The Bright Side of 2020

What an emotional rollercoaster this last year has been! While there have been many cloudy days, it’s the sunny days that got us through. Looking back at 2020, I realize there is plenty to be grateful for during this wild year:

Grateful is a word I used multiple times a day, every day this year. I am forever grateful for the big things – health, family, friends, career, home, food on the table, just to name a few. But this year, I have found the gift of simple things to be the most impactful. A phone call to catch up with a coworker who I haven’t seen since March, a Zoom call with the entire FBG team, a handwritten note in the mail, or a board game with my husband on a day that feels lonely and dark. These “simple things” have been the highlights of the year. They have kept me going, kept my spirits lifted, and most importantly, kept me connected to those I love most. For that, I am and continue to be grateful.

There is something peaceful about the morning hours when working remotely. Maybe it’s the fluffy robe, slippers, warm cup of tea, and stillness of my home before the day unfolds. Or maybe it is not having to blow out my hair, debate outfits, drive to the office, fight for the favorite parking spot, and walk to the building without spilling coffee or letting the wind ruin my hair. Don’t get me wrong, being an extrovert, I thrive around others and absolutely love being surrounded by my coworkers in the office. But I have found a deep appreciation for remote working and a significant decrease in my overall stress levels.

How wonderful is it, that when 5 o’clock hits, we aren’t sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home? Throughout the day, I’ve had time to fold the laundry, run by the grocery, vacuum the house – now work hours are done and I can focus on myself and my family. These extra pockets of time throughout the day have allowed for more free time at the end of the day. With this extra time, I may have picked up a few new hobbies. Personally, I’ve been trying out new recipes from cookbooks. Actual cookbooks, not the first recipe to pop up on Google or Pinterest. Arranging fresh flowers is another hobby I’ve picked up. I have always been a flower lover, but over the past few months my house has turned into a flower showcase. Not only do I enjoy creating the arrangements, but I also love seeing them in my home or gifting them to a neighbor or friend.

The sunshine has been my best friend this year. It has reminded me to smile, exercise my body, and spend time outside. From day one of quarantine, I noticed an increase in outdoor activities in my neighborhood. More children playing outside, getting less screen time. Dogs enjoying not only one walk, but two or three a day. Homeowners spending their weekends sprucing up their yards and gardens. I found that spending time outside doing any of these things, is an immediate mood booster.

Less commute time has translated to more exercise time for me. With technology, working out from my home is simpler than ever. Countless apps, at-home equipment, and miles of sidewalks allow me to do just about anything. With health in the forefront of most minds, healthy habits have been created that simply weren’t happening pre-COVID. When we are on the go 24/7, it’s harder to maintain a desired diet, often eating whatever is convenient between appointments. The slower pace of life has not only allowed me to be more mindful about what I eat – but to eat with intention. When I sit down to eat my lunch, I try to have zero distractions. It makes a huge difference.

So, let’s make a pact with each other to start 2021 with a positive mindset. Let’s remember everything that 2020 has taught us, and act on those lessons. Let’s lift each other up, as everyone is battling something. A simple smile at a stranger (through your mask), can brighten their whole day. 2021, we’re ready for you!

Enjoyed this post and want more? Read previous posts: Friday Check-ins, Connecting While Remote, or One Thanks a Day.