Things that brought me joy in 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a bit of a whirlwind, where pretty much all of our lives got turned upside down and on top of that the words ‘furlough’ and ‘coronavirus’ got added into our vocabulary. It has now become very much the norm to talk about how rubbish 2020 was for many of us, whilst dreaming of the fresh slate we would all have in 2021 (if only we knew ay).

But despite all of the things going on in the world right now, over the last week or two I have been reflecting on the last 12 months with the help of my camera roll (I blame the new year nostalgia), and remembering how much joy I still had amongst all the change, anxiety and at points sadness.

Although here in the UK we were in lockdown after lockdown for most of the year and so was restricted in what we could do. Kissing goodbye to our holidays abroad or dinner parties with friends and family, it did mean without me even knowing, I was redefining what brought me joy and a sense of adventure. This year I’ve spent more time with my family (because I moved back in with my parents) and I’ve spent more time in nature than ever before – purely because I had way more time on my hands (thanks furlough). With all this extra time I got to slow down and reflect rather than just being so consumed in my everyday life, going from plan to plan. Which now I think about it is such a silver lining from the shitshow that was 2020.

Whilst I don’t think you can just shrug off the crazy year which will most likely go down in history, I also don’t want to forget the small and big moments that brought me joy either. So, purely as a way for me to remember, here are a few things that brought me joy in 2020.

  1. Reading more than ever before. I set myself a goal to read 24 books and for the first year ever I read that and more
  2. Finding beautiful parks and areas in my local towns (both my hometown and Nottingham) that were so lovely for the many walks and runs I went on
  3. Eating all the tasty food and exploring more with new recipes, some that were terrible and some that were delicious
  4. Getting lucky enough to go on a mini-break away to Barcelona in March with my uni friends and sister
  5. Socially distanced walks and picnics with friends in the summer
  6. Becoming more active than ever, with the help of my Fitbit and all the daily mandated walks
  7. Having a lovely lockdown birthday with my fam and social distanced pals
  8. A last-minute break at Center Parcs, where I discovered my love for beer and bikes
  9. Facetime and Zoom chats with my friends and family
  10. My dad’s desk building skills that make working from home a hell of a lot easier and as a bonus, it’s really pretty
  11. All the hours watching telly, from rewatching Gilmore Girls again to experiencing the greatness of The Office US for the first time
  12. My friends getting engaged, moving to new homes and buying their first homes
  13. Hours of playing monopoly deal, scrabble and doing jigsaw puzzles
  14. Baking what feels like everything Mary Berry has in her baking bible recipe book
  15. Getting to see my cousins and aunty for the first time that year on Christmas Day
  16. Starting my journey with freelance writing, which is something I never thought I would do
  17. The day trip to Cambridge we did in the summer, which is a place I’d never visited before
  18. My first time watching the ballet live in January (before corona was a thing in my life)
  19. The wonderful heatwave we got last year and being able to stay at my parents during that time, where they have fab garden furniture
  20. Buying myself Airpods which are quite literally life-changing and are in my ears 80% of the day

Let me know in the comments what brought you joy in 2020, I’d love to hear!

Alisha xoxo

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