All the Wrong Lessons from 2020
At least I learned a few things, right?
2020 was definitely not a good year to a whole lot of us. I can’t list down all of the losses 2020 has incurred everyone and I’m sure you’ve already heard or read of them somewhere else. So I’m not going to list all the bad things from 2020 in this article.
Instead, let me tell you all the wrong lessons I’ve learned in 2020.
They’re not technically wrong, but I wanted to tag them as wrong now that I’m listing them down.
1. I am just as productive when I was commuting as compared to now that I don’t
This doesn’t mean I want commuting so bad. In fact, I don’t want to commute as much as possible.
I used to commute for about four hours a day. That’s terrible, no? Some people have it better, some people have it worse. So know that I am only speaking for myself and for people who experienced and still experiences the same trouble.
Four hours of commute in a day five days a week meant spending 20 hours of commute in a week. Regular office employees in the Philippines work 40 hours a week. If that 20 hours spent on commute was spent on a second job or a part time job, people could be earning 50% more on top of what they’re already earning.
Well, the real issue of commute hours doesn’t lie in the distance people travel but because of a currently inefficient public transport system in our main cities. It’s not a dead end. It can be improved, I know and I want to believe that it’s going to improve in the near future. But while the system is still as bad as it is now, I would always have that aversion towards a four-hour daily commute.
So about productivity. My work productivity whether at home or in an office doesn’t make that big deal of a difference. So it isn’t affected by whether or not I commute.
But more than that, I am saying that my productivity isn’t any better as to whether I commute or not because my commute hours in the past were mostly productive as well.
I used to listen to audiobooks, watch documentaries, watch YouTube, watch Netflix, and occasionally read books during my four-hour daily commute.
It wasn’t 100% of the time, but I was mostly productive during my commutes.
So now that I don’t have to commute, I’m just as productive because I still listen to audiobooks, watch documentaries, watch YouTube videos, watch Netflix, and now more regularly read books during my four-hour daily non-commute hours.
There’s a lot of extra time I have gained from not having to commute, that’s for sure. And on top of the productive things I mentioned above, I now spend more time on self-care. I’m sleeping better and perhaps, my general physical and mental health is much better now than before. Still, I hope for in-person interaction in the future — when things get settled.
2. I used to eat out of habit and boredom, not hunger
This is a really bad one — one that somehow I am able to take out from system.
I already know that we only eat three times a day because we were accustomed to that and because we’ve made it into a habit. There was once a time in my younger years when I ate five times a day because I developed the habit of eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and AM and PM snacks. Some people would approve of that, some people wouldn’t. We’re all divided, you see.
While there are completely no generic right or wrong answers when it comes to how often a person should eat, I still think that we should not eat out of habit or boredom.
Don’t get me wrong about boredom. It’s not that I’m bored with the things I do on a daily basis. I don’t. It’s that I’m a serial multi-tasker. I was used to munching on something while doing something else. Or I fancied drinking a sweet cold beverage whenever I read a book or something.
It’s that bad, huh?
How did I learn this though? I noticed that I’m not really hungry most of the time that I eat. This became more apparent to me when I started intermittent fasting. Yes, I still do.
Okay. People say that intermittent fasting in itself doesn’t really work for weight loss. I know what you mean. But if intermittent fasting makes people understand better their eating habits and thus start to develop healthy eating habits, please don’t take it away from them. Don’t take it away from us *winks*
Now, I have substituted water for mostly anything that’s not hunger-related.
If I feel like I need to munch on something while doing some task, I’d munch on water. Wait? Is that even correct within the bounds of grammar and logic? Can we munch on water? I don’t know. Maybe not, but you know what it means — I have substituted water for anything that’s not hunger.
This helped me save money better as well. I used to buy whatever during my short morning and afternoon breaks.
My weight loss is still in progress, though. I lost about 8 kilograms last year, but that’s only the beginning. I need to lose more so I need to say more yeses to water instead of whatever else.
3. I am mostly introverted but I still need social interaction
I live with my family so there’s still human interaction at home.
Some people might have the impression that I live alone in a cave, but I don’t. Living with my family in the same house has been helpful throughout 2020 because I would have probably gone crazy if I really lived alone in a cave.
Also, I consider introversion and extroversion more as a spectrum rather than just two sides of the same coin. While I lean more towards the spectrum of introversion, my social interaction requirement isn’t absolute zero.
I still require some level of interaction.
Luckily, I got the chance to virtually meet new people from different groups or organizations throughout 2020. Among these are new found friends through podcasting groups and theater/performance groups. Zoom hangouts with friends from college and high school was also possible.
Still, there was a time I felt fatigued with video calls and wanted none of it for quite a while.
We’re all complicated in this way. Complications aren’t always bad, don’t worry.
Now that it’s 2021, social interactions are probably still going to be limited, but I do hope and believe that things will eventually get better.
There might be other wrong lessons from 2020 that didn’t cross my mind today. If I can’t think them, chances are I didn’t learn them. You know what they say: you can’t articulate what you don’t know.
Enough of me.
What about you? What wrong lessons did you learn from 2020?