I love writing this year end review every single year. It’s possibly my very favourite post to publish. Here goes.
This was one of the best years to date. I don’t say this lightly and I also write this with a lot of guilt considering what happened this year to the world, but I really think it was the best year for humanity. It was the best year for Mother Earth to finally BREATHE and be a little normal. It was the best year for me to have a quiet and mentally healthy year. It was the best year for me to reflect and gain a little insight into the person that I am today and what is most important to me and how I should improve. It was the best year to find out who is important to me and what is important to me now. It was the best year to start the newest adventure of our lives — parenthood! It was the best year to spend time together with the ones we love, if possible.
Now let me elaborate. This year, I started writing in a diary again. I have kept a diary since I was nine years old and wrote every single day for nearly 20 years after that. Somehow in 2016, I stopped writing. It was even a goal for me in my yearly post in 2017 to resume writing daily again but it didn’t happen. Diary writing is such an important catharsis for me and in May of this year, I invested in a diary that has pre-written dates in it (one page for each day of the year). It was the best thing I bought all year even though I thought it was pricey for a bundle of papers and I had only begun to write in in May — I missed out on almost 40% of the book’s intention already. However, mentally, I was able to let go of so many thoughts that come in through my head every day and also “dump” all the comings and goings from each day on to the paper. It was so great to have that space to write again.
I realized especially after last year 2019’s events (wedding, too much social interaction and obligations) that I really needed the time to recharge and wind down. This year was perfect for that. Because of the pandemic, I didn’t have to create excuses for not wanting to go out and socialize. There was NO need for that because everyone had to stay home. I loved it. I reveled in it. I really needed the first three months of the year to settle down and recharge. I didn’t know I needed it at the time, but I really needed it.
This year, the earth breathed. It breathed without the never-ending factory and vehicle pollution, without all the loud and clunky airplanes in the air space, and wildlife and vegetation regained their natural habitats for a little bit of time. That’s the way it should be. Humans were never ever supposed to charge to the top of the hierarchy and reign first. Humans are destroying the earth, ridding so many species, eliminating centuries’ worth of life. The virus has come to reclaim a bit of the life that the earth is supposed to have. It’s good for the earth to have this kind of restoring. Humans were never meant to overrun and take advantage of the earth.
The year 2020 also reminded us to slow down and that the way we were operating before wasn’t healthy. It’s good that we are staying in place, commuting less, travelling for leisure less, and focusing on simply surviving with what we already have — there’s too many luxury things that frankly aren’t necessary for human survival that is costing the earth’s health.
We gave birth to our firstborn this year. What a start of the most cherished journey there is in life. How blessed we are to be able to have this opportunity to lead a young life and show her the world.
I come from a very privileged place to be able to write this blog post the way I have framed it. We are lucky to be here. I’m grateful that we didn’t endure hardships this year while many others have. This is why I said at the very beginning of the blog post that I write these words with a lot of guilt knowing that so many others have suffered greatly during this year. I know. I understand. But this is also my perspective and my outlook on life.
The latter months of this year presented a new hobby and goal for me — decluttering. I have yet to write the blog post (so many blog posts shelved to be written still), but decluttering our house via selling items online has been a huge highlight and accomplishment this year. It’s been so fulfilling to rid our home of items we don’t need or use and pass them on to somebody else in the community either for free or for a few dollars. It’s incredible and I can’t wait to do more of it in the coming y e a r s. Decluttering is an ongoing journey. I’ve adopted the concept of Swedish death cleaning earnestly. Why have so many possessions and especially ones that don’t mean anything to us that just take up space? Why burden the next generation with these items that honestly don’t mean much when we pass?
Serendipitously, I stayed super active during my pregnancy due to my GD diagnosis. I was doing Zumba two to three times a week, walking outdoors daily if I wasn’t doing Zumba, enjoying workouts from EMKFit and YouTube (with a low carb diet to boot), and even joined my mom in some remote tai chi classes. I’ve never done so much cardio before and it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the pandemic (accessing all these classes just from the comfort of my basement). This was as much of a highlight this year as it was last year when I did hot yoga. Staying in tip top shape all the way to 38 weeks felt glorious and was a huge achievement.
. . .
2020 in months specifically:
January: Worked hard on transcripts. Confirmed positive pregnancy.
February: Work, work, work, stayed home.
March: Pandemic began. Stayed home. April: Stayed home. Woke up late every day and zoned out to daily news briefings from Trudeau. Days flew by.
May: Remote Zoom jobs began. June, July, August: Busy working from home. Transcripts galore.
September: Final jobs. Baby arrived. October, November, December: Baby care, decluttered, pumped milk. Weeks flew by.
August to December: Sold 125+ items through Facebook marketplace.
Memories/highlights of 2020:
- Leased a new car,
- Appeared in the Toronto Star for a feature interview (need to blog about this still),
- Celebrated our first year wedding anniversary
- Dined out less but ate so much takeout and delivery meals,
- Pumped so much breastmilk,
- Didn’t travel outside of the country for the first time in probably a decade’s time…
- Discovered EMKFit and did Zumba at home regularly,
- Maintained a healthy GD pregnancy
. . .
Goals for 2021: – Stay healthy and stay alive. As much as I believe the earth is recovering itself, I’d like to stick around for a little while longer. The virus is becoming more contagious. We all have to do our part to stay safe and not spread it.
– Continue to declutter. I’d like to see the basement free of clutter; I want to see the floor and actually use it. When we make our move next year or the next, the goal is to have as few packing boxes as possible. That would be the dream to get rid of the clutter.
– Watch the little one grow and be the best influence that we can be.
– Continue to monitor relationships and watch my mouth for I now know I have an ongoing pattern of saying damaging things that harm relationships.
I’m grateful that last year’s goal was realized. Indeed, we had two healthy babies born into our family in 2020! ^_^ Next year, perhaps, our own home?
The modern world will never forget the year 2020. I’m hoping for a peaceful 2021 and that we all realize what’s really important at the end of the day. Family, good relationships, health.
Hi! Where did you do the online Zumba classes? Do you have a link?
Hi! Just wondering, where did you do the online Zumba classes? Do you have a link?
I did the online Zumba classes via Zumbako, who I’ve been attending Zumba classes with for over seven years. You can find them at zumbako.com
I’m so glad you’re sharing your journey with us, Karen! I’m going to read the Toronto Star article later!!!
Sure! And thanks for reading, Grace!