Before I sit down to write my year-end reviews, I always like to look back on what I wrote the year prior, which you can view here. It’s so insightful to see what I loved about the year prior and what I was hung up on or yearning to change with the coming of the new year.
Looking back at what I wrote in 2019 has me feeling like hindsight is 2020, literally. 2019 was an extremely overwhelming year for me that had me aspiring for stillness and simplification in 2020. Ironically 2020 brought me more stillness and simplification than I ever imagined – along with much more. 2020 was a year for pausing, grieving, listening, reflecting, dissolving expectations, healing, rejoicing in the moments, and much-needed perspective.
Overall, 2019 feels like a lifetime ago, and it sounds dramatic but – I feel fundamentally changed by 2020.
What use to bug me – no longer does and what I use to take for granted (good health, grabbing dinner out with friends, traveling, seeing a concert, or even just seeing family) – I no longer do. Reflecting on 2020, and watching this infamous year coming to a close, brings up a lot of emotions. but for this post, I’m going to reflect on what did happen this year and what I’m grateful.
January & February:
If I’m being candid with you all – I was not in a good place during these early months of 2020. I was feeling drained like never before. Mentally, I felt out of control due to a lack of balance between my two jobs and my overall health. I wasn’t sleeping well. I found myself uncomfortable in my skin. And I felt like I was ultimately failing in my career. At any moment, I felt like I could fall over or explode into tears. For what felt like all of February and the beginning of March I was in survival mode
I ended up opening about my struggles in a post I wrote back in May, which you can read here. Now that more time has passed between me and these months I can look back at the few moments of fun I did take for grant. For instance, getting to attend a latte blog event with New England Diary and fellow bloggers in Boston – which you can see here. Not to mention taking for granted getting to attend sporting events, like the UConn Huskie basketball games – something Matt, myself, and my family have missed greatly.
March, March & March:
I feel like March 2020 will be an aesthetic – I’ll never forget.
It’s odd how I can remember this one month in a bunch of different ways. In one moment I remember the joys of March – I spent early March shooting spring content at local restaurants, feeling grateful that my sisters flew home to Connecticut during their spring breaks to help me with the Mr. Trophy website and just enjoying simply being around people. I was enjoying things that now would be considered a luxury – eating out in large groups, attending sporting functions, and actually sitting down at a coffee shop.
Yet, just one week later on March 14th, so much changed. COVID-19 started to shift from something we were watching on the news to something we were living through. At first, all it meant was that my sisters’ Spring Break was extended a week. Selfishly, I was excited to continue to have extra hands importing data. But within a few days, both Tessa and Sarah were forced to evacuate their college campuses and the true severity of the Pandemic came to light. Soon after, we had to follow suit with small business owners across the nation and temporarily shut the doors at Mr. Trophy.
Suddenly we were all walking through a pandemic. We were all uncomfortable and we were all simultaneously living through a trying time. Yet at the same time, I felt grateful to be at home, safe – with a little extra time on my hands to watch Tiger King in my new loungewear sets, and embracing the TikTok trend of whipped coffee.
I do sometimes feel guilty that I can look back at March as a positive, even though it was a month that brought such turmoil and grief. Overall there was so much talk about a new normal and so much unknown – that at moments it felt like it was just a much-needed break that would last a couple of weeks, while simultaneously at other moments feeling apocalyptic, suffocating, and uncomprehensible.
April & May
From March 14th until May 20th – Matt and I rarely left the home except for grocery runs, visits to Mr. Trophy, and supporting small businesses through take-out and online ordering. During this time Matt officially started working from home – something we never anticipated, and together we finally really started to appreciate our home. We fell in love with its charm all over again and felt so grateful to have a space that was ours with plenty of outdoor space to garden in, relax, and enjoy.
As summer approached COVID-19 regulations in Connecticut began to lift and hope was in all of our hearts. Governor Ned Lamont announced on May 20th to reopen small Connecticut businesses and we could final start to gather in small groups outside our home.
June, July & August:
The summer of 2020 continued to give us the gift of stillness and simplification. With the COVID-19 restrictions lifting and us moving into Level 3 we could finally enjoy outdoor dining, visits with immediate family, and celebrate the opening of more small businesses. We spent a ton of time this summer on the boat, enjoying our local coffee shops and restaurants. Additionally, Matt and I decided to even take on a little patio renovation which you can see here. Never in my life did I anticipate spending this much time at home, especially during the summer.
Summertime in New England is usually filled with non-stop road trips to the shoreline but Matt and I continued to enjoy this slower lifestyle and ring in my birthday – a quarantined birthday, none the less, as I turned twenty-six in June.
September & October:
Truthfully, nothing much happened in September but in October – 10/10/2020 to be exact, Matt proposed. Matt asked me to be his girlfriend on 06.10.09 when we were just fourteen watching Fever Pitch in the basement and twelve years later on 10.10.20 he asked me to marry him – after a weekend full of leaf peeping, pancake eating, cider drinking, candle sniffing, apple picking and spooky Halloween movie watching. Honestly, I haven’t even gotten around to sitting down and sharing all the details, but I promise I will soon – this week and I’ll link it here when I do.
Overall, Matt proposing was certainly one of the better things to come out of 2020 for us and gave us some good news to share. Not to mention something to look forward to in the upcoming year as we start to plan our wedding.
November & December:
In November we celebrated our year anniversary at Mr. Trophy, which was bittersweet since so much of what we hoped for and dreamed of for this company was placed on hold. Overall, our business, being in the sports and event field, was highly affected during this pandemic. From being down 91% in sales in March to just staying afloat – during the summer, this year was extremely tough on small business owners, in a way many can’t comprehend until experienced.
However, we did end the year on a good note because, after over a year of not seeing my brother and nine months of not seeing my sister, we all were able to reunite safely for the holidays. COVID tests were taking, quarantines happened and a peaceful holiday season pursued. I’m so grateful for this time with my siblings and only hope 2021 has more time to offer.
Overall if there is one thing I’m grateful for this year – it’s the gift of perspective and the gift of release. Releasing expectations, releasing the way things use to be and finding peace in what’s in front of me.