Simplicity. Patience. Strength. Resilience. Adaptability. Sorrow. Uncertainty.

Some of the words I think of when I reflect on all that has happened over this year. We’ve all been through and seen so much in 2020 that we’ve never experienced. Through the struggles, we see glimmers of hope and move forward with lessons learned. I want to take a minute to talk about some of those things and what they’ve meant to me. In hopes to possibly connect with anyone reading and as a reminder to myself of what this year has been.

I’ve seen a few of these “Lessons from 2020” posts coming through while I was writing this and I’m hesitant to mention this, but I will. Many of them feel “braggy”, gloss over the fact that the year was awful for so many, seem out of touch and made me feel icky… this is not one of those posts. For me, I would not say it was a great year as a whole. But I will say that when I look deeper, the hidden blessings and positive things from the year start to show. So if you are like me and felt like you spent most of your year trying to “do the right thing”, staying home, cancelling all of your fun plans, worrying about your family and everyone else, know that I am there with you. I feel how difficult it is when it seems that the world was normal for so many people while you were at home missing out on so much.

Ok. Let’s just get this out of the way – overall, 2020 has been a sh*t year. BUT, there have been many blessings in disguise along the way. I want to keep this mostly a positive read because we all know the hardships and awful things that happened and are still not over yet.


We learned what we need in life. What truly matters to us at our core. This is different for everyone of course, based on your individual path. But for me, and many others, we were forced to lean deeply into our families and home life. Getting to better know the ones under your roof and seeing them learn and grow in ways that were just not possible with normal routines. Spending most of our time at school and work, only seeing each other during dinner or on the weekends. And even then, activities and obligations took us away from each other. Not having the time to sit and talk and truly see and hear each other. This was the absolute biggest blessing for me. There would be no other circumstance where my husband and I could be home together for this amount of time with our son. There were many milestones and growth this year and we had a front row seat for it that we just did not have before. The hustle and bustle was just gone. We were able to be present like never before and take it all in. I am eternally grateful for that.

Those of you that live alone and had to isolate from others, I can only imagine how hard that must have been. Know that I am thinking about you, hoping that you too are finding ways to cope.

We also learned to live without so many things. No vacations, no movies, no concerts, dinners, drinks and happy hours. So much was taken away. But it gave us a moment to pause and reflect on what was important. I was able to cook real diners. We were able to eat them together every night, something that was rare before. We saved money not going out to eat or getting drinks. And that was extra important when we were forced to rework our finances with me down to about 1/4 of the income I would have had.


This is a tough one. Especially in a world where patience is not something that many of us have, if we’re being honest. We want what we want and we want it now. It’s the nature of a technological world. Well, this year we were forced to practice patience. Waiting for things to re-open (still waiting for that 9 months later!) Waiting for new information, news that might change something. We learned that being patient is a test. It does not come naturally. But being able to be patient, take a breath and wait can make a world of difference. From someone with anxiety, this has been one of my biggest struggles. But it can be done and it is a process.


You may not have felt like you had strength this year, but trust me, you did. This year taught us that we are all stronger than we think. Sometimes mentally, sometimes physically. Maybe not at first, but we can get there. We learned how to become teachers, caregivers, friends, gaining knowledge and a new outlook on life.
I know may of us feel like we were just going through the motions, trying to survive. And yes, some days are like that. Some are harder than others. But we’re making it through and we can do it. I’ve had some low days where I nearly crumbled to pieces. But each time I was able to let it pass and pick myself back up. We can deal with more than we think we can.


This is a huge one. And a necessary skill to have. I had years of practice with this working for the news, where you had to drop everything for Breaking News and things you had been putting your heart and soul into got dropped or changed at the last minute. It was never easy. But you get used to it. We adapt to survive.

I got thrown into the role of full-time stay at home mom, something I never planned on. I’ve worked full-time since I was 16, so this feels foreign to me. I didn’t know how to do this, I couldn’t ask family to come over and help. It was scary at first. A three year old needs constant attention. CONSTANT. And with an only child this was more prevalent.
But I adapted and am still figuring it out every day. Balancing work and life was always a challenge, but this year is a different type of challenge. One that I think we have almost figured out.

We also learned that because of technology, working from home was much more sustainable than first thought. And if you weren’t a technological person, you had to adapt to at least learning the basics. I’m so proud especially of the older generations who learned, figured it out so that they could stay in touch with their families.

My hope moving forward is that this changes the way companies do business. Our schedule was madness before, we could barely make it home to cook dinner and spend time as a family and we were so stressed rushing every day. That is one of the reasons I decided to quit working full-time, it was too much. My husband works long hours and it was impossible to get it all done by myself. If working from home now and again is going to be an option moving forward, it will greatly improve our quality of life.
And I don’t know how true this is, but I think about the fact that being able to employ people from home gives better opportunities to more people.


I won’t go to deep into this. Because like I mentioned above, we have experienced too much of this one. The loss, the fear, the worry. It was in full force this year. Natural disasters, a pandemic, politics, racial issues, protests, deaths, this year had it all!

