A friend of mine asked me, “Why would you write about one of the most depressing years in history and remind your audience of something they just wanna bury?” I disagree.
Well, #Stayathome and 2020 in a Nutshell article was born because growth comes out of darkness and hard times.
Not always, but most of the time.
2020 – The shittiest year in history brought the best and the worst out of humanity. It was a year that challenged us mentally, physically, and financially. It gave us some meaningful lessons, and it marked us forever.
Married people went crazy working from home, dealing with kids studying online.
Couples were “stuck” 24/7 with their partners, something they were not used to.
Singles got bored and depressed out of loneliness.
We dealt with an unknown virus and uncertain long-term consequences.
Remote work was another challenge and something most of us were not used to.
Waking up in the morning, working in pajamas, from our bed for 10 hours, and having nowhere to work out or socialize – everything was online.
Dating was weird.
People lost their jobs. They couldn’t pay their loans or keep their kids in schools. So many families left Dubai last year.
None of the above was our choice, it was out of our control, and there was no other way.
A global mess.
But here is my thought: Yes, it was tough on a mental and financial level. There was suicide, loneliness, sadness, boredom, fear, uncertainty, empty pockets, pain, and no clue what the future looked like.
But what I noticed is that people that were in a good place all they did was complain and whine. We were locked in the luxury of our homes, connected to wifi, having Netflix, food, warmth, AC, access to clean water, and the possibility to go to the supermarket or order anything you could imagine online. Not to mention instant communication with our families and friends.
What would people who survived the Spanish Flu or the World Wars say?
Hmmm … Just think about it.
I was one of the 8B people living on this planet that went through this. But I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
In January 2020, I Was Sailing On An Exciting High Wave: I Had A Brand New Job, A New Apartment, More Money In My Pocket, Back To My Social Life. I Was Basically Getting Out Of My Dark Two-And-A-Half-Year Period When Things Were Shaky And Insecure For Me And Struggling Living In Dubai.
I was planning Bali for the summer and so much more. The world was again my oyster. I was 38.
February was weird, but I doubted a pandemic was really coming up. In my head, social life was moving, Bali and other exciting trips for the summer were happening.
I was again happy and full of hope, back in business.
In mid-March, we temporarily closed a business that a friend of mine and I manage.
Curfew came. Can’t remember the exact timings now, but either way, It was weird not to be able to buy a bottle of milk after 8 pm because the police would send you home or, even worse, fine you.
And I will never forget that Friday evening when we learned that from Saturday, April 4th, we were locked inside the house due to the sterilization program. For an undetermined period…
My Three Weeks Lockdown Experience
- Work was at its best. And coming after a few years of shakiness in terms of career and finances, I was a bit worried. I only had the job for 4 months. But it all went well, and the workload was higher than usual. It all went digital, but there was no other option.
- I was non-stop connected with my friends and family via Zoom, calls, and WhatsApp.
- Working out. I have a big apartment, but I was not equipped with all the necessary tools. However, I managed to have pretty decent daily workouts, which made me stay in shape. After the first lockdown week, I discovered that a few neighbors were doing their cardio on the ground floor parking, which is outdoor and half covered. Obviously, I joined. Happy days.
- Netflix. Watched a couple of excellent series. My favorites from that time are The Sinner, Season 1 and 2, and BlackMirror.
- Cooking. I was trying a new dish every second day, at least.
- Online ordering. I am not a big fan of online orders as I prefer to do most of my shopping in person. But having everything delivered to your door was actually not that bad.
- Making a grocery list and going to the mall or to the supermarket was the highlight of the week. Makes me laugh now when I think about it :))
- I even visited one of my friends a couple of times for dinner, drinks, and movie night.
- Work was safe, and I was handling new clients and new projects.
- Since I worked from the office except for the 3 weeks lockdown, I was happy to wake up in the morning, think of what I would wear about my make-up, etc. Also, shopping made sense, so I became very good friends with Shein LOL
- I made new friends through my little socializing outings and through work.
- I was back to rereading books after a 2 years break.
- Started to shop up to 50% online more
- Saved a little more money
- Did not travel. I was afraid I would be stuck or quarantined somewhere.
- Didn’t see my family until recently, after more than 2 years.
- I was living my life, but honestly, I had a sense of fear deep down because it was still 2020, and you never know.
- Felt lonelier, especially in the second part of the year, as no matter how open Dubai was, the socializing options were still limited, and restrictions were on.
- There was too much online socializing, and I am an in-person girl. I want to hug and see my friends and meet new people. Live not through a screen.
In A Nutshell, Nobody Was Prepared For The #Stayathome Experience And For What Was Coming. But 2020 Showed Us That
- Having some savings can … SAVE US.
- Making a Plan B and C – never keep your eggs in the same basket is a wise idea.
- Spending more time with yourself is better than we thought.
- We are adapted to survive, and this is what we did.
- We are powerful human beings, and we can overcome any obstacles.
What I appreciate about 2020 is that as though it was for most of us, it gave us hope, and it showed us again that every problem has a solution. We lost jobs, found others, broke up, met other people, and our friends moved away, but we built new friendships, and businesses collapsed. Still, others flourished, and the most beautiful thing: many people got to know that they could spend time with themselves and enjoy their own company. How magic is that!
This shows how strong our human race is and how adapted we are toward survival.
As a closing remark, I am really proud of Dubai and I am grateful I was “stuck” in this city and not somewhere else. We still had many opportunities to socialize and entertain ourselves. Dubai kept us warm and safe. Thank-you UAE!
How was your lockdown experience, and how was 2020 overall?