you, Swarnali! I remember your comments on my last year’s post too. Little did I know how important counting your blessings will see me through the year, amid the dark times. And oh, they were plenty of those times in the last year. It’s my pleasure to be part of such a wonderfully organized blog hop. Love your blog too, the poster you made, and the cool video. So much to learn from each other. I wish you a wonderful, happy, and successful 2021 to you. Grateful for our connection, my dear! xo

  6. Considering everything I’ve seen in 2020, wisdom is actually a pretty good word to have for 2021. I have your book Bhumi (I had the first version and then upgraded too when you announced it) and it’s brilliant.

    I wish you more serenity than ever this year.

    • Thank you so much, Dr. Roshan for your kind and encouraging words always. I love and admire your work, and this is precious coming from you. Your book is on my TBR and I can’t wait to read it. Serenity is beautiful, and yes I’d love to have more of it in my life. I wish you the same, and everything nice. Happy 2021! 🙂

  7. Navita Bhatia
    Navita Bhatia

    Glad to have an insight into your journey through the past year and some very practical takeaways through this lovely post.
    Can’t agree more with the fact that the year gone by has taught us the value of quality over quantity.
    All the very best for the year 2021. May this new year bring lots of happiness, success, and prosperity in your life. May ‘wisdom’ finds its true meaning by spreading its wings over the world.

    • Glad to hear that, Navita! Absolutely, minimalism has been a major takeaway of 2020. 🙂 I wish you and your family love, light, serenity, and good health in 2021.

  8. It was so wonderful knowing about your 2020 journey. It’s great that you got time to read this year. I loved your views on spirituality and materialism.
    Wish you a fabulous 2021 ❤️

    • Hi Purba! Thank you so much! I loved reading your inspirational post too. Your achievements during the pandemic, and more so, your spiritual bent of mind. Commented twice, but it wasn’t going through. Will try again! WIshing you a fabulous 2021 too, my dear!

  9. Aatmanirbharta indeed the biggest take away of 2020. Loved the way you defined your year, hectic but sure full of positivity. We all sometimes undermine spirituality and its importance, glad you spoke about those.
    Best wishes for 2021
    Deepika

  10. How beautifully you summed up 2020. Looks like, you grew and groomed yourself in every aspect of your life. That awesome. I completely understand managing in-laws, kids along with full-time job and pursuing your passion needs a lot of balance. I am sailing in the same boat. Hats off to you for managing everything so beautifully.

    “wisdom” is my word for 2020 too.

  11. Gratitude and kindness are the mantra to live life and pandemic has really taught us both. Loved reading your journey. Lots to take forward in the coming years

  12. First of all, accept my heartiest congratulations on your book! Kudos to you and I think multitasking is what your name should be synonymous with. Absolutely 2020 was a tough year and when we look back there is so much to be grateful for. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavors!

  13. This was such a cute read! Esp – travel 😂😂😂😂 I love how you’ve written about all aspects of life.

  14. Darshana Suresh
    Darshana Suresh

    You’ve got the perfect word for the year, Tina. I love how you’ve categorized your learnings of the year, how well you’ve reflected over how far you’ve come. Wishing you a happy and wonderful 2021!

  15. What a heartfelt write up Tina. Loved your positive take on the gone year 2020 i.e. Gratitude and kindness. This year has shown us the worst of everything, but if someone is able to pick the positivity from it ,i can imagine the high spirit of that soul. Brilliant dear! Even I believe too that Financial security and health can not be taken granted in any way. Wishing you the best of all in coming year too.

    • Hi Archana! I swear…and the same nightmare and fear continues in 2021 too. On the upside, it has shown us the resilience of humankind, and it’s a huge lesson to us. Being a mother too, I’ve not stopped thinking about how much more important education, financial security and health are in the coming times. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and safe 2021 too.

  16. Looking at your accomplishments of the year 2020 is remarkable Tina. Again congratulations for the awards and recognition you have received for “Bhumi”. Glad to connect. Wish you a much more glaring new year! Stay safe 😊

    • Hi Nidhi! I’ve not touched upon my accomplishments on this post, but I’m grateful for those that came my way. Thank you so much! Same here. I love connecting with fellow writers and bloggers. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful and safe 2021 too!

  17. It was such a wonderful and heartfelt roundup post, Tina. I really liked the new look of Bhumi and in fact, my long-promised review post of Bhumi is still on my TODO list. So sorry for the delay. This pandemic and mil’s health has put my creative blogging side on the back burner. Hopefully, I will get back on track this year.

    • Thank you so much, Suhasini. Glad to hear you enjoyed this post, and even more so, the updated version of Bhumi. I completely understand, as I’m sailing in the same boat. Times are hard for sure, and we have no clue what the future holds. But hope, believe, and give our best; we must! Please take your time, read and review Bhumi whenever it’s convenient for you. You will, I’m sure!

  18. TripleAmommy
    TripleAmommy

    Really enjoyed reading your blog Tina – it gave me a sense of peace. I believe you were prophetic when you chose the word gratitude for this year – because I think that is one thing the entire world has felt by the end of 2020. Also hats off for managing all the different fronts of your life so well – I am sure I can take a leaf out of your book. Also really happy for all your achievements this year. All the best for this year 🙂

  19. Oh my! The things you accomplished during the past year is indeed ammmazing!!! This has such a positive outlook towards 2020 and that’s wonderful!

  20. What a wonderful post! 2020 surely taught us a lot of things but reading your perspective and quote with a word wisdom surely made me think in lot new ways. Happy new year..

  21. I keep reading your posts in FB but had never visited your blog earlier. Loved your post, you have summed it up so beautifully. Congratulations!! For all the accolades that you won for “Bhumi”. That’s there in my #TBR challenge of Blagchatter this year. Your choice of words are amazing and it strikes a connect with the reader. Glad to connect with you. Wishing you a happy and prosperous year ahead.

  22. Your words of prudence were food for my soul!! It satiated my hunger for a mindful read today. You’re a learned girl Tina and I’m so impressed with your thought clarity and mindful focus. There’s a lot I realized, I need to understand before reaching a conclusion or passing a mandate. Each moment is bursting with opportunity and life, we just need to look up and absorb. Awesome job, realizing your targets for 2020 and keep shining in your grandeur!!
    Your big fan!!
    Daisy

  23. Reblogged this in freshdaisiesdotme!

  24. Wow Tina, I love how elaborately you have summed up 2020. Have been reading your posts and watching your updates on twitter, Insta – you certainly rocked the year and here’s hoping you have a swell in 2021 too my gal.

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