2020- This Year is About You and Only You #AtoZChallenge

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In the words of the master himself,

“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”

(William Shakespeare in ‘Julius Ceasar’ Act-IV, Scene-III)

What if this unprecedented global crisis is that tide, my friend?

Let’s take a stroll back in time. What was your frame of mind when 2020 began? You probably set goals for your career, your love life, your personal growth and finances. As time moved on, you stopped actively thinking about your numerous wishes and desires, as you found yourself mired in personal responsibilities, professional duties and the weariness of life. January became February then March, and you had already begun to forget your promises to yourself, putting them on a back shelf till you had ‘time’ to tackle them.

What if the time is now?

Since coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, the media, government and every well-meaning contact you have on Whatsapp, has warned you that the disease is extremely serious and may kill you, your family and a large chunk of the world’s population.

What if the coronavirus is meant for us to keep things in perspective? If we must all die, isn’t it important to live a little before we do?

It’s been over a month since national lockdown was imposed in India, perhaps longer in other countries. You may be at your wits end being forced to stay home, or you may be worried about the state of your finances and future work prospects.

What if this time has been handed to you on a platter, for you to introspect, change paths and reach for your dreams?

You may feel disconnected from the world, lonely if you live away from your family members, or overburdened with household chores if you don’t have live-in help.

What if this lockdown is simply a lesson in becoming self-reliant?

You may worry ceaselessly about the plight of others less fortunate than you, who have no food to eat and no means of earning their keep.

What if that is not your fault, and neither your burden?

All those goals and desires you never seemed to have time for earlier, are ripe for the picking. You must recognise this fact and seize the opportunity provided. Take that tide, which is now at flood.

There is no formula that guarantees success, however, you are better placed to attempt to achieve your desires than ever before.

Simply put, I believe, this time is a gift given to those who view it that way. There is nothing we can do except introspect, work on bettering ourselves, and preparing ourselves to face an unknown future with confidence. So, work on your creative ideas, plan a baby or decide once and for all that parenting isn’t for you, cut toxic people out of your life, take a call on relationships that make you unhappy, learn a new skill that you wouldn’t otherwise.

It’s clear that our existing global systems have been failing for a while, overtaken by greed, selfishness and the quest for power. Now, the system is re-booting. Whatever we may face on the other side, our only weapon will be our own self.

Perhaps you think I’m being too optimistic, or too simplistic. Yes, perhaps I am, but is there anything to be achieved by overthinking and looking for more complex answers?

We have all had to pause in different states and placements in our lives, yet at the same time. I believe this is because each one of us has different lessons to learn, and different journeys to undertake henceforth.

From the beginning of this crisis, I have accepted this simple truth, and it has helped me tackle the inevitable anxiety brought on by coronavirus.

Speaking for myself, I know that nothing is in my hands except my own well-being. I can either learn, practice and put wheels in motion that I have hitherto been too lazy or unprepared to do; or I can wallow in self-imposed loathing and depression. The former seems a far more attractive option.

And so, it’s clear to me that 2020, with all its awful bearings and doomsday predictions, is still my year. And, dear reader, it is your year too.


I intended to write a post on self-care habits during lockdown today, but this message found its own way through my fingers. It was itching to be said out loud. I hope you understood its spirit and will use it to positively tackle the difficult situation we are currently facing.

Here’s my tip to beat the lockdown blues today:

Write down your goals clearly. Make a list of the things you want to achieve in life and visualise them. It’s the first step to achieving them.

Here’s a movie I think you’ll enjoy watching, which I believe raises similar questions as the ones I’ve raised in today’s post:

“You’ve Got Mail” is a romantic comedy where the proprietor of a small neighbourhood bookstore falls in love with the head honcho of a big chain bookstore, on an anonymous email chat platform. Unfortunately, her love interest is threatening to close her business down in real life. The protagonist faces an existential crisis throughout the film without knowing that she’s in love with her enemy. Even though she is forced to shut her bookstore eventually, she goes on to realise a personal dream i.e. writing children’s books. It’s all about what you make of the situation 🙂

You can watch the movie on Hungama.

A book I love and highly recommend is:

“Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks, which is set in a small English village in the backdrop of the Bubonic Plague of the 17th century. Its premise is strangely similar to the coronavirus situation we are facing today. You’ve probably guessed from its title that the protagonist rises from the ashes despite being in a tremendously difficult situation. Read the book and you will feel inspired and upbeat as well.

