Let’s be honest, 2020 was quite shit. We all went through a doozy of a year with multiple lockdowns, cancelled plans, different work schedules and make-shift home offices. I don’t want to dwell too much on the bad things from 2020 because I feel like we’ve all done our fair share of that for a full year.
So, instead, I’m sharing 20 things that brought me happiness in 2020. I hope it’s a little bit of sunshine on a not so sunny year.
Growing a human.
This obviously has to be my first and biggest highlight of happiness from 2020. Matt and I decided that we were ready to bring a baby into this world and we were happily surprised and grateful for how the journey to parenthood has been so far! We can’t wait to meet our baby girl this upcoming May. I just hit 21 weeks this morning!
I used to be afraid of birds, but I kinda have a thing for (some of) them now. At the beginning of the global pandemic, we decided to get backyard chickens. Well, let’s be honest, I convinced Matt to get them! But, these ladies have brought us so much happiness since we’ve gotten them! From fresh eggs every day to chicken cuddles and having them follow us around in the garden. I look forward to going out and seeing them every day.
Connectedness to Bill.
Last year, I lost one of the most important men in my life. Bill was a father to me and losing him has rocked my world. I’ve never experienced a loss like losing a loved one, especially a parent, until Bill and it breaks my heart still just thinking about him not being here. But, what brings me happiness is how connected I’ve felt to him throughout this whole pregnancy. From dreaming of him congratulating us, to knowing he was there protecting us during our early scare, to catching 4:44 every day and knowing that’s him just saying hello to us. He’s watching over my family and keeping us safe and I feel his protection every day.
I finished 18 books in 2020. It’s the most I’ve read in one year. It was such a great way to escape the real world and dive deeply into a new world. I have an aim to read 20 this year, but with a newborn, we’ll see if that’s possible! I’m thinking of writing a blog post about all the books I read in 2020 because I always get asked about them and books that I recommend!
One of the reasons I think that I read so many books is the fact that I have a Kobo! I love my Kobo SO much and would highly recommend one to anyone. Before purchasing it, I was a “no digital reader” kinda girl. I wanted the real paper pages, the smell and the feel of the book. But, I’m 10000% converted. My kobo can download library books, it’s waterproof for bathtub reading and it fits beautifully in my hand. The way it fits in my hand really changes the change for bedtime reading, especially when I lay on my side. Seriously, it’s game-changing.
Quitting my job/Going self-employed.
Quitting my job didn’t bring me happiness because it was extremely bittersweet because I loved everyone I used to work with. But, I’ve always had the dream of working for myself, but I was always scared to make the leap. But, this year, I felt that feeling inside of me that told me it was the right time. So, I did it and it has been fantastic! I absolutely love working for myself and working one-on-one with clients. I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing clients who have trusted me with their brands. It feels incredible and so fulfilling. I absolutely love making my own schedule, planning my own meetings and having the responsibility of having my own business.
At home yoga.
I’ve never been one to enjoy at-home yoga. But, this year, I had to make it work! Between Modo Yoga and Intrinsic Wellness, we’ve found an at-home practice that I feel proud of! I’m looking forward to the day in a couple of months when we have a fitness room in our home with our yoga mats always rolled out, ready for a practice!
Our Google Home Mini.
Yes, it’s probably listening to us always, but I love our Google Home! I use it every single day. Whether it’s to play music, ask it a question, set a timer or an alarm, it’s been a great addition to our home.
I’ve never been one for multiple products and a lengthy skincare routine. But, 2020 was the year that changed! I’ve started to invest in my skincare routine. I’ve found products that work really well for me and I’ve been trying out new ones too. I love spending some time in the evening preparing my skin for sleep and waking up and washing my face to start the day! My fav products are: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Truly Brightening Vitamin C, Truly Soothing Witch Hazel, Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and Origins Hello Face Mask with natural cannabis sativa seed oil.
I’ve been trying to find a shampoo bar that I actually like for what feels like years! And… I’ve finally found one! The High-End Hippie has the BEST shampoo bars that I’ve ever tried. I’m fully converted. They last forever (We’ve had one first one for at least 7 months and Matt and I both use it), they smell fantastic, they lather well and they actually work. I’ve never loved a hair product more.
Slow mornings and quiet days.
