One phrase I heard more than any other was “This year sucks!”. Regularly we hear people say that 2020 needs to just go away. That 2020 was the worst. That this year was nothing but a series of terrible events and just when one thing seemed to top them all, the very next week brought its own set of ridiculous circumstances. While I am not going to say 2020 wasn’t all of these things, I do want to point out the good 2020 brought. I see the world with starry eyes. I can’t help it. Even though so much negativity was brought to the surface, positive actions also blossomed. Time could be spent reviewing the good our country experienced, uniting to support each other during a pandemic, the necessary spotlight on our inequities in order to take steps to remedy them, or the ways we kept on holding onto hope in the darkest of times. This is not to say that everything for us as been 100% good. We’ve known people who have been sick, we’ve seen friends struggle with keeping jobs, we’ve missed our friends and extended family so much. We have wanted to hug friends upon meeting their new babies or congratulating them on engagements or even when saying goodbye at a BBQ, but we’ve resisted. Personally, the Spring and Fall were very difficult with regards to work. No closure with last year’s class, and no real handle on how to be a virtual teacher to start this year. But this is to be a post of positivity… and I suppose I should start. While these may seem like mundane and not as noteworthy of moments, they are our moments and taking the time to appreciate all the little sparks of joy is what truly made 2020 not necessarily the absolute worst for us.
January 2020. First sunrise of 2020 from our lake house trip. Playing games at Off World Arcade for Adam’s birthday. Mom and Adam’s birthday celebration at our house.
February 2020. Annual winter trip up north with Jason and Adam. Brunch with my mom. Dinner with the fam.
March 2020. Megan and I won musical trivia at JPs (this was our last night at a bar). Quarantine in full effect. Cozy times with the cats, virtual game nights, working from home, and the start of Animal Crossing.
April 2020. Teaching remotely has its purr-ks (see what I did there!). And, just as the Prince song goes, sometimes it snows in April.
May 2020. Luiza was welcomed to the group! I started gardening. The first of many backyard hangouts with our friends in person, as well as the first of many family BBQs.
June 2020. Megan drove me around in our end of the year parade (strange last day of school, but I loved it). We also welcomed Patti to the group (and the return of Ferrante’s fro). More backyard time with the fam.
July 2020. We brought home our own furry bundle of love, Fred. He was 10 weeks old at the time.
August 2020. Outdoor birthday BBQ for Abby and Steve. Ferrante’s birthday BBQ. And some much needed time up north by the lake.
September 2020. Literal fruits of my labor (heirloom tomatoes are amazing and I can’t wait to try new varieties next year). Fred sleeping in a camping chair at a bon fire.
October 2020. Adam and I hit the 20 years together milestone and tried our best to recreate our first date with take out movie popcorn/frozen Cokes (not pictured: take out Apple Bee’s). Instead of the usual Halloween themed cake, we went with Halloween themed cupcakes. Thank goodness the weather was still nice enough to have outdoor gatherings.
November 2020. Taking Fred on walks was a great way to get some fresh air. Prince loves sleeping in the basket part of the new cat tree. Fred loves playing in the snow. Callie turned 1.
December 2020. More virtual hangouts. Baked a lot of cookies (which reminds me that I did not post all of the new things we made this year: BA’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie, Barefoot Contessa’s Banana bread/muffins, Babish’s cheese sauce to use in lasagna, soooooooooooooo many pots of chili, air fryer chicken wings, a pizza, marinated pork chops, garlic/mayo spread for burgers from The Mythical Kitchen, and THE COOKIES by Alison Roman). Marty and Fred share a moment in cuddle heaven. Fred and Adam enjoy each other’s company in the glow of the tree.
There it is. The good. So, while we are ready to say goodbye to this popularly unfavorable year, 2020 was not totally awful for all of these reasons above and then some. Not pictured: Holly and Ryan’s baby Elliot, Taylor and Alex’s baby Grover, baby boy #2, Miles, for Diana and Eric, wedding dress shopping with Sarah, all the live streamed concerts we watched (Ben Gibard, every night for weeks!), the virtual birthdays (Tara, Mandi, + Jason), The Erika+Mike birthday bon fire, getting take out from our favorite local eateries, my new class of 4th graders, and the other plants I grew (basil, peppers, potatoes, celery, and a watermelon). May 2021 bring more of those little moments of joy and I hope we can take the time to stop and savor them.