Finding Some Small Bits of Good in 2020

by - Monday, December 21, 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 has largely been a crap year. Back in March when stay-at-home orders first started going into effect, I don't think I could have imagined, we'd still largely be living under quarantine now.

But with vaccines being rolled out and the hope that comes with them, I wanted to focus my year-in-review post, not on everything we lost this year (and there was so much), but on the small bits of positive that helped buoy me through the past 9 months. 

January and February

Oh the end of the blissful before times, before we knew our world was about to be turned upside. That was the last time I was out of the country -- escaping the cold winter for a lovely Jamaican getaway with friends -- when I thought my biggest worry was how turbulent the flights were. 


It was also the last time I shared a condo rental with friends for our annual ski trip. 

I also started a new job in January and got my last haircut. 


March through May

The big positive from the early days of the pandemic was buying our first home. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. We closed and moved in two days before DC shut down. We went from a one-bedroom apartment in a big building to a three-bedroom townhouse in a small community. Our new front door opened directly to the outside. We no longer needed to get on an elevator or potentially interact with other people when leaving our place. We had two floors, which gave us much-needed space for all the new time we'd be spending at home.


We were able to celebrate closing in our favorite happy hour spot in our old neighborhood.

While we weren't really able to check out any of the spots in our new neighborhood, I found myself quickly getting to know where everything was on my long walks and runs. I learned the neighborhood must faster than I probably would have otherwise since there was literally nothing else to do.

I feel like these were the months where you started to see people's creativity in the face of adversity. People found ways to stay connected to the people that mattered the most in their lives. And yes, maybe that ultimately led to an overabundance of Zoom happy hours or game nights, but it just reminded me of the importance of keeping up those connections. 

June through September

Summer brought the opportunity to do more things because the weather was warmer and some of the very strict restrictions in our area had started to lift a bit.

My summer is normally packed with activities from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and it was honestly a really nice change of pace to not have every weekend booked this year. I took advantage of that to find new-to-me places to explore and discovered lots of parks for picnics with friends.

My husband and I also celebrated our one-year anniversary in June. I had hoped to take a big fun trip for that, but since travel wasn't really in the cards, we booked an AirBnB about 90 minutes away from us and enjoyed a weekend of kayaking, wineries and relaxing at the lake.




We actually visited a lot of local wineries this summer. It felt like one of the few safe things to do that let us be outside and get together with one or two friends.

We also explored a lot of parks and did plenty of hiking and biking. There are so many great parks within an hour or so drive of DC, and I would have never taken the time to visit them in the normal times.



I also spent a lot of time at the beach, including some day trips just to get a change of scenery.


And of course, I used all the many daylight hours to do a lot of running -- completing my first ever running streak and kicking off marathon training.

Pandemic summer was far from ideal, but I got to experience so many new places that I don't think I ever would have otherwise. If there's one thing I want to take from this time, it's to be better about exploring more new semi-local things. There is so much in this area, and this summer, I really only scratched the surface. 

October through December

Pandemic fall has offered far fewer positives than summer, probably because we're all bracing ourselves for a long winter. But I did run a virtual marathon at the end of October, which was one heck a big accomplishment for me. And I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the friends and family that I have willing to sit outside for a lot of hours, while I ran by them once every hour or so.



I know we're all still trying to figure out how to make the best of the rest of the winter ahead. I hate winter, but I'm digging out my warmest clothes and investing in some better winter gear. If the only way to see people is to be outside, I want to make sure I'm as prepared as possible.

I'm grateful that we can end this year with the promise of a vaccine. While getting back to normal is still a ways off, there's at least a light at the end of the tunnel, and that brings me hope for 2021.

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