Hey y’all! Congratulations, you made it to the last day of 2020! And even if that’s the only thing you can say you accomplished this year, know that is an accomplishment in itself. Not everyone has experienced the pain and anguish of 2020 to the same degree. I don’t take it for granted that I still have a job and my health, and my family and loved ones are healthy too. However, all of us have still felt unexpected and unprecedented change and loss to some extent in 2020. It’s been a year without many beloved activities and traditions, and fewer outings and gatherings. But as I look back on 2020, there’s still a lot of things to be thankful for that happened with respect to both personal growth and experience. So in no particular order, here are 20 good things about 2020!
20 Good Things about 2020
1. Experienced freedom in moving on.
This year I learned how to really have peace with moving on when a guy I’m interested in doesn’t give me the time of day despite my efforts to be friendly and get to know him. Was the rejection still hard? Absolutely! But at the same time, it was really empowering to be able to accept that I’m worth more than pining after someone who doesn’t care to get to know me better. You can read more thoughts about this here.
2. Getting to work from home with Duffy as my assistant.
I’ve actually really enjoyed working from home. It’s definitely going to be an adjustment to have to put on regular work clothes when I eventually go back into the office. I’m very thankful that my job is such that I can work from home during this time. And I like getting to have my Duffy the Disney Bear be my assistant while I work from home. Duffy is actually such a staple in my Zoom square during staff meetings that one of my coworker will message me asking where where he is if I forget to position my camera so that Duffy is visible on Zoom.
3. Seeing Mean Girls the Musical
Obviously this happened pre-pandemic, but I was super excited when my parents gave me their tickets to go see Mean Girls the Musical at the Durham Performing Acts Center. Mean Girls is one of my all-time favorite movies, so I loved seeing the musical version of it.
4. Going to the Carolina-Duke Game
My parents gave me brother and me their tickets to the Carolina vs. Duke basketball game in Chapel Hill at the last minute back in February. This was only my second time attending a UNC-Duke basketball game, and it had been 11 years since I previously attended this game. Tickets for this game are hard to come by, and it’s definitely a bucket list item for any Carolina or Duke fan to experience this rivalry in person.
5. Beach getaways providing a sense of normalcy in the chaos.
I went to the beach multiple times with my parents this summer, plus one weekend in the fall. I’m so thankful that we have a beach place we could safely travel to for a change of scenery. Even when there’s not a pandemic, we spend most of our time either hanging out on the beach or relaxing up at the beach house. So things didn’t feel too different on beach trips this year.
6. College Football
The mere fact that college football happened this year is a highlight, especially after so many sports got cancelled in the spring and summer. Although things were very different and this was the first fall in years I didn’t attend a college football game and tailgate, I’m still glad I got to experience the familiar fall Saturday morning tradition of Starbucks and College GameDay. In addition, I loved how ESPN got creative with constructing whimsical mini sets at Lee Corso’s house in Florida, since he couldn’t travel to the main broadcast location due to being high risk for COVID complications due to his age.
7. Gossip Girl
“Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.” I will also remember 2020 as the year I finally watched the entire series of Gossip Girl. I really got into the characters, and Blair Waldorf is my favorite. Since Gossip Girl is officially leaving Netflix when the ball drops tonight, I’m especially glad I got to watch the entire series earlier this year. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Gossip Girl is available to stream on HBO Max.
8. Promoting to Beautycounter Senior Consultant
Getting my first ever Beautycounter promotion in November, after over 18 months of being a consultant, was definitely a bright spot of 2020. I’m thankful to all my amazing customers who made this possible (note that I achieved this promotion entirely based off sales to customers and didn’t have to recruit anyone to join my team). Promoting to Beautycounter Senior Consultant also reminded me that hard work and perseverance pay off, and to keep plugging away even when I don’t see immediate results.
9. Lilly Pulitzer Pajamas
Lilly Pulitzer pajamas were my top wardrobe staple in 2020. Although I previously owned three pairs of Lilly pajama pants prior to 2020, my collection of Lilly pajamas grew greatly this year. The extra time at home made Lilly pajama pants my go-to for loungewear during the cooler months. And I also got more into cute coordinating pajama sets this year, as opposed to throwing on a mismatched oversized t-shirt and shorts to sleep in. I now have a few sets of Lilly pajama shorts with long-sleeved button up pajama top that I sleep in during the fall and winter. During the warmer months I pair my Lilly pajama shorts with a coordinating t-shirt.
10. Buying a New Mattress
Back in February I decided that it was time to finally invest in a new mattress, after having the same one for almost 13 years (not including however many years my parents used it before passing down to me). Little did I know when I was buying my mattress that everything would shut down less than a month later due to the start of COVID. I’m so glad I was able to try out mattresses in store and get my new one delivered before all the craziness began. Making this big purchase on my own was definitely an empowering “adulting” moment.
