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Wrapping up 2020

Coming to terms with 2020 is a lot easier when we make a list of what we've accomplished.

Flourish separator

Well 2020, we all know which list you managed to make this year, and I hope my friends are sending you off with the appropriate pomp and circumstance.  But each passing year acts as a unit of measure for our lives, and as such even the worst ones deserve to be discussed and inventoried before being filed away.  Making my 20 for 2020 list helped me keep the things I want to do in focus during our risky trip around the sun this year.

With so many cancelled plans, scary scenarios, and makeshift compromises, it’s especially important to reflect upon what we have accomplished this year.  Even if you didn’t make a 20 for 2020 list, I challenge you to grab a pen and a cup of coffee right now.  Sit down and make a list of things you have done since January for which you are proud.  Big and small.  For body, brain, or heart.  For yourself or for others.  Write it all down. I'll wait.

See that?  That’s growth.  That’s time well spent.  That’s progress that 2020 did not steal from us.  Onward.

Ok, so I’m going to quickly share my report card with you, but before I do I want to give a gigantic THANK YOU to my supportive circle of readers.  I didn’t know how I would keep myself disciplined to write all year, and the truth is that when I let too much time go between posts, what brought me back was the thought of you looking for something fresh to read.  So whether you’re here for the writing or you’re here for me, I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you.  So much.  

20 for 2020 wrap up:

  1. Launch Bookish Mama: Check! 

  2. Write at least one post per week: Well, I believe this post makes 44, so I’m a bit short.  Slow but steady.

  3. Make cassoulet: Check!  See the sweaty details here. 

  4. Read 5 classics: I did read Pygmalion, Puddn’head Wilson, and The Miracle Worker.  I re-read lots of classics for work, but they don’t count, and I read quite a few bestsellers, but they don’t qualify as classics.  Half-check.

  5. Organize digital and printed photos: Sigh.  Just.  Can’t.  Get to it.

  6. Maintain weight loss:  I’m giving myself another half-check here because this crapshow of a year could’ve wreaked a lot more havoc on the scale.  Creeping definitely occurred, but all things considered this one could’ve gone much further south.

  7. Take a class to learn something new: I’m giving a check here because while I didn’t actually GO anywhere (hahahahhahahhahaha), I DID watch tutorials and read books and teach myself how to can produce and bake bread.  New skills obtained.

  8. Visit Sesame Place 4 times: No, but at least we went to the Very Furry Christmas Drive-Thru.

  9. Organize recipe binders: Yes!  Two days ago I did it.  It took forever.  Alas, it is done.

  10. Speak more Spanish:  Still no excuse for this.  I reached out to a library to ask if I could teach a conversational group, then Covid hit and the opportunity kind’ve evaporated and I never pursued another.  This is something I think about a lot though, and I need to make this happen.

  11. Organize basement:  Check!  Not only did we organize, but we created a play space for the kids and the messiest of their hobbies: Legos and arts and crafts.  Winning!

  12. Take the kids to swim lessons:  Ok, well we didn’t take them anywhere, but I will say here that upon realizing this summer that there was little all three of our kids would rather do than swim, we decided to take the plunge and put in a pool.  I am a little nervous about the extra work and responsibility, but I am beyond grateful to be able to do this for them.  Awaiting the dig.

  13. Organize the junk drawer:  Took me until November, but ‘tis done.

  14. Pay it forward 3 times:  I will say that I feel like we embraced this in different ways.  We delivered flowers, homemade jam, and freshly baked bread to neighbors, we sent packages to people’s houses to cheer them up, and we tried to make a point to check in on those we love.  We also donated a bit more than usual.  Definitely thinking of others this year.

  15. Redo upstairs bathroom:  This happened.  Check.

  16. Update wall photos:  Nope.  Crappy record with things photo-related this year.

  17. Date night once a month:  Needless to say, no.  But.  We did install a TV in our bedroom (there was no point before because always having a baby under 2 meant sleep was more important anyway).  But I feel like putting that in has created a date-night feel because we now make a point after the kids are asleep to relax and watch something together a few nights a week.  

  18. Visit a museum:  Crowds = no.

  19. Take the kids camping:  No, since the backyard doesn’t count.  I do feel like this is one of the few trips we could’ve taken, though.  

  20. Express gratitude every day:  If I’m being honest I’m sure there are days this didn’t happen.  But I do know my heart was extra sensitive this year to all the ways my life could have gone terribly wrong.  I feel for those who are struggling with loss and sincerely try to keep perspective when I’m feeling moody over nothing.  Perspective always.

You might’ve taken more than you’ve given, 2020, but we’re still moving forward and taking your lessons with us.  Stay tuned for 21 for 2021.  Happy New Year to you all, dear friends.

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.
― Lyndon B. Johnson


Casey writes:
Jan 1, 2021 4:04pm
This is beautiful Heather! I am going to make my list now, thank you. You should totally teach that Spanish class!!!
Heather Walsh writes:
Jan 1, 2021 7:15pm
I'm cheating and putting horseback riding on the list!

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