real life

"Not everything can be solved." 34 women share their words of wisdom during a disastrous year.

We've all been taken on a rollercoaster this year. This rollercoaster not only broke down shortly after it started, began moving again for maybe one thrilling loop-de-loop, and then petered out to a pitiful chug once more — but it also didn’t have seatbelts. That’s right, quite literally... no one was prepared for this. 

While we might not be able to predict what will happen next with the pandemic, we can look back on what’s passed and try to find those much sought-after silver linings. 

Watch: Advice for five-year-old me with Deborah Mailman. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

With catastrophic consequences worldwide, nearly a million deaths, record unemployment rates and an ongoing mental health emergency, it may not sit right to be ‘looking for the positives’. People are still in hospital beds. And separated from loved ones. Or mourning them. It may feel a bit soon to be focusing on our own personal growth — as if s**t happens just for us to ~reflect on it~. 

With that being said, we asked our Instagram audience for the one thing they’ve learnt this year. 


Because we don’t know when the pandemic is going to end. 

Because lessons learnt from this crisis can be applied to other situations we’re experiencing, too. 

So here are 34 women sharing one thing they’ve learnt so far this year. Their words are anonymous.

1. Being in the ‘slow lane’ of life is great. 


2. Cuddles from loved ones are worth their weight in gold. 

3. Not everything can be solved with forceful determination. Sometimes we just have to wait.

4. Celebrate the small stuff and romanticise your everyday life. 

5. It is possible to work from home. 

6. That the simple ability to go and see family and friends trumps the ability to go to the gym. 

7. Don’t save any material possessions a rainy day. The time is now!

8. I’m stronger than I believed possible. 

9. The hustle isn’t the most important thing in life. 

10. Patience is invaluable.

11. Take life one day at a time.

12. Asking for help is a sign of inner strength. 

13. Don’t take things for granted. Stop and smell the roses. 

14. Trust in the inherent goodness of other people. 

15. We don’t need a lot of the things we thought we needed. 

16. People are extraordinarily inventive and can solve most problems. 

17. Routine can keep you sane. 

18. How incredibly hard teachers work. 

19. Life doesn’t need to be complicated or hectic to be fulfilling. 

20. Have regular meaningful conversations with people. 

21. Do NOT buy a 2021 planner.

22. Learn to enjoy your own company, it will get you through the hardest times. 

23. You can’t change some situations, only how you respond to them. 


24. If you’re worried about being a good mum, you probably are a good mum.

25. We’re stronger when we all work together as a community. 

26. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you.

27. Flowers in the house really make a difference to your mood.

28. If you have your health, you have everything. 

29. Moving or exercising every day really improves your state of mind. 

30. When you notice all the things your children notice, you’ll be more present. 

31. Don’t let fear make you put your dreams on hold. There is never a perfect time for anything.

32. Trust in your own staying power. 

33. The importance of living in a connected and caring suburb. 

34. Check in with your friends and family about their mental health, often. 

So, what have we learnt? To summarise, I think we’ve learnt that we’re stronger than we know, that we need less than we thought and that, as a whole, we function better as a society when we work together. 

While these lessons may sound obvious to you, the hard part is actually remembering them in everyday life. 

How can we trust in the inherent goodness of other people when we’re constantly being let down by strangers breaking the rules? How can we remember that patience is invaluable when we don’t know what we’re waiting for?

The answer isn’t simple; it’s tricky, and our resilience is constantly being tested. 

But we've made it this far. And there's a lot to be proud of. 

Feature image: Supplied.