That’s all for today folks. I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about.

Please check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter Y?

Yasou till tomorrow! (farewell in Greek)


This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up. Read my other posts here:



*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 


  1. This was a much needed post. The pandemic has come with a set of lessons for us and for the world and it is high time we make the most of the situation and become better and work on our goals. A thought provoking post

  2. I guess live for the present has never been more true than the time today. The only thing that has kept me sane is ‘one day at a time’ philosophy. I am the kind of person who plans a lot, and when plans fail, I tend to get anxious. Living without planning has been hard, but fruitful so far. Also, writing helps a lot for people like us.

    1. Yes writing helps. And perhaps that’s what you’re meant to focus on… Take this time to figure out where writing can take you or where you want to take it 😊
      That’s what I’m trying to say in the post 😃

  3. One’s attitude, perspective and thought process is what help us in any kind of situation. Living the life today. what happened yesterday was our past, whats going to comes future which is surely don’t know. I guess after this experience, we all have understood that we cannot control everything.

    1. Actually what I’m trying to say is the only thin we do control is ourselves, hence it’s an opportunity for us to excel in life by utilising our best resource i.e. ourself

      1. my full comment didn’t go through… I felt that something went wrong. anyways. here is the continued part.. we cannot control everything but the one thing we can control is ourselves. And that is enough to bring happiness and make a desired change in our lives. 🙂

  4. A very informative and thoughtful post. This pandemic certainly will have emotional and mental effect on all of us. We are learning to take each day at a time. We are learning a lot and it sure is going to have a deep effect on humanity.
    Angha yatin is a great blogger love her fiction and stories.

  5. Of course, it is hard for all of us but I agree with you that we have to keep an optimistic attitude..unfortunately we can not change the whole situation but we can take this an opportunity to learn something new. again a great post Noor with awesome positive vibes.

  6. A situation is what you make of it. And your post today elaborates on this so beautifully. For example – When lockdown was announced in March, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do this challenge this year. But then I persisted a little and took it up as a challenge. With kids’ online classes, everyone at home (mind you we are a 11 member family spread across three floors – its almost a colony) it surely was a challenge. But I guess i have faired good enough for the month. Though I wasn’t able to do much of anything else, yet I am satisfied.

    1. That’s great Anupriya- that’s exactly what I mean! This time has been given to us so we can do what we have always wanted to do! Congratulations on almost completing the challenge, and I’m sure there’s much more in store from you!

    1. I don’t think it will be tough if we change our perspective of how we’re viewing the year. It’s time given to us to work on ourselves- when does that ever happen? Never. 2020 should be viewed as a blessing and it will definitely not seem tough.

  7. Hi Noor: I’ve been experiencing just about everything in your list above. Spiritually and a return to introspection. Quiet holds a deep space in my being. Most people don’t know that about me.


    Book: Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente. I had a really hard time with a book that starts with Y. On a goodreads list I found this book that I now really want to explore. This is part of the blurb: “This is a map of a psyche exalted and destroyed by solitude, and on its contorted surface Shinto philosophy, Greek mathematics, Hawaiian goddesses, Egyptian legend, quantum physics, and Babylonian myth meet and merge.” I’m sold.

    Movie: Yellow Submarine. The Beatles. Young Fred. Blue Meanies. Nowhere Man. I’m a big Beatles fan.

    TV show: (the) Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Only two seasons, plus four made for cable movies. It was a fun show that had a lot of potential. Of course, shows get canceled left and right. There are three volumes on DVD under The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.

    1. Stu I’m so glad you understood my post and even feel the same way! Many of the comments I’ve received today just didn’t get it.
      The book sounds really interesting. I love the Beatles music but sadly haven’t seen the film yet!

  8. Rightly said “Time has been handed over to us in platter”….what we do with it, will define us. Very motivating post! “You’ve got mail” is so beautifully romantic. Loved the movie. Thank you for refreshing it!

  9. Your only defence is you… How well you’ve put it Noor. Specially those of us who don’t have to worry about the basics of life, I think this whole process is to give us a new perspective about life and about ourselves.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom throughout A to Z. It was wonderful to discover you although I had read you on and off but this challenge introduced me to a wonderful influencer and blogger who is so meticulous and particular about her work. Great work ethics Noor. Congratulations!

  10. ” Whatever has been served to us, let’s make best out of that”, I have always believed in this and you have put it into words very aptly!! Loved the positivity!!

