Things I Learned in 2020


Things I Learned in 2020 

It’s okay to be ready for 2020 to be over. It’s been a crazy year—one filled with experiences and challenges that none of us could have been prepared for.

But before we write the year off as a total bust, let’s pause to think through some valuable lessons that many of us learned. 


In no particular order, here are some things I learned in 2020: 


We’re more resourceful than we think.
I’ve never seen people get that creative on ideas ranging from homeschooling methods to decent toilet paper substitutes.   


We care about each other.
I saw people reach out to each other, if a senior person needed something, we would drop off to them, we helped single moms and dads, we became more kind and helpful.


Isolation can create anxiety or depression.
About six weeks into the quarantine, I was experiencing anxiety. The “what-ifs” began taking over my thoughts . . .  especially at 3 a.m. What if life never returns to normal? What if I do not see Brooke graduate? What if this is the end of the world? I would wake up every morning with a vague sense of dread. I was growing more miserable by the day. 

It wasn’t until I realized worrying about things will not change things.  I can only live for the day that I am in, we are not promised tomorrow 


We can stay home.
I remember those early days of quarantine when we wouldn’t leave our four walls for days on end. It seemed impossible at the time, but we did it. And in its own way, I’ll forever be grateful for that time together. It serves as a reminder to me now that I can stay home. I don’t have to book my calendar until it bursts. In fact, I shouldn’t. 


People in the medical field are the real MVPs.
While the rest of us were conducting Zoom meetings in our pajamas, doctors, nurses, EMTs, and firemen were diving headfirst into the front lines of the battle against Covid.  


We need healthy coping mechanisms.
For me this came in the form of writing a daily devotion and sending to my ladies group from my church as well as looking forward to church via zoom but it felt like we were a family and together. 


Sometimes you need to call someone.
I’m of the mindset that if something can be said in ten paragraphs or less, it’s a text conversation. But after not hearing the voices of the people I care about for weeks, I needed something more. Once I started calling people on the phone, I realized how much more it means to talk instead of text. 


Routines are helpful, but hold on to them loosely.
I’m a pretty routine person. I thrive with a schedule. With goals and tasks that can be checked off a list. But when the world shuts down, what do you do?? 


The internet isn’t evil.
Well, not all of the Internet is, anyway. It took my breath away when people and organizations began providing free content online to brighten someone else’s day. Museum tours, concerts, book readings, art tutorials . . . the Internet provided us with a vehicle to joy. 


Everything can change overnight.
We know this cognitively, right? But experiencing the phenomenon rocked me. It made me reconsider my priorities. My “stuff” suddenly took a backseat to my “people.” And that’s how it should be. 


It’s okay not to be okay.
I learned to stop asking my friends, “How are you today?” Because everyone was very not okay. When I learned to operate under that assumption, it helped me accept my own not-okayness. Also, I learned to be more specific when checking in with others: “Did you sleep last night?” “Can I do anything for you today?” “On a scale of one to ten, how is your anxiety right now?” 


Having fun is incredible medicine.
My house isn’t going to make it into Better Homes and Gardens, but I do like to keep it neatly styled. Each night before bed, I walk through the rooms and rearrange pillows and candlesticks so they’re just right. Fast forward to week five of the quarantine and Brooke and I had a box car in the living room, we took funny pictures and sent to family and friends to make them laugh 


This one is tough. But there are always going to be circumstances that are out of our control. Acceptance can feel like giving up, but it’s not. It’s understanding that right now is all you have, but right now is still important. 


Know what you know.
So many conflicting stories and news reports circulated this year. Make sure you read the facts before you spread the gossip.

We need community.
If nothing else, I think we can all walk away from 2020 with a deeper understanding of our own vulnerabilities. And one, undeniable need is the one of community. It’s the feeling that we’re not the only ones struggling. It’s the feeling that we don’t have to walk through darkness or fear on our own. It’s knowing that when something happens, good or bad, we have someone to share that with. We all need community. We need it yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 


Above all, I will move into 2021 knowing that I’m better than I was this time last year. Because when I look back on 2020, I’m struck with deep gratitude.


Gratitude for the lessons I learned. For the darkness that helped me appreciate the light. And for the people who linked arms with me to walk through it. And I hope that over the next 365 days, I can return the favor to them too. 



Year in review

Take a deep breath. We are now through 2020—phew. For many of us, this has been an incredibly challenging, transformative, and life-changing year. In some ways, life went on as usual—we were still expected to show up at work, babies were born, marriages happened and they were so beautiful and intimate. But in other ways, it was like no other year we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. 


For better or worse, the last 12 months have changed us. And now, looking back, we can see that the lessons we’ve learned—about health, resilience, community, and our shared history as Canadians—are lessons that will hopefully stick with us for the rest of our lives.


January was a normal month where no one had to wear masks, we did not have to social distance, we could do what ever we wanted, when we wanted, we could party if we wanted to, have as many friends over as we wanted.  MY word of the year was Stand- stand strong, stand up straight, stand up for what I believe and now looking back I can see that I was able to stand.  
In January I was also able to do something for our town, I was able to go to UNB red wings hockey and make a presentation at center ice for the business I worked for, here is a review in pictures: 

February – My world turned upside down when my mom got very sick, I flew home to be with her as Dr’s were not sure if she would be ok, she was to have a surgery on her bowels and would get a Colostomy.  Andrew and I decided to celebrate valentine’s day early as we would be spending our first valentines apart as I was at my mom’s bedside, so he had beautiful roses delivered to me at work,

                            he took me to a fancy dinner, 

we spent the evening together.  I was terrified that I was going to lose my mom and he held me close while I cried. 

