2 lessons I learned in the pandemic

Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

14 months later and we are still in lockdown here in Ireland, Covid still dominates the news, masks are worn everywhere, and the idea of ‘normal’ is gone from existence. Vaccines are being rolled out, and at time of publishing, just under 30% of the population have received their first dose, and 10% fully vaccinated.

Who knew humans were such agile creatures? We went from sheer terror and fear in March 2020, to now complete acceptance and adoption of lockdown life. I think we should all give ourselves a huge pat on the back for surviving during one of the hardest times we will ever experience in life, for thriving during the unknown, for continuing to smile, laugh and search for joy when the media tells us the opposite.

I wrote an article last May on my 20 thoughts on 2020, and it’s crazy how a year on, many of these still ring true. I feel we have all experienced much deeper lessons during the pandemic, some wanted, and some totally out of the blue, but all brought to us to help us pivot in life, and become the best versions of ourselves, and these are mine…

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans- Woody Allen

We have all heard of this quote, or similar versions of it, but did you know it comes from an old Yiddish proverb- ‘We Plan, God Laughs’, meaning we make plans as humans with such guarantee, however there are no guarantees they will work out. How many of us have cancelled holidays/vacations, postponed weddings, rescheduled social gatherings and more? No one could have foreseen the effect Covid-19 would have on literally ALL of our plans, but no one also knew how adaptable and flexible we were to change these, and be ok with it.

I used to be a super planner, especially when it came to trips abroad, and big holidays. Every excursion scheduled, restaurants mapped out, wake up calls, you name it, I had a notebook full. That was until I got anxiety when things didn’t go as planned, I got upset at being late, not giving everyone the perfect trip I had imagined. When you sit back and realise, things don’t always go according to plan, and that’s ok too! Too much planning leaves no room for magic, and those magic moments are the stories you tell in years to come, the laughs you remember, the memories you’ll never forget, and I think these sentiments ring true now more than ever.

I missed three big trips in 2020, with countless small ones in between, but I got to spend time with my parents painting, doing DIY, making TikTok dances, and these activities would never have happened if life was ‘normal’. Those cherished moments seeing friends and family after months will always hold a huge place in my heart, the delight, the gratitude, the pure joy at seeing your loved ones again. I know of many small businesses who never moved forward with their idea till lockdown forced them, and now we have so many new online and offline brands set up, all given the push thanks to the pandemic.

I know we all have hundreds of things lined up for the second half of 2021, and 2022, but always remember how flexible life is, and how in the midst of madness there is always magic waiting to be seen!

Look inside and see who you really are

This ‘quote’ is not by anyone in particular, but one thing I think we all had to face this past year, willingly or not.

As life moves, days pass by, work, family, social life, and before you know it another year passes by, and you are no closer to finding out what really makes you tick. Our minds are so busy everyday that we often don’t look inward for answers, but outward and seek approval, meaning and purpose in the external.

I would say I am a spiritual person, I like to meditate, quieten the mind, ask questions of myself and seek answers from within. This year we have all had endless hours to think, and as a collective we have opened up to our true selves. Personally I question my feelings and emotions more now. When I am happy, great, let’s see what is making me happy, give thanks and appreciation for it. When I am procrastinating on a task, I ask myself why are you doing this, why do you not want to pursue this activity? I learn so much about what excites me, what I dread, and how I can learn to balance both, and turn that dread into just another task, or to completely get rid of it.

When I feel stuck and the answers aren’t forthcoming, I meditate for a few minutes, but in those quiet moments your mind is free and 90% of the time I come out of it calm, and with guidance.

With many people furloughed, more and more have time to work on their passion projects, write, draw, make music, go back to college. My own dad had his kidney removed late last year, and during his time of recovery he upskilled doing a digital marketing course, created his own website and set up his own online business- now that’s what I call living your purpose in adversity.

I know many people who have had to face up to trauma, heartbreak, and pain that they have been putting off because life was busy, and it seemed the easy route to ignore. Counseling services have increased by 60% this year, and I think when we come out of this pandemic, the new ‘normal’ will be full of enlightened, happier individuals that took the time to heal and develop.

I don’t think meditation, personal development, inner work is woo woo, I think it is an important aspect of mental health and creating the life you desire.

Awareness in life is a gold star tool that will lift you up, catapult you towards your dreams, and be the best friend you can rely on everyday.

What have been your lockdown lessons? Tell me in the comments below




An eternal optimist, content creation from my heart & soul, marketing by day, manifesting by night. Irish with dreams bigger than this whole island.

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Lisa Downey

Lisa Downey

An eternal optimist, content creation from my heart & soul, marketing by day, manifesting by night. Irish with dreams bigger than this whole island.

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