I am a worrier by nature so I spent a large amount of time stressed and concerned. Especially with a little one to protect, I was in full momma bear mode. We quarantined hard. When daycare opened back up, we waited to take him back, and now he is there part of the week. I still worry about it, but they are doing an excellent job keeping up sanitation and safety. And it is so good for him to be back. He needs that socialization and activity. We all do.

And for me, I struggle with feeling the weight of other’s pain. I am an empath through and through. Sometimes I can feel upset for hours and my heart hurts over someone else’s story and hardship. I struggled with this daily when I worked for the news station. It was not easy to be forced to know every detail of so many horrible things. At least this year I had the option of turning it off, but I often didn’t. I like to stay informed, but it is hard to not let the emotions take over. This year was filled with so much sadness and if you are feeling extra sorrow, I hope that it makes you feel a bit better to know that I am thinking of you and wish I could just make it all better.

And I want to take a second to extend my love to those who experienced true loss this year. Whether it was death, sickness, job loss, tragedy, racial injustice, etc. I care about you and I see you. Honestly, if anyone wants to email me to talk, vent, air grievances, I’m completely ok with that.

Some things that brought JOY this year.

Of course, my son. He turned 3 and this has been his biggest year of growth and learning yet. I feel so lucky that I was able to be there for all of it. And we potty trained in one weekend! I don’t think there was a chance of that happening had we not had this extra time to put in. He is so smart and has gained a love for baking. He’s been able to help me in the kitchen way more than I expected. He pulls up his step stool and loves to assist with measuring and mixing.

My Quarantine “Pod”. So thankful for them. Three houses in our cul de sac. We all have kids, some around the same age. In the beginning, we tried to distance but it was a disaster with connected yards. So we teamed up to quarantine “together” with ground rules and open communication and it was the best thing.

Having an only child, I don’t know how we would have survived had it not been for them. My son loves people and would ask every day if he could play with his friends. I am so grateful that we have each other during this time. It’s also funny how we quickly became a “family”. I don’t think a year ago, we’d all be comfortable rolling out of bed with messy hair, sweatpants (let’s be honest, straight up pajamas all day), no makeup and be talking to each other. But now, who cares, we can probably be more real with them than anyone else we know!

Unexpected re-connections. There were a few of these this year and I am grateful for each one. People that came back into my life for various reasons in different ways. This reminds us to always be kind and be good at what you do because you never know who will end up being a blessing in your future.

Plants! I’ve always had a love for greenery and nature. I had a few houseplants and a small garden that I didn’t have time for. But this year, I was among the large group of people that threw themselves into caring for plants. For me, it was the time that I finally had to put in. Being stuck inside, surrounding yourself with nature makes you feel better. Calmer. And I’ve learned so much! I can identify popular plants now at a quick glance and tell you how to care for them. I joined plant groups online and I must say, for a while there, they were the only positive thing on the internet. Honestly. It brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. I also sold and bought from local plant people and found a community to be a part of where we share a common love.

A personal win for 2020 – Health. I know this was not the case for many, but in my experience, this was the year that I finally got my health on track. In my hectic life before, I was struggling with eating well and had no time for myself when it came to physical fitness. My schedule didn’t allow it unless I sacrificed the little time I had with my son during the work week, and I wasn’t willing to budge on that. So for the first time, I found a fitness activity that I absolutely love in kickboxing. I feel stronger and healthier than I have in years. Maybe ever. I needed this and wasn’t able to find it before. I am grateful for this new part of my life. 

On another personal note, this isn’t something that I learned this year per say, because I have always felt this, but it was glaringly true for me. Things time out and happen for a reason. I made one of my biggest life changes this year, and the timing was impeccable. For years, we debated when to leave my full-time job, my career that was taxing but that I loved, to work solely for myself. The timing worked out shockingly. Though there were many, “Omg what did I do??” moments throughout this year based on income, I know I made the right decision. The time came in my life when I realized I could NOT do it all. I had to drop something. I’m slowly starting to believe it was the best decision for our family. I plan to write an entire post on this soon, so more on that later!

And one last lesson that many of us still need to learn. I hope that you take a pause and look within to check on yourself. We need to do better. As a people, as a society. We need to celebrate our differences instead of letting them divide us. We need to RESPECT each other’s opinions and feelings with grace and understanding. Take a moment to realize that everyone has an individual path that shapes how they see the world. Just because what they think does not align with your beliefs does not mean they are wrong or an awful person. And no one should ever, ever name call, insult or hate because of this. I was honestly disgusted and disappointed in the ugly side of people that reared its head more forcefully this year. There is no excuse for that. We need listen, learn and DO BETTER. I believe that the only way a society will thrive is to work together, not against each other.

Wow, I wrote a lot! Thank you for reading. I appreciate you being here.
We can all benefit and grow from a willingness to look back and learn lessons. Believe in science and listen to experts. Show empathy and respect. Listen to and hear one another. Masks and human rights are not political. And lastly, BE KIND. You never know what someone is going through.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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