Looking back on my experiences of 2020So 2020 is coming to an end. I’m sure many people are glad to see the back of it and looking forward to the new year. But I’ve taken the last month or so to look back on 2020.

And because of all of the changes this year, I feel like I have more to reflect on than in previous years. I think comes down to taking the time to be more grateful. So this is a summary of my year and the things that stand out in my mind.

My word of the year

I’ve picked a word of the year for a few years now. And normally I would have already decided on my word for next year, but I haven’t. I’m just not sure I know what I would like for myself next year.

This year I chose the word environment. And for me, it had meaning in both the environment and my physical environment.

For the environment, our family started participating in the RedCycle program that recycles soft plastics. It made me conscious of where my purchases were coming from and how they were made. I decided to upgrade some of my clothes so this time I purchased higher quality items, and some were made from sustainable materials.

For my environment, that mostly meant my house. So I continued decluttering my house. I threw out about 80 items from my wardrobe alone! I made a giant list of things I could do to improve the environment of my home. Some of those things are as minute as wiping down the light switches, cleaning the kickboards in the kitchen and cleaning my washing machine.

I am grateful

This year has done a lot of things to a lot of people. And to me, it’s made me more grate. More grateful for the everyday things like the remote control for my garage door. I’m not going to lie, that remote has brought me to tears at least once this year.

I have managed to find gratitude in the mundane and ordinary parts of my life. And I think I will do quite well to remember it too.

I practised a lot of yoga

Even though gyms were shut for a darn long time, I kept up with my yoga practice. I completed Alo Yoga’s Elements of Summer 30 days of yoga series. I also joined in on a few Zoom sessions held by a local instructor. And I’m starting to get better at headstands.

2020 what I achieved

I read a lot of books

Even though my local library was closed for most of the year, I still managed to read quite a bit.

  • The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran
  • Slow by Brooke McAlary
  • 101 Ways to go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg
  • The Fever Code by James Dashner
  • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
  • Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden
  • The 100 by Kass Morgan
  • Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen
  • Day 21 by Kass Morgan
  • Homecoming by Kass Morgan
  • Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty
  • Rebellion by Kass Morgan
  • The Complete Book of Clean by Toni Hammersley
  • The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley
  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Ickabog by JK Rowling
  • Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

You can see all of the books I read in 2020 (including what I read to my daughter) on my Goodreads account.

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Kathleen has
completed her goal of reading
13 books in
2020!
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I found ways to make life fun and pass the time

Our camping trip at Easter was cancelled. So we went camping in the back yard.

We had sleepovers in the lounge room.

We had hour-long bubble baths in the middle of the day.

When the parks reopened, we went to the park. Now, my daughter has never asked me to go to the park before. But the day they opened back up she asked to go. So we did. And we went for 6 days in a row. Now that the novelty has worn off, we still go about once a week.

We also watched a lot of movies, but more on that later.

I supported local

We started eating to take away a lot more regularly. We never really had a routine for a takeaway night. But to support some local businesses, we were ordering in roughly once a week. Some of our favourites are:

Phat Yaya’s

Brass Razu

MP Chocolaterie

I was also on the hunt for a new candle and came across a local lady that lived a short walk from my house. I was able to smell all of the different scents available and I finally picked one that I liked. I’m actually due for a new one soon. If you are local and are looking for something a little different, check out Scents from the Heart.

I watched a lot of television

And I mean a lot. I watched all 23 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all 12 movies from the X-Men franchise and seasons 1-6 of The 100 again in preparation for season 7.

This is the order I watched the MCU movies in:

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home

Looking back on all of the good things in my life in 2020

I celebrated solo

There were a few events that had to be celebrated with just those that I live with. That included Mother’s Day, my birthday and Father’s day. I actually really enjoyed not having to go anywhere for all of these, even if I still missed my family.

I hosted online girls nights

Did someone say virtual girls night? I organised for my friends to get together online to catch up properly. I do keep in touch with my friends in a few different ways, but it was nice for most of us to catch up at the same time. Technically, I didn’t really organise anything for them apart from creating a Facebook event to invite everyone. I chose not to use Zoom because of the time limitations, and we had great fun exploring the features of Google Meet. Next time you are in a Google Meet you should turn on the subtitles, hilarious!

We did some home improvements

Since we spent so much time at home we decided to make some improvements to our house.

  • painted the interior of our house
  • replaced our BBQ with a kettle BBQ
  • replaced the blinds in the master bedroom
  • installed a shed
  • replaced the doona covers for the master bed
  • replaced our front door
  • installed a set of drawers in the walk-in robe
  • replaced the side gate
  • had the front of the house painted

I took on a few new roles at work

While having to work from home didn’t really change much for the company I work for. But some of the tasks that were a part of my job were removed from the service offering at the beginning of the year. It meant that I had time to take on more. In July the company I work for split some of the services off to a new company, which I now run and manage. I also still work for the original company and now I also look after the support. They have both allowed me to learn so much and make me feel like I am making a difference.

I finally made some money blogging

I cannot believe it either! One payout was from Ultimate Bundles and the other was from Google AdSense. It can’t compare to the amount of money that I have poured into this blog, but it is nice to finally see something for it. After all, I had this blog for 5 years before it made any money! I think it really helped that I joined a blogging blitz. Mid-year I joined Kim Anderson’s 12-week content creation blitz and managed to publish 16 new posts in that 12 week period. Bringing the total published posts for the year to 25.

Considering how the year panned out for most of the world, I actually accomplished quite a bit. Are you taking some time looking back on 2020? Or are you saying good riddance?

What made 2020 a success for me