This seems a little weird since we’re in a pandemic and you’re probably thinking quiet days wouldn’t bring me happiness. They do though! I love waking up in the morning, making my coffee, sitting and enjoying it while reading a book and then meditating and journaling. It feels so nice to start the day slowly when it happens like that. I also love quiet days around the house. Organizing, cleaning, spending time reading, getting outside in the back garden, having a bubble bath or playing games with Matt. My home brings me so much joy.
Getting outside for walks.
I LOVED getting outside in 2020. Whether it be for distance walks with friends, hikes around our neighbourhood, evening walks to see the Christmas lights, walking brought me so much happiness.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Matt and I would go for walks in the mornings every day before work. It was a wonderful way to start the day. We also enjoy going for walks downtown, the hike in Wilden and I absolutely loved our hikes at Pincushion.
My Kitchen Aid mixer.
This was closer to the end of the year, but Matt gifted me a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas. We got it secondhand, which meant that I got it before Christmas. And it’s been a happy addition to our kitchen. I do a lot of baking and cooking (something else that brings me happiness) and having this mixer to use instead of a wooden spoon makes me want to get into the kitchen even more!
Showing up for friends/celebrating friends
This year has been super hard on people. Some of the ones I love the most have struggled the most this year. I’ve tried really hard to reach out to friends and keep in touch with them this year. It’s been ebbs and flows, of course, that’s reality. But, I’ve really asked friends how I can support them, if they need anything, etc.
Additionally, I’ve loved celebrating friends this year. From baby announcements to engagements, seeing my friends happy and excited for a new milestone in their lives has been so fun to see!
Quality time with Matt.
It’s been so nice to spend so much time with Matt this year. From doing lockdown together to me going self-employed and working in the office together and spending a lot of time on the couch together! I’ve loved having him with me and I love how our relationship strengthened in 2020. I feel so grateful for Matt, our home, and our growing family.
Taking time to take care of myself.
I’ve just looked back on my calendar of last year to think of some more happiness items. One thing I noticed was that I really took care of myself in 2020. I had dentist, acupuncture and chiropractor appointments. I went to grief counselling. I did some pampering with my eyebrows and eyelashes. I met with my naturopath to go over supplements and prenatal things. I booked myself a massage or two.
I’ve realized I only have one body, so I might as well continue to take care of it!
This isn’t probably a healthy thing that has brought me happiness, but it’s the truth! I’ve spent my fair share of money doing some online shopping. I’ve added some tracksuits into my collection, I’ve bought some belly friendly clothing and I’ve indulged in a thing or two just to bring me happiness. But, every month, I take a look at my finances and think I need to slow down on that spending. I’ll get there! But also with a baby on the way… the shopping itch is strong.
Learning and opening up to realizations.
This year has been a heavy one. Between the Black Lives Matter to Trump’s pure existence, I’ve been doing a lot of education on my own. I’ve been recognizing the privilege I have, working on what I can do to help and trying to understand the US political climate and how their government even works.
I’ve realized how little I know. It’s been humbling to know that even though I consider myself pretty smart and knowledgeable, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of different ways to grow. I want to do my part and understand the world better.
I did a 5 week pottery workshop with two friends. It was such a fun experience and I really enjoyed the workshop. I didn’t LOVE it enough to get a membership at the studio, but I enjoyed it enough to feel proud of my pieces and gifted one to my dad in England who was thrilled. He’s using it to store his keys in it now. It was a great way to detach from the phone, try something new, fail at something and start over and then enjoy the final product. I’d highly recommend it!
Online games with friends.
My final happiness item is online games with friends. Since we can’t all get together for a board game night, like we used to, we’ve converted to online games! We’ve played Jackbox with friends as well as the Houseparty app on the phone. It’s been a fun way to stay in touch with friends, laugh and play a game or two. If you haven’t utilized these before and are still in a lockdown situation, I’d highly recommend them!
2020 closed! The End.
And that’s it! 2020 is finished, closed, the end. It’s come and went and I’m excited to see what lessons 2021 teaches me! I’ve spent a lot of time on myself this past year and I know it’s been really good practice with a baby on the way. 2021 will be the year we do some house renovations and welcome a baby girl into the world.
I hope you enjoyed this post. What brought you happiness in 2020? Let me know in the comments below!