While I’ve lamented quite a bit on the blog this year about how hard 2020 has been, I’ve decided to close out the year with a positive recap instead. While the good doesn’t outweigh the bad by any stretch, I’m very grateful for the good that did exist this year.
I’ve kept a log each week through COVID to remember accurately how things went down – and not censoring the feelings of heartbreak and despondency – but it feels right to end the year with a final more upbeat post. I don’t expect 2021 to immediately be better, but I do have hope that by the end of this next year, things will be considerably better. Fingers crossed.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. While it’s hard to believe now, we rang in 2020 in great spirits around a blazing bonfire in Reykjavik, Iceland near the start of our two week trip to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. (I should probably finish writing up the second half of the trip? Or maybe it’s too late now).
I am so thankful we were able to have our big adventure before COVID shut things down, for if we’d planned the trip just two months later, we wouldn’t have gone. After we returned home on January 8th, we didn’t leave Washington State again for the rest of the year. It was a heck of a trip though, and one we’ve enjoyed reminiscing on this year while staying close to home.
2. Once COVID was clearly here in Kirkland – the first hotspot in the United States – I was immediately able to pull the kiddo from preschool and work from home with him. I am so grateful for the ability to work from home this past year, and that I was able to trust my gut and bring him home at the very beginning of March.
With that, the fact that the husband and I could both work shorter weeks to have full days to homeschool the kiddo, coupled with a full day cared for by the roommate and partial (masked) days by our families, I was able to still get my work done while also keeping him out of a childcare situation. So many women have been pushed out due to COVID, but I am not one of them.
3. One of the very best parts of 2020 has been my local restaurant support group, hands down. When I was feeling overwhelmed and helpless in March when COVID was first taking off, the group gave me hope that I could actually make a difference in a small way.
The community and spirit of giving in the group is the thing that has given me back some of my optimism that 2020 took away, and I will be forever grateful for that. I am so, so lucky to be part of such a wonderful community.
4. Living next to miles of green, tree lined trails has been a godsend for surviving 2020. Even when there is nowhere else to go, the trails are always there. We knew when we purchased our home almost a decade ago that the woods were an important part of the decision, but this past year has solidified just how important they are.
My front yard garden is another part of the outside time that’s breathed life into my soul. The preparedness aspect of growing my own food feels extra important right now, and there’s something very healing about digging your fingers into the dirt and pulling out sustenance. I wrote a poem about this gratitude recently, and it’s been published over on Ecofrugals.
5. And of course, I would be remiss not to mention the importance of my online community in this year of isolation. Some of my very closest friends these days – That Frugal Pharmacist, A Purple Life, Reaching For FI, Fiery Millennials – are other personal bloggers that I met first online. I’ve been lucky enough to know them all in person now, but as none of us live in the same area, that online connection has been my lifeline.
The same is true of my Women’s Personal Finance community and PF Twitter. While we may not all be in the same place physically, having that connection online has made such a difference to the level of loneliness I feel. I am so, so thankful for you all, my friends.
With that deep love of community, winning the Community Builder Plutus Award this year – on my wedding anniversary, no less – was a high point of 2020. Of all the awards out there, this is the one that I wanted most, and I am so proud to say that it was mine in 2020.
What are a few GOOD things that happened in 2020?