  11. An inspiring post, Noor. I believe we all know that we are in for a while and even after the lockdown is gone, we will have a lot of restrictions and for a better life, we need to follow hygiene and safety always. Thanks for this. Happy A2Zing 🙂
    — rightpurchasing.com

  12. Bad times are inevitable. But how we perceive them and respond to them makes a difference. You’re right, 2020 can still be our year if we want it to be. 🙂

  13. This positivity is what we need to survive through 2020. We literally stormed into 2020 with the CAA nrc protests. then the violence and then the lockdown. Without doubt its the worst year I have seen, but there’s a silver lining as always

  14. Amidst this pandemic, the sad news of losing the legendary actor Irrfan Khan came today. Your post becomes more relevant in a scenario when we don’t know what might happen next. Thank you for the positivity.

  15. Thank you seems such a minuscule word to express my immense gratitude towards your kind gesture for me Noor. I am pleasantly surprised, overwhelmed and indebted forever.
    If one looks at anything that is not usual in life’s journey as a problem, the stress builds up slowing down our progress. If however it is seen as a challenge, it makes the journey full of adventures and thus giving us joys of exploring ways to get a hand over it. Choice is all ours to make. As you rightly said, everyone has to die one day, then why not live today to the fullest and enjoy doing that in a meaningful way! Reminds me of an old song… “Aane wala paal jaane wala hai, ho sake to isame jindagi bita do, pal yeh jo jane wala hai…”

  16. Well said Noor, we can’t control the ongoing situation of Pandemic, but we can absolutely prepare ourselves to deal with it by keeping the spirit and morale high and positive as well, it is all about the attitude how you take the change. About recommendation I will surely check Anagha’s blog post.

  17. Noor, there is a book by Agatha Christie titled ‘there is a tide’. It is a really good book. It is a Poirot mystery. And yes, you are right that in spite of all the problems we are facing in 2020, the correct way to deal with it is to try and turn it into an opportunity to do many things we might have put on the back burner. It is time to gather our resources and make use of the lockdown period as an opportunity.

    1. The title of the Christie book is “Taken at the Flood” and that’s where I first heard this phrase 😊
      I’m a huge huge huge fan of Christie 😉
      Yes, it’s time to take this tide at the flood now.

      1. I sort of remembered the title vaguely. Hence the slight confusion.That is where I heard of this proverb too. I am also a huge fan of Agatha Christie.

  18. So many things planned in 2020, bro marriage and many more things but it is always said God have planned , something else. This pandemic has taught so much live the present, care for nature, self care, humanity.

  19. This is the best time to unwind from what used to be a very hectic life. Of course, now that we are cooking and cleaning by ourselves, that can be a bit of a challenge but nevertheless, we can try. I love You’ve got mail. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time!

  20. Noor I am living my dream life…all those things that I never had time for, I can do them now, without guilt, without feeling pressurized!
    Out with the old and in with the new.:-)
    I love You`ve got a mail

  21. This is candid a pure piece of your heart Noor. True we are in a perfect space to self introspect. Loved this post as I have a lot of similar feelings at the moment.

  22. Very well written post Noor. Writing your goals definitely helps. This is a wonderful tip. I have to implement it!

    You’ve got mail is a beautiful movie 😍

  23. I am still in confusion, swinging between pessimist, realist and optimistic. Sometimes I feel like not doing or pursue thing or a person to do or complete a thing as I am not sure about future, then I think we have to fill our books of karma till we are alive. It’s all so so scary. I have stopped watching news channels due to their overdramatic presentation and prediction.

    Hope all ends well and ends soon. Can’t thank God enough that we are lucky to be where we are. Safe inside house unlike many stuck away from families.

    Thanks Noor, your entire series was great. Loved following you throughout. Thanks for your consistent support for my blog.

    1. Ujjwal don’t feel this way – there is nothing to be gained from it.
      Yes be thankful, but then utilise that gift to find your true purpose in life. Sorry I don’t mean to preach- it’s just how I’ve been feeling!

  24. We need to find positivity even in 2020, we can’t uninstall this year and all we can do is, make the year for us, as you rightly stated!

  25. Great post! I’ve been trying to use this time to reflect and focus on the big picture, my priorities, what I’m grateful for. Some days that’s harder than others. 🙂

    1. Thank you Lynette 😊
      I’m so glad my post resonated with you. Yes every day is different, but focusing on the larger picture, definitely helps on the tougher days 😊

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