Hello everyone,

We are in the last week of 2020. What a year it has been! From its conception till now, event after event, shock after shock. This extremity is why I think we need to reflect even harder on how this year has been for each of us individually. This is what I want to do in this post. Here is my reflection. PS: I am aware that some of you might have had it harder than me. Maybe you lost someone or their jobs or got sick. I really hope everything works out the best for everyone. This will be my reflection, but feel free to share yours if you had it harder and hated this year too (and also if you loved it, of course).  Anyways, here we go.

I think I would rate this year as one of my top years so far in terms of personal development. All the difficulties we faced made me turn to myself and find out ways I can handle the problems in the best way possible. Things that worked out for me individually. I also tried to keep a positive outlook as much as possible. For example, when the quarantine orders came in in March, I took this as a challenge (rather than an order/a threat) to see how long I could go without going out (as a person who went out almost everyday). I enjoyed the challenge at the time, but I could not go without going out at all anymore. So then, I tried to discover what my middle ground is. Namely, how I could stay safe while also going out. That helped me a lot to understand my preferences, limits and the external factors.

Then, the summer came. My biggest challenge then was not being able to go to my home country to visit my family. It hit me hard. But I had made some good friends by then at this time and I hang out with them. The biggest benefit of me not going to my home country is that I was able to write most of my dissertation at that time. Had I gone, my dissertation would still be waiting to be written.

The fall so far has been me enjoying the benefits of the patterns I established over the spring and the summer. The extra time I was given allowed me to establish tighter connections with people and with myself. I discover some of my hidden talents (e.g. talking to people, which I now do 4-5 hours on average a day), which really opened up new career options for me. The biggest benefit of all for me, though, is that I am better at accepting the unknown now. That took me from a person who wanted to guarantee everything to someone who accepts every possibility. That is what I had been wanting to do for years by now. I am very grateful for that. In fact, I now prefer not knowing to planning, because the latter is much less exciting. For example, I don’t even know if I can see my family in the following summer, but that does not bother me as much. Let’s see what life holds for me.

Now I want to hear your reflections. Good or bad, I want to hear how you saw this year overall and what you think you learnt from it. Let’s have some reflection!


76 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. I like that positive blog. I feel exactly the same. I have a beautiful life and COVID whilst a pain. It is not the end of the world for me. I can still thrive by re-evaluating and adjusting. I also think a negative mood over it is self defeating. It’s almost unrealistic to feel that life will not have its turbulence.

  2. It’s been hard in terms of mental health. But I’ve learnt so much. And I’ve gotten better at not relying on company and distraction in order to be ‘alright’.

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  3. Hi Betul – “A person who accepts every possibility.” I’d like to think that I’ve become more like this too. Still I have work to do. I’ve always been such a planner. With planning comes disappointments.
    I’ll work on this for 2021.
    Thanks for sharing 🌞🌞

  4. Loved the positivity here. It has been a year of personal development for me too, but I didn’t go that far. I’m still working on the ‘accepting the unknown’ part 😉 Hopefully I’ll get there by the end of 2021.
    Thanks for sharing <3

  5. Betul, This year has been a horrible year with some outstandingly wonderful events.

    The worst thing has been the pandemic… watching horrific news every day, the restrictions, the fear. My fiance, my daughter, and I have all had Covid19. It was a serious illness for me with complications and an ongoing recovery. An almost equally bad aspect of 2020 was the constant political turmoil and violence. Every day was an assault on the US Constitution, and the destruction of our institutions, environment, and national unity.

    As you stated, this year has been an opportunity for personal growth. I added a blog to my website as an antidote to the isolation of the coronavirus restrictions. I have learned a lot from interactions with other bloggers and have written many new poems.

    There have been some positive developments for my children this year, which make me happy.

    After living together for six happy years, my significant other and I are planning to get married as soon as the pandemic is over.

    The election of Joe Biden to the presidency gives me hope for the future of our country.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope you get to visit your family soon! <3

  6. Hi Betul! Thanks for this uplifting post. 2020 has certainly been an unusual year. While I’m happy to say my family and I remain healthy, we’ve also had challenges. Our son rang in the year in the NICU, after being born ten weeks early last November. When he finally came home at the end of January, we settled in for the winter. And, of course, lockdown orders due to COVID hit shortly thereafter. While we miss seeing family and friends—and just going out to eat without a second thought—one major benefit of this year has been all of the time my husband, our son, and I have gotten to spend together, just us. Wishing you a Happy 2021, my friend.🕊

  7. Hey there.
    I like how you tried to spin the negative into positive.
    Me personally, this has been a year of surprises of the horrid kind. And although the bad trumps the good, it allowed me to learn to blog.
    It gave me a chance to write out my feelings and try to come to terms with everything so far, which is easier said than done.
    A little help would be great if u guys can lend a thought or two.

