So what are you proud of in 2020?
What was your greatest accomplishment? What are you proud of in 2020?
People keep asking this question.
Part of me wants to be a total smart ass when I read the question – I mean 2020 accomplishments at the end of the year were dramatically different than our expectations at the start.
Let’s be clear. I got up, got out of bed and kept going in a year full of anxiety and stress. That was enough many days.
My 2020 Moments
Instead of making it a negative or griping or dismissing the entire year, I keep saying the same thing, which leads me to the number one thing I am proud of in 2020, the past year.
I Kept My Teenagers and My Family Alive
You know that thing that people do when their kids are infants….how you tiptoed into their rooms at night and peered out over the room in the dark and you held your breath waiting to hear their breath. Were they breathing? There were many variations of this in the past year only they all looked like me checking in to be sure they were in fact still okay.
Getting Out of Bed
Oh boy there were a lot of days I could have just stayed in bed. There were many days in the first few months especially when I was legitimately concerned about my family and being able to pay the mortgage. But more than that, we headed into the pandemic with a daughter who was in crisis in terms of her mental health. Pandemic plus mental health crisis was a pretty scary place to be. Many weeks I thought I might have also been depressed from the strain and anxiety of the situation.
Not being able to go places, being home more often meant that we also made more sustainable choices often. Fewer trips to stores meant saving gas and that’s better for the environment. Using up what we had instead of going nuts consuming, was a journey we mostly embraced. I am proud of that.
This year, while gyms were closed I walked in my neighbourhood and many days I got my kids out walking with me. When we couldn’t workout we could walk and sometimes workout in the basement too. It’s what worked this year for us. In fact, I wrote a post about celebrating the art of walking.
I started TikTok and it is is pure fun. Check me out over there @inkscrblr. It’s a brand new deal and a choice and I am having fun with it so go visit. It’s a few seconds of time and I am enjoying the video and video editing portion of the channel. Pure and simple.
Enduring Remote Learning
Oh, make no mistake this was a hot mess. But, we endured it and my oldest adjusted and my youngest passed all of her courses so far. It is not ideal and this entire year continues to shift and change so much I may just dub it there shapeshifter year. But we endured.
We bought a tent and we learned how to pitch it and we went camping when it was safe to do so in the summer. And we discovered that we enjoy it, almost more than anything actually. It was our favourite and only travel experience this year.
In 2020, I continued my quest to diversify and published all sorts of parenting during a pandemic content. Several of those pieces appeared on CBC Parents. I’m thrilled to keep that part of my work going.
Connecting with others who have kids with special needs has been crucial this year. In fact, this year, that’s been more important than ever, because we cannot get together in person and we need more support.
Learning to Make Bread in a Bread Machine
We received a bread maker in early 2020. That was brilliant because we used it weekly for the first five months and then every couple of weeks afterwards. We have made some scrumptious dinners with it and we have also made jam. That’s right the breadmaker makes jam!
Not Letting Hate Win
Divisive politics in the USA and even here at home in Ontario have made it extremely hard some days to not drown in anger and negativity. Hate is not a thing I hold onto, because it drains you of energy and light. There are days when it feels overwhelming but I am releasing it, right now and I hope that this continues to be the emotion that I feel occasionally and then decide to let go daily.
Gave My Site a Facelift
It had been years since I switched the look of my site and frankly, I am not sure why I waited so long. The new look works and I like it a lot. Does it still need a few tweaks? Sure, but this is a vast improvement and a new skill that I have mastered…changing themes in WordPress.
Increased Traffic and Pageviews
While it was a weird year at a lot of points, it was also a period in which people were looking online for a lot of things and reading more. So, happily, traffic grew. Also, I like to think my investment in SEO and content has been paying off.
Photography and Editing
At the start of the pandemic I wasn’t motivated by much. When I travel I take photos, but there was no travel so why bother? Well, I ended up getting a new phone and I feel like that gave me a better outlook on improving my photography. Pretty sure it shows on Instagram and here, at least a bit.
During the pandemic I have had more time to read and a few of the books I have picked up have been powerful and memorable. Two of the best ones I read this year were The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Kiterunner by Khaled Hussaini. Regretfully, I didn’t really tally the number of books that I read in 2020, but I gained a lot from the words and the style of every book.
Adjusting to Virtual Workouts
Not my favourite way to work out by a stretch, but I am again doing a wider range of workouts and that’s fine. There’s merit in changing it up once every so often. Boot camp to yoga and even dance fit style. It’s all good.
Found a Few New Trails
We explored a bit more of our city this year and there was a lot to enjoy about that. Finding some new trails, choosing to finally explore Sifton Bog instead of driving by it (a thing we have done for the last five years!)
Kept Paying the Mortgage
OH BOY. This is not intended as a slight in any way to anyone who stopped paying the mortgage. Please understand that at the start of the first lockdown we were genuinely worried about being able to pay the mortgage. In fact, we had no clue if Jim would be able to continue his job, if it was essential or not. In the early days before CERB was even mentioned, we were worried. I made the inquiries at the bank and called our financial planner and thankfully we were able to keep paying the mortgage. I’m grateful for that.
My daughter has done some incredible baking this past year and I am grateful for her scrumptious experiments. She nailed making an apple pie with lattice and her glazed apple bread was fantastic. But her homemade pizzas are my favourite. One of the things I am pretty proud of in 2020 is her kitchen skills.
It’s been many years since we have eaten this varied a diet actually. Having to plan ahead has helped us to determine what we are making ahead of time and frankly also we have enjoyed using Hello Fresh a bit. It pushed us out of our comfort zone.
Wait, what do I mean by that? Well, after all that this year has thrown at us I am still standing up. We all are. If you are too then give yourself a big hug, kudos, mad props. We made it and that speaks to our resilience.
Growth Happened Anyways
While the year behind us was full of worry and so much chaos at times, it also had a lot of lessons and moments of beauty too. Growth happened despite the pandemic and maybe at times because of the pandemic.
And we kept going. That’s what I am most proud of in 2020.