December 31, 2020

Looking back on 2020

Look at that first row of pre-March 13 pictures! Feels like a lifetime ago.

Where do I even start? 2020 has been a year none of us will ever forget and if there was ever a time for deep self-reflection, this was certainly it. I do think that I not only learned a lot about myself but I found plenty to be grateful for. And I swear that's not me being falsely positive for the Internet!

So instead of my usual round-up of highlights where I talk about all my travels, concerts, and outings (since clearly that did not happen), I thought I would share what I've been reflecting on these last 12 months. 

I know I'm one of the lucky ones.
Even though the fear of catching COVID has been looming over me and my loved ones, we've all managed to stay safe and healthy. My job remained stable and busier than ever, which meant I didn't have to worry about finances. So even when I am complaining about something, I'm truly, truly grateful. 

It turns out I do have a limit on "me time." I've always loved living alone and never once wished I had a roommate. But living alone pre- and post-pandemic are two entirely different things. I spend about 90% of my time by myself now and without the regular in-person contact of coworkers, friends, and family, it's been making me anxious in a way I've never experienced before. It struck me hard in the beginning when I wasn't sure when I could visit my Dad, then it got a lot better, but recently it's been hitting me again as we are quickly approaching a year of this. It's made me evaluate how important it is to take care of my mental health, in addition to the physical. 

It's feels like 10 years worth of events were packed into 2020. So much happened this year on top of the pandemic, that I can't even try to list them all because we'd be here forever. But the conversations that started this year need to keep going into 2021 and beyond. I've prioritized reading the news and staying informed in a way that I haven't before and I plan to keep that up. 

I realized I don't need a lot to be content. Don't get me wrong, of course I miss traveling, going out to restaurants/concerts/shows, and walking around mask-free without worrying about social distancing. But this year forced me to slow down and I realized as long as I can see my family and friends safely and I can literally go outside (I have a whole new appreciation for parks, picnics, and takeout), then I can survive without the other stuff. It also doesn't hurt that a lot of things I enjoy can be done indoors (ie. reading, redecorating, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, TV show binges, blogging, and more). But as soon as it's safe to fly again, you know I'll be booking a trip! Until then though, I'm happily staycationing. 

Thank goodness for video chats, texts, phone calls, and outdoor hangs. I think we all had to step up our communication game with the distance and I'm so thankful everyone in my circle did because it 100% helped to keep me sane. I'm usually not a phone call or video chat person to be honest but I got over that real quick because it was so nice to catch up on a regular basis and see each other virtually. Plus I can't help but feel proud of the clever ways we made hanging out in person work. With my family, we relied on weekly backyard lunches all summer long with tables 6ft apart (which have since moved indoors). With Carina and Mary Ann, again we hung out in backyards and parks with our masks on. And I have to mention my monthly hangouts with Alexa. I would joke with her that she lives the furthest away from me of my friends and yet she's the one I see the most. Since June, we've more or less hung out once a month alternating between Queens, Jersey, and now Manhattan and it's been so vital for me to have that. 

It was my Mom's one year anniversary in September. I couldn't believe it had been a year already and even now, it still feels surreal that she's not here. Typically my whole family (immediate and extended) would've gone to the cemetery to pray and have a meal together so it was sad to not be able to do that. Instead we visited in groups and I had an outdoor dinner with my cousins at least. I honestly just didn't want to be alone that day and I wasn't.  

It's really nice having a pet. Even if that pet is just a betta fish! Midway through the year, I wanted something to take care of and since I was having so many issues with my local animal shelter about adopting a cat (which I am still very interested in!), I decided to get a fish. His name is Tomoe and 7 months later, I still love having him! 

My baby nephew has been a ray of sunshine for my family. My nephew Ian is a huge reason why I can't say 2020 is the worst year ever because this year brought him to us. Experiencing the holidays with him and just watching him grow (way too fast!) in general has been such a joy. And remember what I was saying earlier about the lack of human contact? Just getting to hold him in my arms once a week was and continues to be a huge source of comfort. 

So those are my reflections for 2020! I'm more than ready to say goodbye to this year and even though I know 2021 won't be a magical fix, I am hopeful it will be a better and eventually safer year for us all. 


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Thank you for reading my blog and hope you all have a Happy New Year!

1 comment

  1. I'm so glad you were able to find small joys and learn how little you need to be content in 2020! And I'm glad we've been having our bi-weekly phone calls. It's definitely not the perfect substitute for ice cream, dinners and book events of years past, but it's something!

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