Turning the Page on 2020

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The end of what will be one of the strangest years in my lifetime seems like a good enough time to start blogging again, no?

The odd thing is, now that 2020 is coming to a close, I’m not sure what to say.

Green and grey text on a white background saying: what a long strange trip it's been.

2020 started on such a hopeful note- we had an amazing holiday season and surprised the kids at Christmas with a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We took that trip in February with our best friends and it was *the* best trip of our lives. When we got back in mid-February, we heard rumblings of an illness across the globe, but we had no idea how badly the world was going to go side-wise within a month of our return.

Heather holding a heart-shaped shell in front of the ocean.

I don’t need to list all the things that went off the rails this year – y’all lived it too. The abrupt closure of schools, distance learning, everyone becoming a remote worker (unless you were deemed essential) overnight, the lack of contact with family and friends, the constant worry of getting sick, of someone you know getting sick, of losing a loved one while mourning with the world for all those lost. My kids went from social creatures with crazy schedules to…nothing. They retreated to their rooms as we figured out this freaking “new normal” that was anything but.

In the middle of all this came racial unrest, protests, politics and a lot of hard discussions.

We desperately missed our family and friends. I cried- a lot. I took more anti-anxiety meds then ever before. Some of us started therapy. All of us tried to find the motivation to stay healthy with our garage gym with mixed results. There were a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of small breakdowns and a lot of reassuring the kids (and each other) that this can’t last forever. Right?

But there were also a lot of laughs, a lot of pivoting and improvisation, and a lot of being really thankful for what we have. We hiked – a lot. We Zoomed – a lot. We cooked and baked – a lot. I have watched more TV this year than I have since the summer I was on a maternity leave with Scorch and had nothing else to do with a nursing baby. I read hundreds of books and expanded my group of online reader friends. I reconnected with my high school girlfriends with regular Zoom calls and got teary eyed when I ran into my aunt at Target before Christmas since we hadn’t seen each other since July.

Most of all, I’ve learned to appreciate the hell out of what we have. Our friends, our family and each other. This year would have been 100x bleaker without the support, hysterical memes and the “what the fuck is going on” phone calls and Facetimes. I was reminded again the importance of giving locally – to food banks, to clothing drop offs and to local artists – because while my little family was relatively secure during 2020, a lot of people weren’t and I don’t ever want our good fortune for granted.

We were some of the lucky ones. We have family and friends who got Covid, but they all bounced back. We had a few scares, but never tested positive. Our jobs were as stable as any jobs could be in 2020 and the kids, despite all the challenges, remained remarkably composed 95% of the time.

We added a 900+ sq foot addition to the house and remodeled, in some way shape or form, all but 1 room in our house. I…do not recommend doing this during a pandemic, but the end is in sight and we’re all still speaking to each other and our fantastic contractors.

Picture of a bulldozer sitting in my front lawn, with a pile of construction materials, covered by a blue tarp, in front of it.

We adopted a cat whom we adore beyond all reason even though for the first few days of having him home, I thought it was a terrible mistake.

Hawk, our latest addition, is a tabby cat with grey, black and white markings.

Nothing has gone 100% right since March, but for my little family, nothing has gone horribly, irrevocably wrong either. And that seems like a huge win right now.

I’m not sad to see 2020 go, that’s for sure. I’m hoping that 2021 brings good health to the world as a whole, that our lives start resembling what they once were and that the great things we discovered during this crazy, mixed-up year stay with us regardless of what’s in store.

About Heather

I adore my family, writing, books, cats, lazy mornings in bed, and chocolate. I'll never say no to breakfast for dinner, long talks with friends and lazy summer days at the pool with family. My life is often crazy, always awesome and one I'm so happy to be living! My side hustle is editing and proofing work. Find out more at https://heathercaryn.com/

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