I don’t think I’ve been more excited for a year to be over than I have with 2020. I’m betting I’m not alone in that sentiment either.  With the new year just a few days away, I sat down and thought about all the positives about 2020.  I have a lot to be grateful for, to be honest, in a year like this so I thought it would be a little fun to review some of them. 

#1 – Job Change

If you’re in my reader group, I’ve talked a lot about my struggles in my research job.  The shift of my work to non-lab work and issues with my boss. Without all that stress and anger, I wouldn’t have been so motivated to start looking and in turn, land the job of my dreams.  I’ve only been there a few weeks, and I’m happier now than I have ever been in the last 12 years. It was the best career decision I could have ever made for myself. 

#2 – My new godson

Born just a week into our state shutdown, he was the gift I needed in such a dark time.  Months after his birth, his smile when I walk into the room makes me forget all about the state of the world right now.  My little buddy.  I’ve already warned his parents that the day will come when he asks me for a pony and I’ll show up with a stock trailer full of them.  

#3 – Finding My Writing Mojo

2018 and 2019 were huge struggle years in terms of writing.  The words just seemed to have dried up, and all I could do is stare at a blank screen.  That is until Geri and I teamed up for the Black Hoods MC series.  It was like a breath of fresh air to dive into the stories and though we we’re both dealing with our own personal struggles at the same time, we were able to support each other to finish three different books.  

#4 – Getting Back to My Roots

It’s funny as we grow older the things we never have time to do anymore. When our state shutdown, and being high risk, I had to dive deep to find ways to keep myself entertained.  Puzzles, sewing, gardening, and even reading became my new favorite pastimes.  Puzzles being the biggest of the three. I had a 1000 piece puzzle collecting dust on a bookshelf for over two years of a night game at Purdue from a game I actually attended.  I was always “too busy” for it, and in March, I finally got it down.  It took a bit longer than I would have normally taken because I tried to share it with Glen, who I now know HATES puzzles, but it was a bonding experience for us. 

#5 – Appreciating the Little Things

Did I just paraphrase one of the rules from Zombieland? I sure did. There’s nothing like a pandemic to put into perspective how precious life is, and the frivolous things that waste your time.  I let so much go by the wayside over the years that I didn’t even realize I was letting integral parts of what makes me, well, me go with it.  Even now as our state has almost fully reopened, I remind myself almost daily to remember those little things. To take time for myself, and my well-being. I’m even trying to learn how to do gel nails with my very own UV light. Who would have thought? Not me.

While these five things are only scratching the surface of those personal positives from 2020, I encourage you all to think back over the last year and make a list of your own. Focus on it. While the 2020 dread may spill into 2021 for a bit, look back on those positives.

And before I forget, make sure you yell out “JUMANJI!” when the clock strikes twelve on the 31st.