11. Getting settled into my New Place
Okay, so having to go through the process of moving wasn’t exactly fun. And I was actually really annoyed when I first found out I would have to move to a different unit because my complex wasn’t renewing leases on non-renovated apartments. But once I got everything moved over, I realized it was nice having a fresh start. In addition, this move also forced me to purge a bunch of things and get my stuff more organized. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m hoping to be 100% settled in early 2021.
12. Vera Bradley Disney Collection
I loved collaborating with Vera Bradley to promote the newest Disney prints that they launched in August. Vera Bradley gifted me two pieces from the collection, and I loved them so much I bought a few additional ones! Enjoying my Vera Bradley Disney pieces lets me experience some Disney magic at home. (Check out this post for more ways to enjoy Disney magic when you can’t travel to the Parks.)
13. Extra appreciation for the simple joys in life.
I feel like I’ve always been able to find pleasure in the simple joys in life, but it became more apparent in 2020 when there were fewer opportunities to go out and do things and life became simpler. For instance, it made me really happy back in May when the Bruester’s Ice Cream Truck came to my apartment complex.
14. Holiday season
Even though the holidays were really different this year, it was such a joyful time, and I’m sad they are drawing to a close. There weren’t holiday gatherings and other events that were previously traditions. But I loved the familiarity of putting up my Christmas tree, watching favorite Christmas movies, and eating Christmas candy. I also loved getting to safely spend time relaxing and celebrating with my family during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, it was special to still experience altered online versions of previous in-person traditions, like The Nutcracker Ballet and the Christmas Eve Moravian Lovefeast.
15. Disney Plus
Late last year when I first got access to Disney Plus, I remember being overwhelmed by all the options. I clearly thought to myself “there’s enough things on here that you could go an entire year without leaving your house.” Little did I know at the time what 2020 had in store! Even with the additional time at home, I’m not able to watch Disney Plus all day every day. However, having all the streaming options definitely makes at-home entertainment a little easier. I particularly enjoyed the Disney Plus original High School Musical The Musical: The Series and re-watching Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
16. Mickey’s Runaway Railway McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys
So this kind of goes with #13, but collecting the Mickey’s Runaway Railway Happy Meal toys from McDonalds during November and December was a big way that I experienced simple joys in life this year. So, it gets its own bullet point. Since I’m such a big Disney World fan, I loved the toys that featured Mickey & friends riding different Disney World rides. Also, late November was the first time in years I got something from McDonalds that wasn’t ice cream! You can read more about this Happy Meal promotion in my November and December Favorites posts.
Okay, while I wish we didn’t have to do so many things over Zoom this year, I’m so thankful that it exists. I can’t help but think about how much harder it would have been to stay connected during a pandemic like this even 10 years ago. Zoom has been especially instrumental in helping me remain in Christian community during this time of physical distancing. My BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) group meets on Zoom each week, and right before Christmas I joined a new small group at church that meets on Zoom.
I’m also grateful that I could safely continue meeting with my therapist twice per week during this crazy year with so much upheaval in the world!
19. Kanki Delivery
Prior to 2020, the only time I ever ordered food delivery was when I would have a friend spend the night and we would order a Papa John’s pizza. But since going out to eat became obsolete this year, I felt like I could justify ordering delivery for just myself. Kanki Japanese Steakhouse, a local Japanese restaurant with three locations in the Triangle, was one of my favorite places to order delivery from this year. I even won a $25 gift card from them as a thank you for tagging my Kanki delivery on Instagram. I look forward to using it to watch the Kanki chefs put on a show when I’m comfortable dining in restaurants again.
20. God’s constant unchanging nature.
Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This has always been one of my favorite Bible verses. But it definitely took on a fresh meaning in 2020, with all the change and uncertainty in the world that a pandemic coupled with social and political unrest bring. The events of 2020 definitely make me extra thankful for the consistency of God’s character. Although I haven’t always clung to God as wholeheartedly as I should this year, I’m extra thankful that He’s been there with me every step of the way.
See Y’all in 2021!
Thanks for all of your support this year, and especially for words of affirmation! It means the world to me when y’all let me know that you enjoyed something I recommended, and it means the most when y’all tell me that my openness and vulnerability about mental health has encouraged you to be open and vulnerable about your own struggles. Affiliate sales and side income is nice, but letting people know they aren’t alone in whatever struggles they’re facing is the most rewarding aspect of blogging, and keeps me going on the hard days! Here’s a look at my Top 9 posts on Instagram for 2020:
Ps. To keep in touch, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. In addition, I’ve become more active on Pinterest and would love for you to follow me there. I’d also love to add some extra happiness to your inbox with my e-newsletter, and you can sign up here. I like to think of my newsletters as a virtual coffee chat. You will also get my FREE mini ebook on “How to Build Your Wardrobe on a Budget”!
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