Three Unexpected Ways I’ve Grown This Year

“As this year comes to a close, I think about how I’ve grown this year and so should you. You have new mindset skills, you’ve proven that you can handle the tough stuff, and you have a little more perspective now regarding what’s worth getting upset over and what’s not.”~ Lisa Dimino White

I’m the kind of gal who always makes lemonade out of lemons. Always have been. I believe that something positive can always be found even during the toughest times. 

2020 certainly put that theory to the test, didn’t it?!

As we enter into the home stretch of what can only be described as the “Year of Total Mess”, I’ve been reflecting on how I’ve grown this year, this crazy year.  And if you think about it, I’ll bet you have too. 

Three Unexpected Ways I’ve Grown This Year

1. I’m Stronger Than I Thought I Was.

Is it just me, or did it seem like every time we thought things couldn’t possibly get worse this year the universe saw that as a challenge and doubled down?

Yet we persevered.

We kept going. As a germaphobe and OCD sufferer, this virus scared (and continues to scare) me. It’s like my worst nightmare come true. Fighting the urge to not completely close myself off from the outside world hasn’t been easy.

When all of this began in the spring I did just that. I refused to go to the grocery store, restaurant drive-thrus, or anywhere that may lead to me being within 100 feet of another person. Even if I wore my mask, maintained social distancing, and washed my hands, I still couldn’t muster up the courage to do those simple things. I was treading water, and I was exhausted. 

After a few months, I finally realized that I couldn’t continue living like that because we didn’t know how long this threat would be around. I also knew that it wasn’t healthy for my kids, either. 

Essentially, I had to figure out how to manage my fears so I could live. Because I wasn’t living….I was existing.  

After months of trying, I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I had to go back to my therapist (who I hadn’t seen in years prior to this) to help me develop strategies to keep my fears in check so that I could push through and handle the daily tasks that I needed to do to keep my household running. I put in the work and am now able to do them.

While I certainly don’t enjoy going to the store or to other public places, I’m able to manage my fears enough to do them. In other words,

I’m still standing. And guess what? So are you.

Even if you don’t share my specific challenges around this pandemic, there’s no doubt that during this tough time you’ve had to face situations that have been uncomfortable, depressing, or scary for you, too. Take a moment and recognize that achievement. We are surviving a global pandemic, for crying out loud.

Let that sink in for a minute and then face it….we’re awesome. 

2. I’ve Gained a New Perspective.

You know that item of clothing in your closet that you wear when you want to look a-m-a-z-i-n-g?  

The spectacular blouse, pants, skirt, or pair of heels that you pull out when you want to wow everyone in the room? Mine is a form-fitting black sweater. I feel like Giselle Bundchen in it, which really is magical because I look absolutely nothing like Giselle.  

Pre-COVID, I brought it to my dry cleaner to have it cleaned in anticipation of a special event that I was planning to wear it to. Only when I went to pick it up, they had misplaced it. They thought they had mistagged it or something. The poor guy at the register spent twenty minutes unsuccessfully looking for it. He felt terrible, and of course, I tried not to let my irritation show, but I was really mad. I left the store feeling like it was the worst possible thing that could have happened.

Looking back, I want to slap myself for getting so upset over something so stupid and insignificant.  It’s amazing pre-COVID what I would get upset, disappointed, or angry about. Never again will I allow something so small to ruin my day. That, my friend, is the power of perspective. Has the 2020 experience given you the ability to put things into perspective more clearly too?  

3. I’ve Learned to Appreciate the Little Things.

Pre-COVID there were times that I would actually bellyache about committing to going out with friends. Or be off-put when my husband dragged me to a sci-fi movie that I had zero interest in seeing. Or not being happy about having to stroll around the mall to search for a birthday gift for someone.

Fast forward to now, and I would give anything to do any one of those things. As we enter into the (hopefully) final stretch of this nightmare, think about the little things that we took for granted for so long that in the future will create so much joy, appreciation, and gratitude. And this is a really unexpected way in which I’ve grown this year.

Never again will I take these things for granted. Think about how amazing it’ll be to have friends over for dinner, or go to a venue to see your favorite band perform.

I can’t wait!

As this year comes to a close, I think about how I’ve grown this year and so should you. You have new mindset skills, you’ve proven that you can handle the tough stuff, and you have a little more perspective now regarding what’s worth getting upset over and what’s not.

Remember these new skills as we enter into 2022 and beyond, and you’ll find more joy in life than you ever had before!


Lisa Dimino White

With over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and event management, Lisa now focuses solely on her passion - inspiring others to actively seek out and create more joy for themselves, their communities, and all of humankind. She does this through her book and podcast, both titled Bursting With Happiness, speaking engagements, writing, and her coaching programs. Most people are pretty darn amazing and too often don't recognize their own greatness, and she's on a mission to change that. We all have struggles, but our struggles don't define who we are. No matter what challenges you're faced with, there's always joy to be found - if you know where to look. Learn more about her at

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