Hindsight 2020 Series, Writer's Life

Hindsight 2020: 3 Things to Leave Behind

This is the second part of a three-part blog series covering my reflections on this year 2020. To read the first part: Hindsight 2020: 4 Bright Spots in a Transformative Year.


It’s all well and good to highlight all the good things that happened this year. However, it does not relay the overall reality that we live in. It wouldn’t be responsible to dismiss the suffering, the anger, and the fatigue from what this year has wrought.

Perhaps it was best that this year forced us to stop and reevaluate how we live. Why we move away from home, why we love who we love, how we show up for ourselves, what do we tolerate, are just some of the questions I asked myself.

Existential crisis in the face of our own mortality tends to be the part of stories that the characters recognize their own reckoning.

3 Things to Leave Behind

Maximizing Minor Mistakes

I didn’t realize until this year how much power I gave to minor mistakes and criticism. I would submit a final report at work with a typo. I may say ‘happy birthday’ to the wrong person. Then, it is like my brain says, “See? This is why you’re a terrible person and now only bad things are going to happen to you.”

Cue Panic AttackTM.

When I started writing down nearly each time this happened, I noticed a pattern of being overwhelmed and therefore there can only be negatives associated with the feeling. So now that I know what triggers it, I can effectively cope with it and remove its power over my decisions and life.


Everyone at work was pulling in crazy hours, my partner needed more support due to their own struggles, and family wanted regular video calls to keep the connections alive. I couldn’t see myself taking breaks or pacing myself when it seemed that so many people depended on me.

There have been many times that I should’ve just called off or schedule a vacation away from work. Even if that vacation was me lounging on the couch while watching YouTube videos.

It’s still something I’m working through, but I can say that I’m not the people-pleaser I was before this year.

Shutting Out Others

If you haven’t gotten it by this part of the post, I’m the type to be seen as dependable and self-sufficient. I gather satisfaction that I was able to make someone else’s life easier, especially if it’s a friend or loved one.

So I have a hard time reaching out and admitting that I need help too.

This year showed me that it is foolish to believe that I, alone, would be able to shoulder these burdens. While there are some things that require my own abilities, there are others that are soothed with the support of our loved ones. Not to mention the many examples worldwide showing that we are interconnected.

So why am I making these harder by trying to do everything myself?

It’s not sustainable.

What Are You Leaving Behind in 2020?

This year gave us the space to take a honest look at how we are living. For better or for worse, we can choose to live differently because we can no longer tolerate how we were living.

So what’s one thing you’re leaving behind after this year? Let me know in the comments!

What do you think? A topic you want me to cover? Leave a comment below!

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