2020 wasn’t all bad – The things you learned this year

What a year. So many ups and downs – in the world at large, but also personally for every one.

A terrorist attack in Hanau (Germany), bushfires in Australia, Brexit, Corona, home office, #blacklivesmatter, the refugee camp Moria catching fire, an explosion in Beirut, face masks, Trump and Biden, vaccines, a terror attack in Vienna (Austria), lockdowns – all of this and so much more was in the headlines this year. There wasn’t much space or time to breathe. At least not when you were trying to stay up to date, but also trying not to become indifferent to it all. And then there were the very personal strokes of fate. Many people lost their loved ones, their companies, their careers. Social distancing saved lives, but also caused people to become lonely. No matter what happened in the world and in politics on top of Corona and co., the very “normal” challenges and beautiful things in life didn’t take a break.

I started “The strength of Her” in february with the purpose of telling stories of strong women, who are unseen heroes in everyday life. And as I started, the load of everyday life as a “stay-at-home-mom” hit – being home with a toddler all day, closed-down playgrounds, moving into a new place, mental health problems and a miscarriage in summer. I didn’t manage to tell as many stories as I had planned to. But I am so grateful that I started this blog anyway and that I am able to continue in the next year. Because that is exactly what I want “The strength of Her” to be about: Despite all of life’s challenges and struggles it is possible to be happy, receive and give love and make a change, wherever you are. “The strength of Her” might not make a big difference in many people’s lives. But the stories of courageous women might make a difference in a few women’s lives and encourage them, that they are not alone. And that is worth it.

I asked all of you a couple of questions on Instagram about the last year and I want to share a few of your answers.

If you had to sum up 2020 in one word it would be:
Unexpected. Overwhelming. Confusing. Quiet. Chaotic. Corona. Challenging. Beautiful. Special. Different. Wow. Hard. Unexplainable. Fast. Slow. Letting Go. Decelerating. Satisfying. Revealing. Growth. Mild. Surprising.

You had many personal challenges. A few of you tried to fall pregnant, but it didn’t work. Others were thrown off course by Corona and the impact of a pandemic: homeschooling, home office, losing a job, being lonely, losing people you love. Others even went through a traumatic birth or an exhausting pregnancy, weren’t able to travel as much as they wanted, couldn’t attend church services, had difficulties at work and challenges with their mental and physical health. Family members got sick and some sadly even passed away.

Despite all the challenges you were still able to see beauty. Many babies were born, studies were finished, engagements and weddings happened nevertheless, personal and professional goals were reached and many of you enjoyed more time as a family than usual. Faith grew for some of you, others grew in their relationships to close friends and family. Most of you had more time than in recent years and used it for important and beautiful things. Many explored their own country and discovered beauty close to home.

The lessons you learned this year were unbelievably beautiful and touched me deeply. I chose my favourite twenty of them to share on here:

  1. I am stronger and more adaptable than I thought was possible.
  2. Relationships are more important than circumstances.
  3. It feels good to do less.
  4. Despite the chaos I can stay calm.
  5. Putting my security in a job doesn’t make sense.
  6. Oftentimes we don’t have control over what happens, but there’s beauty even in difficult times.
  7. Motherhood is freaking exhausting and beautiful at the same time.
  8. Gratitude is always possible.
  9. Normality isn’t a constant state of affairs.
  10. You don’t need much to live a happy, fulfilled and beautiful life.
  11. You can find joy in the little things.
  12. I can spend all day with my child and still enjoy it.
  13. Eternity matters.
  14. Self care is important.
  15. I need trustworthy people in my life.
  16. It’s OK to let go and start over.
  17. God’s timing is perfect.
  18. Rest and slowing down is important.
  19. Pain is necessary in order to grow.
  20. Boundaries are needed to protect my wellbeing.

Isn’t it wonderful, that we learned such precious lessons in a year like 2020?

Morgan Harper Nichols said it well:

“I am so grateful that amidst all of the present uncertainties, some mountains really are behind me.” There were plenty of mountains in 2020. You can be proud of every mountain you scaled this year and for those that remain: There is more than enough grace and a brand new year ahead. 🙂

I wish every single one of you from the bottom of my heart that you would fully understand that you are good, just the way you are. That you would grow and walk into each day with courage. My wish is that you would fully feel every emotion, that beauty would catch your attention in everyday life and you would never be alone. May we all carry gratitude and hope in our hearts. Gratitude for every new day and all the good and beautiful that is visible everywhere and hope, that the best is yet to come, even though we might not see it yet.

Thank you for trusting me, sharing your stories, reading along and your friendship.

All my love, Ruth

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