The lessons I was taught in the year 2021

Every year, just before we start counting down for the New Year we get excited like little children to welcome it, hoping that it will wash away all the unpleasant moments of the year that ends and will bring us joy, love and happiness. It’s like a vicious circle. Something new begins, we are full of optimism, it’s going well, but somewhere along the way it gets lost a little and it doesn’t really satisfy us. Eventually, we think that the New Year is no different from the previous one that it’s stagnant and nothing much has changed. Then we say to ourselves, “Let this year end, maybe the next one will be better”. Although, something is always missing. We always crave for more.

Well, have you ever wondered what really time is? In the final analysis, do we define time or does time define us? Our daily lives, activities and social gatherings. What do we mean by saying that the year changes? Does it really change? If you think about it, we experience a replay every 365 days. Thousands of years ago, humans didn’t even have a sense of time. Nor could they count it. For me time is eternal. It’s the infinity. A sequel without changes and interruptions.

During 2021, I was writing down in my agenda all the important things for me. Pleasant and unpleasant. So recently, I sat down and did a review of the past year.

Thus, I realized that in the end it’s not time that changes, but ourselves. As we grow, we get mature. We make mistakes, through which we achieve our goals. We experience new situations and make new acquaintances and finally, we change our mentality. In 2021, I learned to keep the good moments and to erase the difficult ones. In addition, I learned that I build and shape every day and moment of my life. I realized that I don’t have to wait for the new year to come, for better days to come, on the contrary, my positive thinking, strong determination, patience and most of all persistence, are exactly those elements that will bring me everything I wish for. Life can pleasantly surprise each of us at any time, not only when the year changes.

In 2021, I discovered things which, to tell you the truth, I already knew deep inside in theory, but I didn’t implement them. They were buried somewhere in my subconscious and emerged to the surface, through various situations I experienced. Things that showed me that everything is possible, as long as you really want it and believe it. And other things that taught me that everything can change, simply and unexpectedly. Time is eternal, but it can become so small for each of us.

It may sound silly, but the first beautiful thing in 2021 which was very important to me, was the snow in Athens. The absolute white magic of nature for an entire day that took me back to my childhood. To Russia, when it was snowing non-stop every winter and we were playing outside endlessly, despite the bitter cold. Finally, it snowed in Athens after 15 whole years and I became a child again, with my children, playing snowball fights and making snowmen. The highly anticipated snow that made me realize that moments aren’t just memories that are lost in time, but they return to remind you that they are always there, waiting for you to make you smile again.

Another beautiful thing that happened was the start of my blog, which went on air in June. A year of hard work, endless hours of writing, editing and translating articles. Nights with half empty coffee mugs, trying to find the right topics and corresponding photos for each text. All those things that seem simple, but are not. But finally, I did it! I am proud and happy. I wanted it so much and I believed it a lot, when some people told me that what I was doing didn’t make sense. Although, I didn’t listen to anyone. It was my dream at that time and I would take it to the end no matter the obstacles I encountered.

Six months later, I am incredibly happy for every minute I spent on this project. It was really worth it. I write, I express myself, I share my thoughts in my own space. If you really want something, go after it, don’t give up and don’t listen to anyone, just go ahead.

The third thing, but not so pleasant, was that during the year I was constantly hearing from friends and acquaintances about the losses of their loved ones. So suddenly, people I knew and used to talk to, just weren’t in life anymore. Some of them due to Covid, others due to an accident and some others due to a long-term illness. Somehow, life goes on. To the unknown, while people come and go. In the midst of all that chaos, I learned above all to appreciate life more and to feel grateful for it.

So, don’t take anything for granted, because nothing lasts forever. Be happy with everything you have got at the moment. Be thankful for every day you wake up. For every single day you get to see the people you love. Some of them may not be with us anymore, but there are still others who are here and we should be grateful for that.

Finally, the ecological disaster we experienced in the summer in Greece and in other countries. The gray-yellow clouds of smoke from the uncontrollable fires that had covered the sky of Athens. The lack of oxygen, the dull image of the city from the ashes, the sorrowful faces of the people who saw their houses engulfed in raging flames, the tears in everyone’s eyes and the terror of my children that the fire could reach us, were enough to love our planet and appreciate life even more.

If I love life, I must learn to love and respect our planet. I have always taught my girls the importance of recycling, avoiding unnecessary waste of water and electricity, reducing environmental pollution and all that. It’s so important that we as adults understand this and pass it on to the next generations.

What did 2021 teach me? The real meaning of life that has been lost in the intense rhythms of our daily lives, especially in the last two decades!

At this point, l would like to mention that I wrote the above article due to my participation in the unique challenge hosted by the blog Little Hope Flags. A beautiful and creative idea to share the lessons we have learned in 2021 and to become better through our experiences.

What did you learn in 2021?

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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