Well, friends, we have finally come to the end of 2020 (all 3,365 days of it!). And what a doozy of a year it has been. I was recently flipping through my 2020 planner when I stopped to marvel at how “normal” the year started. Last year at this time, I was preparing to attend a midnight meditation session where I would silently ring in the new year amongst a room full of strangers. In January, I started 2020 by attending a book signing, going to blogger events, and working out with friends. By February, I was eating out at restaurants, attending a play, and going to hear Fitz and the Tantrums perform at The Paramount in front of a crowded room full of people. And as March rolled around, I watched as the whole world began to slowly shut down (while frantically searching for masks and toilet paper) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, when I look back at my planner (which, ironically, was used daily for the first time this year), I’m struck not by what I didn’t do or no longer do, but by what I still managed to do. Yes, 2020 was a year like no other (and hopefully one we won’t live to see repeated), but good things still happened. I would be remiss to focus only on the challenges of the year—and while there were plenty—I’m choosing to remember the better moments instead.
Here are some of the things I will remember fondly from 2020:
Finished my health coaching certification: I started the online health coach training program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition back in May 2019 and completed it in May 2020. It was a great distraction to have video lectures to watch and health histories to complete—all things that could happen virtually—while being stuck at home during the early days of quarantine.
Passed my Board Certified Patient Advocacy exam: In March 2020, I was supposed to sit for the Board Certified Patient Advocacy exam, which ended up getting canceled as New York was on lockdown by then. I rescheduled the test for October 2020 and was able to take it at home with a virtual proctor. I found out I passed right after my birthday in November.
Started a “quaranteam”: Fearing the pandemic would linger for a while, I created a quaranteam early on. At the time, I thought this was a novel concept. But as it turned out, many other people had the same idea. I’ve been so thankful for my little quaranteam of close friends during this time. From having someone to take a hike with to ordering take out and enjoying a meal, my quaranteam proved to be a much-needed sanity boost during this isolating time.
Returned to horseback riding: If there was ever a time to have a hobby, it was this year. Fortunately, horseback riding was a great outlet, as I could practice social distancing, be out in nature, and spend time with a majestic animal. Plus, it was a nice way to add more exercise into my routine.
Explored Long Island: I’m so thankful that I could take local trips within New York during the summer and fall. Getting “away” helped me clear my head, and it provided an escape from the monotony of spending so much time at home by myself. I loved every minute I spent on the beach out in Montauk and up in the Catskills. The change of scenery was rejuvenating.
Learned to work (and work out) at home: Who knew that a tiny apartment could be used for so many things? 2020 pushed me to find creative ways to work both my mind and body. While it may have been challenging at times, I’ve found unique solutions to help me embrace and benefit from having so many quiet moments during my day.
As we countdown these final hours of 2020, I hope you can find a moment to reflect on that brings you joy. If you can’t, celebrate the fact that you made it to the end of one of the most turbulent years in recent history and commend yourself for a job well done. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021 filled with all good things and many new and joyful memories!