2020. It was a life changing year for me and my family. I started 2020 with a list of goals that I didn’t actually share here on Balancing Today.
- Save money
- Simplify our home
- Decorate the house
- Focus on the joys within my work
- Rearrange my work office
- Go on walk breaks during the work day
- Go hiking
- Go dancing
- Workout daily because it brings me joy
- Cut out the thing that rob my life
- Use my loft more for my evening wind down
To be fully honest, I started 2020 feeling absolutely awful. I had gained a lot of weight due to stress, depression, anxiety, and the return of poor eating habits due to my mental health. I hated how I felt in my body and just wasn’t comfortable physically.
After the new year each year I almost always battle seasonal depression. The holiday season, which I love, is behind me, it’s cold and gray, and I return to the grind after the winter break. 2020 was no different. Actually, it was worse. I was SO depressed in January and February 2020. I knew at the time it was bad, but looking back a year later, I can’t downplay just how bad I was doing.
Mid-February I got a really bad cold/flu (I think it was COVID) and was out of work for a little over a week. It had been spreading through my office, but of course, none of us were thinking it was COVID and our country wasn’t allowing testing unless you had traveled overseas recently. After my return to work we were in full COVID planning and before I knew it, we were working from home… for just 2 weeks. 2 weeks turned into 2 months, which turned into where we are today, working for home until at least May 2021.
After the “excitement” of working from home wore off, and the realities of the long term impact of a global pandemic set in, I started to really focus on me and my family! I needed to lose weight (20 pounds to get started), I needed to prioritize my mental health (hello CBD and hiking), and I needed to focus on our home environment.
Was it hard working from home with 2 kids at home? 1000% yes, but it was the greatest blessing I could have ever been given. I hated my commute (3 hours total a day), I hated dropping my kids off at daycare at 6:30AM for 12 hours at daycare, and I hated not being able to focus on myself. 2020 changed all of that in a matter of months. Neal and I had plenty of lows in those first 6 months of the pandemic, juggling 2 careers, 2 kids, and all of the daily to dos, but it truly made us stronger. We had to talk. We had to be open about our needs. We had to create space for one another to thrive. It also helped that my sister came to stay with us for a bit when things were really bad here in DC over the summer.
It was really funny looking back at my 2020 goals when my birthday rolled around in October. I hadn’t even looked at them because of the pandemic and I was shocked to realize I had achieved so many of them!! I traveled solo and with my family by staying at isolated local Airbnb rentals, spent a great deal of time cleaning out our house and downsizing, and had an opportunity to do some amazing renovations in our house. We build a deck with a screened in porch and were able to do some renovations inside as well.
We replaced our nasty carpet, installed recessed lighting, and renovated 2 bathrooms. Everything just made our space so bright, so welcoming, and so joyful! I also started using CBD back in March to help with my depression and anxiety, on top of continued therapy, and boy did it! After almost 8 months of using CBD, I joined Green Compass and have been helping others with their CBD needs. It has been so incredibly fulfilling and has opened so many doors for my family.
And lastly, I lost weight, spent more time with my kids and husband, went on a gazillion hikes and walks, recommitted to my Peloton workouts, and really focused on all the ways this year has blessed our lives.
Are there things I miss about life before March 2020? You bet! Above all else, I miss my family. I miss my parents and can not believe it has been over a year since I’ve seen them. I just pray, daily, that they remain safe and healthy and that we’ll see them sooner than later. Aside from seeing family, there’s not a whole lot I want to go back to! I hope my life remains forever changed for the better and that I can continue to focus on myself, my family, and our environment! It’s really all that matters.