      1. Hopefully the healing kind.
        Downward spirals are hard to get out of…admitting is the first step i guess 😅

  8. A lovely, positive post . . . pandemic aside, this year has been perhaps my most trying (and I’ve had many). I think, now, at the end of it, I too am spending time reflecting, assessing. Next year may be equally trying but, I believe, I’m just that little bit wiser. God willing, I’ll tackle any trials that come my way with grace and patience.

  9. This was a joy to read, Betul we all are looking through our own looking glass, with a vision for the future and the heartbreaks of the past, that self reflection will reveal, what we sometimes choose to conceal.

  10. I think the biggest realization for me was how reclusive and isolated I really am normally. I kept hearing how tough it was for people to not visit or go out but for me it was – standard. Nothing changed. I didn’t miss much at all….
    And that was scary.

      1. – I’m still working on that; I’ve used it to reach out more to family, so far. And, have decided that bit by bit I need to build stronger connections….in person…

  11. We had it easy in Australia than most of the world. I was surprised by the bickering here when an cluster outbreak would happen in a specific state. I get it. When we look at how tough it is elsewhere its logical that we dont want things to spread. It’s weird though cause when you went on the internet they were talking about how we need to be kind to each other and ourselves. Huh?

  12. Life this year has been hard and challenging but it has taught us that we can adapt and adjust to any situation and stay put. Human resilience at its best…new year greetings to you Betul 😊

  13. I love the story you shared in this blog! Sure this year has been full of some highs and many lows but it has all been a learning curve! Personally, initially I felt like I was so lost and disturbed but now when I look back, I realise that I have learned quite a lot this year! It has been a good one indeed!

  14. Just been considering this. Despite the challenges, I feel almost guilty in what a relatively lucky 2020 my family has had – retaining jobs and, most of us, employment. Personally, it’s been so good to see more of the children whilst working from home. Although they’re growing, I feel so close.

  15. This year taught me gratitude; there are so many things that we take for granted in life and it is time we realize their value, their eminence. Family is one’s biggest support in hard times, be it emotional, financial or psychological. I’m grateful for all that I have, health is wealth 🙂

  16. May you find more personal growth in 2021 🙂. I’m with you on this year being one for the books when it came to personal development. I started my blog in 2020 and reassessed my life to fit life around what I enjoy doing rather than worrying first and foremost on money constantly.

  17. Hey Betul, I think you said it correctly through your blog that even though this year was not what we expected it to be but it has helped us to evolve in areas of personal development and has taught us how to be happy in most difficult times.

  18. Thank you for your like on my post “The Power of God’s Spirit.” This has also been a challenging year for myself. My book was published last fall and I cancelled all of my engagements since Covid-19 hit. Only God is my literary agent now. Your insights are so right on and I know what you mean by “personal development” it never really stops. With God, next year will be better and you will be in my prayers for your safety and success. God Bless You. Rick

  19. Great words! I have also grown the most as a person from 2020 than any other year. I am so grateful for this because I know these growths are also pretty deep. I too am a lot better at handling the unexpected. I also am learning to just JUMP. Stop thinking and just live in the moment. That’s why I started a blog and selling my artwork. I have also improved my relationship with my family and have stopped putting energy into those that are negative. To 2021🥂

  20. 2020 was suppose to be my year. So many great opportunities and experiences were coming my way until COVID literally shut down everything (I am into the performing arts). As time went on, I spent a lot of quality time with myself and refocusing on personal growth. More trails, fitness plans, dance classes, reading more books, blogging more, and etcetera. At the conclusion of 2020, these are the biggest self-reflections. I need to do better at protecting my following:


    Once I started living by these somewhat personal affirmations, life has been so much and a personal weight has been lifted off of me.

    1. I think now you planted the seeds for an even brighter career. Having a solid personal foundation, with a good understanding of your personality and personal needs, is a major tool for that success, especially if you want it to be continuous.

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