 I left my house to fly at 4:30 am, arrive at my brothers around 3 pm, they all met me at the airport, we had a big family dinner and did some shopping to ease my mom’s fears.  We had to be at the hospital by 7 am, I went into the surgery dept with her, stayed with her and prayed with her until they wheeled her into the OR, they said 4 hours and she will be back to recovery… the 4 hours came, 5 hours passed, 6 hours passed and no updates.  Finally, I went and spoke with a nurse and they advised me some problems occurred but we should be able to see her soon… we spent a lot of time in the chapel that day, but after 12 hours we were able to see my mom. 

March- THE WORLD SHUT DOWN.  I lost my job on March 7th and it was a blessing in disguise. I was never happy there even though I pretended to be, I was verbally abused every day of my life, my co workers were not nice people and a lot of office gossip happened, true friends stay in contact even after you no longer work together. 


April- I was a stay-at-home mom and was enjoying it.  Lots of naps, cooking and cleaning, the whole world is shut down so we had a lot of time at home just us, church was online, Andrew and Brooke are part of the media team so they would be there every Sunday morning to get the live streaming. My husband started his own and may I say very successful business in the middle of a pandemic, I am so proud of that man. 

May- We were in a very hard lock down and it was our 18th wedding anniversary, we had plans for a trip but COVID-19 ruined that. So, we found a B&B in the area, we got take out for dinner, went for a drive to the country, went for a walk, there was flowers delivered in our room, we watched some fun TV and relaxed in the hot tub, we had such a great time together, I love that man more and more. Here is the review in pictures : 

June- I was offered a temporary job for a construction company.  It was a long drive in the mornings for my husband and I was so bored there, so I started looking yet again.  The world was kind of re-opening again, things were some what normal.  We were able to have friends over again and be social. 


July- I was hired at my dream job.  I am working as admin assistant with book keeping for a pharmacy, my co worker (BOSS LADY) is a dream to work for, she is a friend and a confidant and I am looking forward to a long working career here.

My baby girl turned 17.  How did that happen.

August- only one month of summer left, wait, we have had an extended summer vacation due to COVID-19- Schools were virtual so it seems every one has been on vacation.  We started some renovations on our house, I am so excited to see the finished product. 

September- Brooke is entering FHS as her final year… she is a graduate of 2021. I cannot handle this.  My co worker and I went to the beach for a day, we had a great time. 

October- I turned 28. We had a small COVID-19 allowed birthday dinner at Montana’s with some friends and my co worker.  Booked my trip home for Christmas.  All I wanted for my birthday was a day with my husband and I got that plus they spoiled me with presents.  


 November- COVID-19 has gotten really bad so we went back to the Orange phase. church had to be mask only, no singing was allowed, we could not socialize with anyone, it was like we were all strangers with our own friends and family. 


December-  COVID-19 still lingers on but Hope springs forth, there is a vaccine now so we have the hope that soon things will be some what normal…Our trip home for Christmas has been cancelled as no unnecessary travel can be done unless we isolate for 14 days each way… we decided to wait until Summer and see if things are better. 


Here is the Review in Pictures for Christmas 

Christmas Sunday Attire 

Our friends who came for lunch 

Our friends with my God baby. Advaith made Christmas so fun. 


Thank you for reading another year, for working with me and being my friend. Looking forward to 2021. 


Five Tips For A Healthier You In 2021'


Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

This year is finally coming to an end - something that is a blessing for most of us and we can’t wait to see in a new year. The start of a new year is also the time to come up with resolutions and think of how you are going to benefit when 2021 rolls around. After a year when we have spent a lot of time in our homes, eating and not able to get exercise, a lot of us are unhealthier than normal. If you are looking to be a healthier you in 2021, here are some tips to help you get there.

  1. Look at your diet

If you are looking to get healthier in 2021, the top thing you need to do is look at what you are eating and try to eat better. It could be that you eat well enough but your portion sizes are too big which are meaning you put on weight, or that you eat too much junk food. It can be a good idea to limit unhealthy food to just on certain days, like the weekend. Also try to avoid snacking in between your meals, or if you do need a snack, make it something healthy like fruit or vegetables.

  1. Quit smoking

If you have been trying to quit smoking, make 2021 your year to commit to it. There are many things out there that can aid you with quitting smoking, from vapes such as Bloom Farms vape, to patches, gum and meditation. Do your research and find the one that works best for you. There are so many options, and once you have quit smoking you will soon feel so much better in yourself and your general health. You will find that you are less breathless and your skin and teeth are healthier too.

  1. Exercise regularly

To get healthier next year, it’s a good idea to get yourself a regular exercise regime. There are a whole host of exercise ideas you can do to help you get fit, just find the one you like the best and you will want to do it more often. Whether it is running, cycling or an exercise class such as yoga or pilates, you will soon find the best one for you. If you can’t get out of the house there are YouTube videos or apps that you can find which can give you exercise routines to do in your home or your garden. These are cheaper than a gym membership but can have similar results.

These are just a few ways that you can become healthier in 2021. Whether you implement all of them into your daily life or just one or two you will soon find that you both look and feel much better. Why not try and enlist your family or partner to get healthy with you? If you have someone else to motivate and encourage you then you are much less likely to give up and to stick at it for longer.


Merry Christmas


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