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This month, we focused our blogs on redefining change and how we all had to come to terms with the multiple shifts being injected into our lives in 2020. Like the age-old battle of half-fullers versus half-emptiers, how we view change is greatly dependent on our mindset, our environment, and the support we have in our lives. But what if change hits those supportive relationships?

We are here to propose that, while it will go down in the history books as one of the worst years mankind has known, 2020 was exactly what we needed in our lives to help improve our relationships. Think quarantining has eaten away at our minds? Keep reading.

Relationships with loved ones

Quarantine—a word that makes you feel ill just hearing it spoken. Prior to 2020, the word “quarantine” might have made you think of a dramatic episode of your favorite medical drama. Now, you’re likely thinking about sourdough starters and getting to know your food delivery service driver on a first-name basis.

The gift (and yes, we do mean “gift”) of quarantine has been either a deep appreciation for time we had previously taken for granted with loved ones or an even deeper appreciation for uninterrupted time with loved ones as we hunkered down in our homes. How many other times in your life have you spent every day at home, with your family? In the moment, that time together might have gotten overwhelming, stressful, and maybe even monotonous. But years from now, we’re pretty sure you’ll look back on this quarantine time with a fondness and gratitude for forced time of slower life and close quarters with those you love.

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Relationships with colleagues

Whether you lead a team or are part of one, life pre-COVID involved spending the better part of your day with your colleagues. In ways, those we work with become a second family, so when the stay-at-home orders came, it might have felt like you were saying goodbye to one family while saying hello to the another.

As Zoom became a regular fixture in our daily lives, it might have felt like we were still “connecting” with our coworkers, but there was likely a pang every now and then when you couldn’t just get up and walk over to someone’s desk to talk about that project or meeting agenda.

But here’s another gift: while Zoom kept your team on track with workload, it also gave you a glimpse into who your teammates actually are. Who knew that Matt was an avid gardener, or that Sarah collects vintage movie posters? Yes, working from home means you are still going to work every day, even if that commute is just a trudge down the hallway. But adding in that home element to the workday means seeing and appreciating a more genuine side to those with whom you work. As we go back to our office someday soon and come back in contact with our teams, may we not forget the little things we learned about each other.

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Relationship with yourself

The biggest relationship 2020 laid a hand on was also the most important one: the relationship with yourself. Spending every hour at home or in isolation meant that you inevitably would have to turn your focus inward. Did you uncover a passion for hiking? How many loaves of bread did it take before you got that perfect sourdough? Were you finally able to prioritize making an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist about those constant swirling thoughts? Did your relationship with distanced loved ones grow stronger as a result of suddenly not being able to see them, even if you hadn’t in years?

Quarantine and 2020 gave and taught us many things, but the most important is that you are the only constant in your life. Everything can be stripped away and shuffled around in a heartbeat, but you will always be there. Before we enter into the “new normal” post-COVID, soak up these last seconds and take a moment to thank God for this gift of a strange time that He wrote into all of our lives. Embrace the quirks of others, the closeness of loved ones, and the resilience of you.

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